Apathy: Art's Growing Nemesis

By Fadzai Nzuwa

April 2022

The next possible consuming ailment of our generation.

Thumbnail illustration by Tiffany Zhong

Thumbnail illustration by Tiffany Zhong

It is my belief that apathy towards art will soon become one our generation’s most consuming ailments. To be quite frank, it’s hard to make people care- about anything. Thanks to technological advancements, an irrepressible infinite influx and bombardment of content exists. Which has resulted in an eerily desensitised and apathetic generation.

Now I am certain, that cultural romantics will take this seeming cynicism, with little less than a grain of salt, but hear me out.

As a young filmmaker and writer, there’s been an overwhelming angst concerning the trajectory of my budding yet looming career. However, after dissecting this angst; I realised that it’s been rooted in an internal dissonance. There’s a desire to create but at the same time there also exists this echoing voice telling me that my creations will inevitably be washed out by the endless influx of content created by others. Ultimately falling victim to the apathetic attitudes of virtual peers.

So, I am often left confused on how to satisfy this hunger. This hunger to create and manifest the colourful visions in my mind. This hunger for a seemingly tangible yet simulated validation that is not my own. You see, our generation has grown up on a cultural diet of grossly captivating reality television, virtual highlight reels, god-like internet sensations and a patronising classification, known as ‘Instagram art.’ No better example of our generation’s increasing apathy towards art exists than this. Given the eternal loop in which blog posts, imagery, films, cyber art shows, album debuts etc. exist; such classifications are fated.

Look, I get it. There is something alluring about exclusivity, especially when it comes to art. Creations with a certain indelible quality appeal most to us. A quality that can be considered pretty rare, given the regularity of scrolls and clicks. However, as young artists, we harbour provocative concepts, designs and insights-burgeoning as they may be, we still desire to share them. In spite of the staggering apathy, we are met with, let’s intentionally practice empathy instead. Empathy towards ideas, no matter the platforms or means by which they appear to us. Empathy for the worlds which these young artists depict. Empathy for the art that exists in this swift-striding simulated space.


You can find more of Fadzai’s work here.