Job search in the arts is as insidious a process as our capitalistic system proves to be. Fierce competition among applicants. Shameless exploitation of labour force. Added to that the unsolvable equation of having to present an extended resume of past professional experiences without hardly ever being given the opportunity to actually acquire it. That golden ticket to what they call your ‘dream job’ is always out of reach. On the other hand, how could we comply with the following requirements altogether – flexibility, independence, team worker, not the 9 to 5 mentality, stress resistant, sense of humour (I swear) – without any kind of desperation lying beneath this perfectly blitched motivation letter?

After spending about the entire day carefully crafting and filling up the online application (after all, I believe I am competent) for an assistant curator position at TATE modern, London, I reach step 8 - out of 10.

Tate is committed to becoming more diverse. We try to ensure that our application process is accessible to people from all backgrounds and is free from discrimination [...] To monitor the effectiveness of our diversity policy, please supply the monitoring information outlined below [...]

Fields marked with an asterisk (*) must be completed.

Question

*Gender

Possible answers, from top down (no ranking):

  • Male
  • Female
  • Prefer not to say

'Female'

Question

*Age

Possible answers, from top down (no ranking):

  • 16-17
  • 18-21
  • 22-30
  • 31-40
  • 41-50
  • 51-60
  • 61-65
  • 66-70
  • 71 +
  • Prefer not to say

Answer: '22-30'

Question

*Ethnic origin

Possible answers, from top down (no ranking):

  • White British
  • White Irish
  • White Gypsy or Irish traveller
  • Any other White background
  • Indian
  • Pakistani
  • Bangladeshi
  • Chinese
  • Any other Asian background
  • Black Caribbean
  • Black African
  • Any other Black background
  • White and Black Caribbean
  • White and Black African
  • White and Asian
  • Any other mixed background
  • Arab
  • Any other background
  • Prefer not to say

Being French, I fall under the 'other white background'. Although my dad is Italian. Am I then from another mixed background? My skin colour does easily get darker in the summer. Hum. I'm confused now.

Question

*Do you consider yourself to have a disability?

As defined by the Equality Act 2010, a disability is: 'A physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.'

Possible answers:

  • Yes
  • No
  • Prefer not to say

I have a slight tendency to depression, and used to have an eating disorder when I was 15 but who didn’t? Does that make me mentally disable? Will I have to ‘specify’ if I say yes? I tick NO.

Question

*What is your sexual orientation?

Possible answers, from top down (no ranking):

  • Heterosexual/straight
  • Gay or lesbian
  • Bisexual
  • Other
  • Prefer not to say

If other please state.

Answer: 'Uh...'

Question

*What is your belief?

Possible answers, from top down (no ranking):

  • No religion/belief
  • Christian
  • Buddhist
  • Hindu
  • Jewish
  • Muslim
  • Sikh
  • Any other religion or belief
  • Prefer not to say

If other please state.

Answer: 'Other.'

What is this? ‘Respectable person’ top charts according to UK policy? No doubt ‘Arab’ and ‘Muslim’ come last.

There is no wrong or right answer, only boxes to tick. There is no judgment, only individuals’ classification.

Well here is my answer. And I prefer to say it. I’m not gonna comply with your requirements.

I refuse to wear the tag(s) of my personality traits according to your system or any other systems for that matter.
I will fight institutionalized hypocrisy and exhibit the mental disability of the society I have to live in every day.

Oh, and I almost forgot the last (invisible) question:

Now are you willing to intern and work your ass off for no pay check?

Sure, why not.

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