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An (open) break up letter to the RCA

Céline Strolz Max Kohler

March 29th, 2019 4:41 min read 1289 words

Dear Royal College of Art,

I haven’t heard from you in a while. The past couple of months have been unsettling. I have felt confusion and forgiveness, anger and affection, sadness and hope. In troubling times, one always appreciates a friendly shoulder to lean on. Where were you?

I am spending a lot of my time on gov.uk these days trying to figure out a way to stay in the country - who would have thought? I trust you must be as confused as me. I am not asking for answers to this question that we don’t fully understand yet. Indeed, no one has the answers. But since we are all in this together, shouldn’t we support each other?

As you so often love to describe it, you, the Royal College of Art, are an institution thriving from a diverse community. I felt as though the relationship we had built up was strong. Over decades we have shared our strengths and learned from our differences. I believed we would continue doing so with mutual respect. Now, I am not sure anymore. The Jean Juliens and the Andrea Büttners1 you so proudly promote are certainly grateful for their time with you. Shouldn’t you be equally grateful in return?

You have had three years to show your support. I saw others put up a united front across the country. Believing in the strength of the international community, they voiced the desire to protect it 1. Yet, all I got from you was a broadcast of the parliamentary channel. I know you’re addressing the issue today in the college newspaper The Pluralist. It’s a shame it took the authority of the Students’ Union for you to acknowledge me. Better late than never though. I am looking forward to finally hearing from you and I trust you will reassure me on financial specifics of future fees or settlement schemes. I don’t doubt we will remain companions legally speaking. You cannot afford to lose 24% of your community 1. But what we have built means more than administrative jargon. Please don’t only rely on the government’s decisions. All I am asking for is a friendly hand to reach out to.

On this particular day, the 29th March 2019, I feel disappointed. But I remain hopeful that we will reunite.

Your fellow EU companion.


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