All posts tagged: identity construction

mirrors: in pluralism, syncretism and construction

Image: The Battle of Algiers (Film) This essay attempts to explore/ deconstruct how Assia Djebar’s socialization informed her literary style in her novel “Children of the New World.” Polarities of praise and criticism Djebar has received, point to how her formative experiences (cultural, political, gendered) have informed the structure and artistry of the novel in ways not often seen in other writers’ works. However, the aesthetic approaches used by Djebar in writing this novel are perhaps equally (more interestingly) derived by how the tools of her socialization aided in achieving her intended goals with this book. Assia Djebar’s Background Born in 1936 in then French Algeria, Djebar was educated at the École Normale Supérieure, and became part of a generation of writers who not only came of age during a series of colonial independence movements, but also whose socialization was shaped by a range of influences — in Djebar’s case, Western, Arab and Berber. The only woman amongst the Algerian literary pioneers of her generation, her work included novels, essays, documentary films and plays, all …

my business skills

Something I wrote to explain what skills I bring to the table in starting my own business…   My competitive advantage centres on uncovering human texture. I seem to be a natural researcher — delving into all the relevant data, identifying gaps, designing methodologies to fill those gaps, etc. Sitting in people’s houses, rummaging through cupboards, closets and fridges to understand their daily habits, then exploring how they process, relate and react to broader issues affecting their lives. My role has (primarily) been to connect human insight and creativity in ways that fuelled ideas for multinational advertising clients. In the 1990s, amidst the Quebec referendum, most big multinationals were harmonizing their North American strategies. In Canada, this meant strengthening team understanding of differences between Quebec, English Canada and US consumers in needs, behaviour and attitudes; then highlighting how these variances should impact communication strategies to achieve business targets. My approach was to continuously induce paradigm shifts using client data as a means to influence how our client’s research, marketing and media budgets were spent. I …

reclaiming identity

Of the myriad of impacts from colonization is the fragmentation of cultural/ ancestral knowledge. At the intersection of technology, identity and creativity for several media artists from indigenous and displaced communities, is the reconstruction and perpetuation of cultural of knowledge. Contemporary media artists from these communities are using emerging technologies to explore, recapture and revitalise cultural knowledge and spiritual connections to reclaim identity and preserve this knowledge for future generations. This essay focuses on projects by Mi’gmaq-Canadian artist and professor, Dr. Lila Pine and Afro-Caribbean-American artist, Vashti Harrison; looking at their use of technology to reclaim indigenous knowledge and to (re)construct identity.    Linguistic Visualizations Dr. Lila Pine is a Mi’gmaq-Canadian new media artist and professor based in Toronto. She combines oral and scholarly traditions, sociolinguistics and media making into her work, to deepen the understanding of the ways we ‘speak’ and ‘know’ (RTA).   Dr. Pine’s “Imag(in)ing Indigeneity in Language” project digitally captures visualizations of linguistic sound. The intention is to uncover visual differences in linguistic structures as a means to explore/ convey impacts …

identity construction labels

According to Stuart Hall, identity and representation are intertwined; an exercise in selective memory; the silencing of one voice to enable another to speak. Identity is not a story we tell ourselves about ourselves, but a set of stories that shift with historical circumstances, continuously evolving us from from outside in. A societal mirror that shapes us. ¨Without the others there is no self, there is no self-recognition¨ (Hall 2001, p. 26, 30). This raises questions around definitions of Caribbean vs. Indo-Caribbean vs. Indo-Trinidadian identity, in a region typically referred to as the West Indies. Taken further, how is the notion of identity construction resolved for people who have emigrated to North America or Britain from the Caribbean? In attempts to draw a line around a cohesive identity in the region, using an Indo-Caribbean lens, identity is revealed to be a slippery subject. This essay argues that Caribbean identity, infact does not exist. This is largely due to the legacy of racialized political and economic structures that continue to persist throughout the region today. Across …