The mixed-race experience: ‘There are times I feel like the odd one out’

Posted in Articles, Arts, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2018-08-26 23:34Z by Steven

The mixed-race experience: ‘There are times I feel like the odd one out’

The Guardian
2018-08-26

Alex Moshakis

‘It has given people a sense of belonging’: photographer Tenee Attoh on her photography project.
‘It has given people a sense of belonging’: photographer Tenee Attoh on her photography project. Composite: Tenee Attoh

A series of portraits of mixed-race people from around the world has cast new light on how we see ourselves

Last year the photographer Tenee Attoh began taking portraits of multiracial friends and acquaintances against a mottled black background at the Bussey Building in Peckham, southeast London. Attoh is half-Dutch on her mother’s side, half-Ghanaian on her father’s, and identifies as mixed-race. Born in the UK, she spent most of the first 23 years of her life in Accra and Amsterdam, shuttling between cities and cultures, an experience she found enlightening but problematic. “On the one hand it allows you to develop a different understanding of the world,” she says of her duality. “But there’s still a lot of ignorance in society. People perceive you as either black or white, and you’re not – you’re mixed.”

Working in London, Attoh heard similar stories from other mixed-race people, and soon she began publishing her images online (at mixedracefaces.com and on Instagram) alongside small texts that allowed her subjects to share personal thoughts on identity, race and self, something they couldn’t do elsewhere. Following the death of her mother, to whom the series is dedicated, the project helped Attoh dissect her own multiracial experience – what it means to be connected to two worlds at once, and how society perceives that condition – but it has also sparked an open forum on diversity. “It’s not a topic people usually talk about,” Attoh says. “So the website has become a platform for people with mixed heritage. It’s given a lot of them a sense of belonging.”…

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An Artist’s Costumed Alter Egos Cross Racial Lines

Posted in Articles, Arts, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2018-08-10 02:41Z by Steven

An Artist’s Costumed Alter Egos Cross Racial Lines

The New Yorker
2018-07-17

Katie Ryder


“Synchronized,” 2018.Photographs by Genevieve Gaignard / Courtesy Shulamit Nazarian

Counterfeit Currency,” a show of self-portrait photography, installation, and collage by Genevieve Gaignard, at the FLAG Art Foundation, in Chelsea, opens with a large photo of the artist on a Florida beach at dusk. As in each of her pictures, Gaignard portrays a character of her own invention, here with long, blond hair and jet-black roots, outfitted in regional strip-mall kitsch. She is stretching a towel behind her, printed to resemble a huge hundred-dollar bill; concealing her torso is a trompe-l’oeil T-shirt showing a cartoon, bikini-clad body, whose peach-beige skin tone closely resembles that of her own.

Gaignard, a woman of mixed race (her father is black, her mother white), makes photographs that play with the outward signifiers and stereotypes of race, class, and femininity, combining and remixing them into sometimes exaggerated but steadily ambiguous costumes. From character to character, she undergoes significant but not quite Shermanian transformations, with no facial prosthetics and minimal makeup, and with each portrait hinging in part on Gaignard’s ability to cross legible boundaries…

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Meet the woman who’s finally getting us talking about mixed race identity

Posted in Articles, Arts, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2018-08-10 02:16Z by Steven

Meet the woman who’s finally getting us talking about mixed race identity

METRO.co.uk
2018-01-31

Miranda Larbi, Senior lifestyle reporter

Mixed race identity is complicated, to say the least.

You’re neither one thing or the other while simultaneously being both. Try speaking about your identity (online at least) and you inevitably met with criticism – whether it’s from ‘colour-blind’ types dismissing the need to talk about race at all, or from people accusing you of choosing a side to identify more with.

According to National Statistics, mixed race people will be the largest minority group in the UK by 2020…and while it might still be in vogue to favour racially ambiguous beauty (literally in the case of Adua Aboa), very little attention is paid to the experience behind the curly hair and tanned skin.

Being mixed race is far more than simply being half black and white. It’s an identity that covers all fractions, and all kinds of mixes.

