Pertinent photographs and cultural patterning with screenprinting techniques investigate the way in which layering of hybridity and cultural identity is constructed within a marginalized ‘poetic space’.
I argue that identity is shaped and transformed by issues of difference, both cultural and racial. Biography plays a key role in post-colonialism and postmodernism. I therefore embrace my personal story offering a vehicle for a theoretical exploration of the issues involved.
I explore experiences from childhood, from an assimilationist perspective - deeply shaped by personal shame - to that of an adult encountering and expressing a post-colonial inspiration for hybridity of culture and an identity of self.
Having been born in the sub-continent of India, at that time beset by colonial domination as well as the Indian caste system, I migrated as a young girl with the rest of my family – of ‘Anglo-Indian’, mixed-race descent – to Britain, the mythical ‘mother country’. We were surrounded by a very different kind of class-consciousness: English society and its culture of the 1950s. Only years later did I comprehend the enormity of this displacement.
My own migration from England to Australia in 1981 has since given me an absorbing critical and analytical focus on my individuality, gender, colour, culture and creativity. Initiating multicultural arts projects and workshops with ‘other’ migrant and Indigenous Australian women – many of whom are also of ‘mixed-blood’ descent, provided a catalyst for my own experience of white, British, colonial hegemony albeit of a very different political stance. Australia has become a third personal, physical space as well as a third metaphysical space for me – which offers me the opportunity to investigate from personal experience, the hypothesis of the ‘third space’ put forward by Indian cultural theorist, Homi Bhabha, who examines the contemporary, global consequences of cultural hybridity and diaspora.
|Keywords:||Cultural Identity/Post-colonial, Half-caste/Mixed-race/Hybridity, ‘Coloured’/Shame, Gender-role, Different Cultural Environment|
PhD Scholarship Candidate, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Australia
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