Wednesday, April 22, 2015

To Difference... and 'Beyond'

For this blog, I've chosen a picture of a free spirited woman executing her freedom. In this image, we get a sense of what 'beyond' is. As Bhabha says, "beyond- neither new horizon nor a leaving behind of the past..." is exhibited here. She appears to remain where her feet are planted, but her body language conveys that she wants to take off into flight somehow and go somewhere else. Bhabha also says, "There is a sense of disorientation, a disturbance of direction, in the 'beyond'; an exploratory, restless movement."

I searched 'freedom' on flickr to find this image and I don't think any image could have more perfectly conveyed the biggest takeaway I had from Bhabha's reading. Without the idea of the 'beyond' there can be no multicultural difference. The woman in this image is showing her desire to move beyond. You can see the openness and the freedom of the ocean in the horizon, but the cliffs also serve as a barrier from the total freedom that could be. Bhabha examines this idea in a more broad discussion, citing cultures such as Korea, Mexico, Los Angeles, and others. Difference reaches far beyond the ocean.


  1. Meghan,

    It's interesting you see the beyond as a sort of liberation. Reading Kendal's blog it appeared that she saw the beyond as an understanding of the present, and a complacency for a location and identity. Your post seems to reflect a sort of restraint, as if the beyond were an intangible goal, but the woman you say is free. Is her spirit, i.e. her orientation and direction, free metaphorically or metonymically? Perhaps you're saying there is an idea that physically the beyond creates boarders but metaphysically it expands understanding? Perhaps in a way, the metaphysical complacency grounds the urge to change the physical out of dissatisfaction with personal identity. In this way, the beyond could give an understanding of your current self by allowing a separated version of yourself to look at tangential possibilities, and in a way, come to a satisfactory conclusion that the change, whether internal/external, linear, or physical, is unnecessary.

    Maybe I'm just very confused by Bhabha.

  2. Also, there should be an edit option, because seeing an empty spot where my comment used to be makes me feel/look real sketch.

  3. Emmett, I appreciate your comments a lot here. Meghan: I don't think there is much in the Bhabha that conjures the kind of freedom you outline here. For Bhabha, the idea of transgressing or crossing or transcending a binary has more to do with constructing identities. As an American crosses into Canada, she becomes more "American." So "escaping" categories is not really possible, since as we move out of our homelands or origin spaces, we move into the next definition (reminds me of Butler's closets a bit, too)....