Korinna McRobert



The dirtiest word

The last thing 

the successful individual 

wants to utter

to other successful individuals


I used to believe people

who said that they had a happy childhood

I used to believe people

who said they have no grievances with their parents

I used to believe people

whose biggest complaint was how the bus was late today

I used to think there were two kinds of people:

People with trauma

People without trauma

Trauma means handicap

Non-trauma means one has more to give

Imagine my surprise when I realised

that each person’s trauma is self-defined

and in fact those people who disclose it

may even be a step ahead of those who have

not even recognised it yet

I came out of my closet of shame

years ago

as a self-professed traumatised person

a person committed to sorting herself out

Reactions have been mixed

From admiration to pity

It brought out so much in people

I saw so much of other people’s shit

Some people felt so much better off than me

Others felt safe to tell me their stories

I assumed that people without stories

had none

But I was wrong

Keeping their stories from me kept them high

Keeping their stories from me kept them problemless 

Maybe their denial of pain is a confirmation of it

Maybe their denial of pain is confirmation of a pain

so deep

they can’t even 

acknowledge it without falling apart





An arrogant majority

A fucked-over minority


They are very poor

All they have is money


We isolate the criminal

The victim isolates itself

Fleeing as prison


Winded at a thought

Winded by the loss

Its invisibility

makes me feel invalid

My pain has no space

other than inside me

Far away from everything


Life is a residency


Not having the language

to argue

to express

to conflict


Is emotional deprivation


Why is it so hard

for us to give

each other

what we all need?

Maybe to do so we

need to part with something

we all want to keep

Keep and Take



Who am I today?

I think I know

It’s difficult to explain

I used to know

It was so simple

There was a word

A term for what I was doing

One art followed another

Actor- Filmmaker- Artist



Can I claim the title of Artist

without a project I can sum up in one sentence?

Can I be the embodiment of my art practice

and make any sense of it to others?

I disappoint the stereotypical profile:

“Do you paint? I bet you do great portraits!”

I have already mentioned the multimedia that I use

Painting and drawing being none of them

If you could tell 18 year old me

where I would be today

I wonder what she would say

I don’t want to underestimate her

I think she may have believed it

Parts of it

It’s still hard to get my head round

the obscurity that is my existence

the certainty of the uncertain

As soon as I am categorised 

I start again from scratch

somewhere else

on something else

Three years ago I turned the time back

I started again


And now I want to settle

without ever settling 

It must all fit together


Maybe it will become clearer with time

Maybe it won’t

Maybe it’s about accepting 

the different roads

and finding a way 

to knit them together

in a pattern 

that makes sense