A critique on artist Ajit Johnson

May 9th, 2015

Artist Ajit Johnson has gone viral with his “brutally honest” posters in a series called #ThisGeneration. The posters comment on how people of this generation communicate, and what defines us. Obviously, there have been a lot of technological and social advancements, and it’s clear to see how much has changed in the last few decades. Though, people think that Johnson’s posters are one-sided, unfair, rude, and an over-generalization of the society. It’s gotten a lot of retaliation, and a lot of good points aimed at the artist.

The posters can be found on Johnson’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ajitjohnson.n) or a quick search for #ThisGeneration. Some of the controversial points he makes include how teenagers read their texts more than their textbooks, take selfies doing mundane activities (like in the bathroom), online dating, and that more teenage girls are getting pregnant. Well, even if some of these things are true it’s tough to use this as a generalization for everyone in the generation. We’re not the ones who actually created the technology, but it was given to us by the previous generation. It’s also very clear, especially in Victoria Park CI, that grades are very important, and that no matter how true Johnson’s statements are, it does not apply to every single one of us. There are also exaggerations, like people choosing Internet over water. It makes “#ThisGeneration” look brainless, when we’re far from it.

Many people on the Internet have turned the posters into memes, but also have made their own posts called #LastGeneration. People are angry, and if Johnson is going to characterize an entire group of people, it’s only fair to look back at what the last generation did. It’s also not focused on the best things, much like Johnson’s. For instance, the last generation have trouble using basic computers because many of them can’t accept change, has caused wars, economic failure and environmental disasters, and set up this generation for failure. If Johnson just focused on the good things about our generation there would be no need for controversy, some people clearly stated that this generation is fighting to fix the mistakes that the last generation caused. Being more open-minded, tolerant, and accepting of other people regardless of gender, race, social class, etc, is something #ThisGeneration is doing better than the previous. That’s mostly because of how connected we are through social media and technology.

Of course, generation by generation, things will change. There will probably be another person like Ajit Johnson who will comment on a generation they aren’t a part of, and focus on all the negative things. Things change, people change, and the point should be for all of us to be constantly creating a better future for the #NextGeneration.