Which is why Susan Dale has set up the Haluhalo Project

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HaluHalo Gives Mixed Race Identities A Fresh Narrative Online & IRL

Posted in Arts, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2018-08-10 01:28Z by Steven

HaluHalo Gives Mixed Race Identities A Fresh Narrative Online & IRL

Bustle
2018-08-01

Salma Haidrani


Source: HaluHalo

A cursory glance at pop culture today and you wouldn’t be mistaken for thinking that mixed race identities have never been more visible. Take the likes of Jorja Smith, Mabel, and Raye. And less than two months ago, Meghan Markle made history as the first mixed race royal in the British monarchy. While it’s problematic enough that representations rarely deviate from the “acceptable” face of mixed race (light-skinned and complete with Eurocentric features or at the very least, “ambiguous”), the dialogue surrounding the complexities of mixed race identities remains absent from the mainstream.

It’s this that motivated London-based photographer Susan Dale to launch HaluHalo, the first photo series of its kind to explore the lesser-known intricacies of mixed race identity. “Thanks to social media, there’s a visual representation of mixed race people compared to when I was growing up but there’s still a lack of public discourse on what it means to be mixed race,” she tells me. “I was curious to find out if anyone else felt the way I did or shared my experiences.”

Dale likens HaluHalo to Humans of New York, albeit with a multi-racial lens. While initially she didn’t encounter any issues approaching complete strangers of mixed ethnicities, ages and genders to share their experiences and how they self-identify – “I started with the most basic method by sliding into their DMs on Instagram!” – she found that they would either hesitate or completely disappear when it came to answering her interview questions…

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Albums of Inclusion: The Photographic Poetics of Caribbean Chinese Visual Kinship

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Caribbean/Latin America, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive on 2018-08-10 00:06Z by Steven

Albums of Inclusion: The Photographic Poetics of Caribbean Chinese Visual Kinship

Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism
Volume 22, Number 2 (56)
2018-07-01
pages 35-56
DOI: 10.1215/07990537-6985666

Tao Leigh Goffe, Assistant Professor of Africana Studies and Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

Issue Cover

This essay focuses on artwork that centers family photographs and home movies as a point of departure to trouble the conventional family album in order to narrate a story about Caribbean Chinese kinship. In the art examined, personal visual archives are used to respond to the lacuna of Caribbean Chinese familial intimacies from the colonial archive. Engaging shared themes of migration and racialized ideas of reproduction, three contemporary diasporic visual artists—Albert Chong, Richard Fung, and Tomie Arai—mine oral histories and family archives to blend aural and visual narratives. These artists rupture the surface of family images to trouble the bourgeois, heteronormative, and colorist scripts that often police the formation of family. The family album is rearranged and marked up; thus it becomes rendered as flesh inscribed with silent narratives. Through different forms of remixing, they engage with the affect and entanglements of family photography to form a visual vocabulary of diasporic kinship. In doing so, the artwork—collages, documentaries, installations—interrogates the afterlife of the nineteenth-century European colonial experiment of Chinese indenture, designed to install a discreet “buffer race” between the white minority and the black majority in the Caribbean after abolition. The experiment, which depended on the capacity for the Chinese to develop bourgeois domesticity in the Caribbean after abolition, failed because of sexual intimacies between people of African descent and people of Asian descent, beyond the imperial order’s imagining. Another future of familial intimacies in the diaspora is present in the artists’ aesthetic of fragmentation and collage.

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‘There’s Enough Damsels in Distress’: Artist Genevieve Gaignard Wants to Undermine Your Assumptions About Beauty and Blackness

Posted in Articles, Arts, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2018-08-04 01:17Z by Steven

‘There’s Enough Damsels in Distress’: Artist Genevieve Gaignard Wants to Undermine Your Assumptions About Beauty and Blackness

artnet News
2018-08-03

Sarah Cascone, Associate Editor

Genevieve Gaignard, You’ve Wronged, Now Make it Right (2018). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles/the FLAG Art Foundation, New York; ©Genevieve Gaignard.
Genevieve Gaignard, You’ve Wronged, Now Make it Right (2018). Photo courtesy of Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles/the FLAG Art Foundation, New York; ©Genevieve Gaignard.

In her first New York show, the artist creates unexpected characters that defy stereotypes.

Genevieve Gaignard’s work is deceptive—and that’s no accident. Her pleasingly arranged collages, heavily knick-knacked installations of cozy-looking domestic interiors, and well-lit, cheerfully colorful portrait photography draw the viewer in, belying her willingness to confront the sensitive issues of race, stereotypes, beauty standards, consumption, and identity.

