An ambiguous position, to unlearn; but to commit to a continuation of self-development one must defibrillate with one’s position in their identity and place. To become at a position of both being at their peak and at their lowest.
Last year I firmly knew my identity. Focused on representing a multicultural demographic of practitioners working in juxtaposed specialised fields toward a celebrated diasporatic position through multiple art forms through observing theories of building positive social platforms and communities to generate change.
Last month I understood myself clearly, “I am invested in constructs of communication, the evolution of language and diaspora of culture.
Yesterday, nothing could be further from the truth, through investigating paradigms of power and dominance, the positioning of oneself upon another ensuring a thwarted development of the competition that could potentially see equality and thus, the beginning of the end of global dominance. As the Cosby Show once “told” people of colour it’s good to celebrate your history, but we must walk forwards too, take enjoyment of contemporary culture including music, high end fashion and visual art, there isn’t a “white people thing and black people thing”, holding professional positions that wasn’t about you or us but US! An everyday, caring, upstanding family that celebrated their identity but looked beyond racial norms, the challenges they faced were much the same for the majority. America’s favourite dad propelled all his children toward coming together, in a way that Martin Luther King could only dream of. After it’s end near 30 years, there has been no more doctors and lawyers to identify with, to envision my progress with benchmarks or target, to show my children what we could be. Unless I want to/ could make music, the dominant powers informs us that we are limited to music as our form of cultural development.
Black Panther’s billion dollar success gave me pride. Proud for knowing that I have a heritage rich of diversity, skill and knowledge, albeit several hundred years ago and long lost to my kin, for the first time in my heart I can say yes I am African, as many Europeans may hold claim to a strong Viking history. To witness afrocentric cultures direct of the continent of Africa brought centre stage without necessitating a European saviour as per Edgar Rice Burroughs great white ape and Lord, without the post-industrial, post-European empire, land-owner people-owner guilt ridden child heroes from Oxfam or Children’s Aid logo top right of screen adjoined by an 0800 number and 5 year old children pasted with sugar water for the swarm of flies to feed on.
But a celebrated culture of language, fashion, dance and art, an ownership of identity and a city as rich, as contemporary, as strong as New York, London or Toyko, and yet in touch with its heritage, a first. A Super Hero that I could identify with without envisioning myself in another person’s skin… The world coming to enjoy a film that has the potentiality to move toward global equality. Potentially.
My headspace informs me that my work needs not a dialogue of anthropology but to simply do, to make, without excuse, justification or reason. My position is Thus, now bog off!
Today, which happens to be everyday, everything is clouded, for tomorrow is better, thus is the unposition of myself. Investigating the materiality of my tool.
Materiality is beyond the periodic table, more than its physicality or purpose. It has its own culture, its own identity. Thread conveys an identity of purity, it simply is. Thread can mend, create layers of warmth, bring food, be tinder for fire, hold crops, build and protect.
Thread is sexy, the smallest of g-strings, is modest, hiding all but the eyes, is poor, threadbare societies and people living in squalor. Left untreated, thread is grounded in its animal skin and farming origins. Unbound, its language becomes delicate, weak and lost, a broken system, an uninformed, discombobulated, tied society trapped within itself. The language and connotations of such a simple media is a three dimensional pencil. My tool can sit in my pocket like a pencil and tell a hundred thousand stories. My position is everything above.