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Reading …. ‘Intimacy’ by Ziyad Marar. Art by Edward Hopper titled, ‘Room in New York’ (1932).

“Contemporary society discourages intimacy.  We live in a self-regarding culture, soaked through with the impersonal need for instant gratification.  Our goal is to get intimate with ourselves rather than others, to identify and indulge in our own desires and fantasies (where do you want to go today?) and to satisfy them by consuming the right products.  Success and the pursuit of status are trumpeted at the expense of human connection.  Alongside the rise and rise of consumer culture we’ve experienced a technological revolution that replaces intimacy with simulation.  The age of the internet has made us all feel more connected and yet, paradoxically, more distant. With so many relationships now mediated through screens we are beginning to appreciate the limitations of digital interactions as well as the virtues.  As with our attitudes to that vanishing commodity, the physical book, we are treasuring those moments of face-to-face interaction with real people in actual rather than virtual environments.”