来源：中国作家网 | 金婉婷 2020年12月11日16:11
母亲为我们订下的刻板人生规划让我对自由有一种病态的痴迷。自由的追求, 自由的行动，自由的创意表达。讽刺的是， 她越是抑制我的艺术倾向， 反而越驱使我成为一名艺术家。
在英语中，我们将老式英语前缀"freo"与后缀"dom"相结合，获得"自由"一词。"Freo"从日尔语单词"friaz"演变而来，意思是所爱的人， 家族中人。"-dom"是一个抽象的后缀，用来表示围绕集体状态或条件的想法。因此，英语中"自由"的词源产生于两个概念的融合： 亲情和集体主义。 自由是集体性的。
我以为，基于这种语言分析，我可以对语言如何体现自由的文化定义给大家提供深入的见解。但是显然我的论点不攻自破了。因为作为一个全球社会，我们所有人现在都必须要学会理解个体自由与集体自由之间的关系。封城囚禁了我们，但带来了更大的群体自由 – 远离新冠传染的自由。为了实现这种集体自由，我们剥夺了个人自由。 世界各地不同的人群对这种自由悖论反应不一，从自私到无私、从个人主义到集体主义，不一而足。
这次全球疫情使我对于全球社会里自由的概念充满疑问。政府的权力在危机中到底应该有多大的延申？我们愿意放弃何种自由来换取技术便利? 哪些自由是以牺牲我们的生态系统、我们的讨论、还是彼此互为全球公民为代价的？我认为作为艺术家， 我们可以提出问题，而不被要求给予简单简易的答案。我认为我们需要捍卫永远不止的探寻的权利，使得世界各地的艺术家能够提出不易回答的问题，而无需为安全或生计担忧。
Pandemic. Reflection. Creation.
Anchuli Felicia King
Perhaps some of you can relate to this.
My mother had a life plan for her two children.
The plan was exceedingly simple - and at the risk of reinforcing stereotypes about Asian parenting - exceedingly Asian. As she had two identical twin daughters, one was going to become a doctor and the other a lawyer. But my mother wasn’t going to settle there. No, the lawyer was going to graduate from Oxford, and the doctor would specialize as a neurosurgeon.
Now, my sister managed some minor rebellions. Instead of Oxford, she went to Cambridge. But by and large, as a successful international trade lawyer, she has dutifully enacted the plan.
I would have killed people as a neurosurgeon. I have restless fidgety hands and a short attention span. My mind often drifts to big philosophical questions at the expense of the task directly in front of me. Funnily enough, the traits that would have made me a murderous imbecile in an operating theatre are probably what make me a decent writer.
The rigidity of my mother’s plan instilled in me a kind of pathological obsession with freedom. Freedom in my pursuits, freedom of movement, freedom of creative expression. Ironically, her attempts to clamp down on my artistic inclinations as a child only drove me further towards becoming an artist.
This obsession with freedom reached its zenith last year, when I decided to give up my apartment and live out of a bag for the indeterminate future. The bag, it should be noted, was not a suitcase. It was a bag. And the bag was just large enough to fit my barest possessions: five shirts, two pairs of jeans, my laptop and a scrapbook for my theatre tickets.
I acknowledge that for most people living out of a bag for a year sounds like the opposite of freedom. But for me it, it was incredibly liberating. I wasn’t bound by anything. I could just pick up at a moment’s notice and travel anywhere. I worked out the bare minimum I needed to survive, and it turns out it wasn’t much at all. Yes, it was an administrative nightmare, and at times proved disorienting, stressful and isolating. But it was overwhelmingly freeing.
And after a year of travelling the world, living out of a bag, the pandemic hit.
In Mandarin, you get the word freedom: 自由 - by combining two prepositions, “zi” and “you.” “Zi” in ancient script was a pictogram of a nose, which evolved into an ideogram to indicate the self. One’s nose, one’s self. In Mandarin, the etymology of freedom arises from one’s self. It’s a linguistically individualistic conception of freedom.
In English, we get the word “freedom” by combining the Old English prefix “freo” with the suffix “dom.” “Freo” evolved from the Germanic word “friaz,” which meant a loved one, someone in your clan. And “-dom” was an abstract suffix used to indicate ideas around a collective state or condition. So the etymology of “freedom” in English arises from the fusion of two concepts: kinship and collectivism. Freedom is collective.
I thought that based on this linguistic analysis, I’d be able to offer you some perspicacious insights on how language informs respective cultural conceptions of freedom. But of course, my argument completely fell apart. Because one of the big things we all had to learn as a global society was that tension between individual and collective freedom. Being stuck in lockdown allowed for a greater collective freedom - freedom from disease. And in order to achieve that collective freedom, we had individual freedoms stripped away. People around the world responded to this freedom paradox with great displays of selfishness and selflessness, individualism and collectivism in equal measure.
Having lost my freedom of movement and pursuits this year, I took renewed solace in my freedom of expression. Because even though my life as a nomadic international artist had been taken away, I still had access to a borderless universe of words, stories and ideas.
This pandemic has raised so many questions for me about our conceptualization of freedom as a global society. How far should governmental power be allowed to extend in a crisis? What freedoms are we willing to give up in exchange for the ease of new technologies? Which of our freedoms are coming at the expense of our ecosystem? Our discourse? Each other as global citizens? I think as artists we can ask those questions without expecting concise or reductive answers. And I think we need to defend our right to be restlessly inquisitive, for artists around the world to ask those difficult questions without fear for their safety or livelihood.
My mother grew up in a rural town in Kanchanaburi, Thailand. She used to tell me stories of the extreme poverty she had experienced as a child. Walking to school on scorching bitumen with bare feet because her shoes had fallen apart, and she couldn’t afford a new pair.
While as child, my mother’s plan felt oppressive, as an adult I understand that it was intended to secure us freedom. The freedom that comes with economic security, self-assuredness, professional success. Freedom from the oppressions of being a young woman whose ambition and intellect is stifled by poverty, an oppression she never wanted us to experience. So while I’ve probably missed the boat on winning a Nobel Prize in Medicine or performing live brain surgery, I still think the plan has been a staggering success.