Thursday, April 23, 2015

Cultural Hybridity

I think the 19 page "Introduction" of deserves a better title; but I digress.

Homi Bhabha articulates in his "Introduction" his ideas on culture and identity. It is not something that is fixed, but rather something that is ever shifting. He writes:
The move away from the singularities of 'class' or 'gender' as primary conceptual and organizational categories, has resulted in an awareness of the subject positions - of race, gender, generation, institutional location, geopolitical locale, sexual orientation - that inhabit any claim to identity in the modern world. What is theoretically innovative, and politically crucial, is the need to think beyond narratives of originary and initial subjectivities and to focus on those moments or processes that are produced in the articulation of cultural differences. These 'in-between' spaces provide the terrain for elaborating strategies of selfhood - singular or communal - that initiate new signs of identity, and innovative sites of collaboration, and contestation, in the act of defining the idea of society itself (Location of Culture, 1). 

I chose this image, for a few reasons. First, it shifts our vision a map. Rather than focusing solely on the map of the United States, you are forced to remember that our identity is not singular. We are not just "American," but we are a gathering, blending, and integration of many cultures from across the world.

Secondly, there is something uniquely temporary about this picture. It is not protected, as it is on a wall. Therefore this painting will be altered--colors will fade, likes will blur. Additionally, it could be painted over at any time. Or perhaps, it is not finished, perhaps the artist will choose to fill in each continent with color. It is not a finished product, but something that will continue to evolve.

Bhabha writes:
"It is in the emergence of the interstices-the overlap and displacement of domains of difference-that the intersubjective and collective experiences of nationness, community interest,or cultural value are negotiated"  
Similarly, the images of this map are overlapped and displaced.  The map demonstrates a collision of culture, which Bhabha argues is cultural hybridity.

Image Source

1 comment:

  1. Good! And good work in class today! Your map reminds me a bit of our discussion of the Norwegian cargo ship...