Wednesday, 3 April 2013

‘ism’ or ‘ness’

Feminism is back in – or perhaps its me hearing the word a lot these days…  I’ve never been able to declare myself as one, despite the empowerment and my deepest respect for the legacy of that particular ‘ism’. I am very particular about names, mainly because I don’t want to contend with a whole bunch of other things to conform or live up to. For example it’s very important that I keep my surname – not that it can be traced very far (I have no idea what happened to slave one even) but it’s my property, I’ve grown into it and defined it. And of course this continual negotiation of ‘Black’ as a cultural/political identity, which becomes (one could argue) more amorphous by the decade.  Interestingly I went along to a talk at the Arthouse by a young artist who has a plethora of cultural influences and is admittedly a Lewisham bod. 

Now for me as young adult I tried to assume some kind of belonging to a generic idea of Black culture and expanding the notion of Britishness. These days in the ‘urban’ neigbourhoods kids are finding ties with each other through things like postcodes.  Now I have to admit dismissing this trend as a nonsense, mainly because a lot of the information mediated is usually negative, associated with violent confrontations etc… but this artist made a really intelligent show appropriating Lewisham as a brand and identity playfully, showing a confidence and ownership by reconfiguring Lewisham, demonstrating a fluidity of the meaning of words and even if you don’t understand them what they could imply...

I dunno Lewishamness?

1 comment:

  1. Lewishamism? Lewishamist?
    I'm not sure whether the 'ist' is positive or negative now? Does it mean against Lewisham (as in sexist) or for the notion of Lewisham (as in feminist)