Each photograph features Gaignard herself, transformed by wigs and costumes into a variety of characters. The artist is a fair-skinned mixed-race woman of color who can take on vastly disparate identities, casting herself one moment as a prim blonde housewife and the next as a young woman with hoop earrings and a shirt that reads “Hoodrat Thangs.”

“I’m trying to show that blackness comes in many different shades,” Gaignard explained to artnet News during a tour of her current exhibition, “Genevieve Gaignard: Counterfeit Currency,” her first in New York, at the FLAG Art Foundation

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Two Berlin Filmmakers Reflect on Germany’s Racial Dynamics

Posted in Articles, Arts, Europe, Literary/Artistic Criticism on 2018-08-03 18:34Z by Steven

Two Berlin Filmmakers Reflect on Germany’s Racial Dynamics

Hyperallergic
2018-08-03

Adela Yawitz
Berlin, Germany


Natasha A. Kelly, Millis Erwachen/Milli’s Awakening (2018), video, b/w, sound, 45′, video still (courtesy Natasha A. Kelly)

In their films at the Berlin Biennial, Natasha A. Kelly and Mario Pfeifer address the growing divide in Germany between the politics of liberal inclusion and on-the-ground ignorance, racism, and suppression.

BERLIN — The 10th edition of the Berlin Biennale opened in June. Ambitious yet unpretentious, the exhibition features 46 artists across 5 venues. The Biennale’s curator, Gabi Ngcobo, and her team create a setting for perceiving and relating to the artworks on view with little layering of textual analysis and without tying them explicitly to the artists’ biographies. In fact, the Biennale omits general information regarding artists’ nationalities and dates of birth. This is refreshing, not because it implies that the artworks should stand on their own, but as a political signal against the convention of touting artists’ diversity as a symbol of the institution’s progressive politics or post-colonial criticality. At this Biennale, artists — and curators — of color are the majority, yet this alone is not its primary subject nor its intention…

…In Milli’s Awakening (2018), artist and academic activist Natasha A. Kelly weaves together portraits of eight Afro-German women of different generations. Their lives have all been touched by art, in one way or another, and many of them tell stories of structural barriers and marginalization in and out of the art world. Maciré, an activist from Bremen recounts how she understood in retrospect that her film, shown at the local museum, had been used to legitimate the exhibition as a whole by providing a non-white, critical perspective. She has since decided to invest in working for her own community, not for the white audiences of the Kunsthalle. Diana from Bavaria, who identifies as intersex, recalls taking refuge in photography to overcome her discomfort with her own body as a teenager. And the artist Maseho reads from her tongue-in-cheek guide for Black POCs traveling in Germany; she advises saving time by telling Germans you are from “USA” or “Afrika,” since other answers would devastate their view of the world…

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‘My Racial Identity’ explores feelings about race

Posted in Articles, Arts, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2018-07-01 20:36Z by Steven

‘My Racial Identity’ explores feelings about race

Montclair Local
Montclair, New Jersey
2018-06-08

Gwen Orel, Features Editor

racial
Charles Williams of Montclair, 19, a Parsons School of Design rising sophomore, is creating a photography portfolio of mixed race friends, “My Racial Identity, Part 1,” and intends to dive deeper in Part 2.
ADAM ANIK/FOR MONTCLAIR LOCAL

Montclair artist’s photo project delves into discussion

Growing up in Montclair, Charles Williams sometimes said his dad was Cuban.

That’s not really true.

“When I was younger, I looked a little bit towards Asian, then black, Hispanic. Growing up, we really didn’t talk about race in my household, so I didn’t really feel it was an issue. Until my friends, they would ask me, what are you?” Williams said. “Your mom’s not black. You have a white name.”

His mom is black. She’s from D.C., and his father is a white man from Florida, with some Cuban in him.

“‘My dad does look Cuban,” Williams said. So saying his father was Cuban was a way of ending the questions of what are you? and where are you from? “You kind of get sick of it, so you say something to let it go.”

Today, people talk about race. Williams is exploring it in his new photography project, “My Racial Identity,” that he started during his first year at Parsons School of Design. Williams’ photography can be seen at charleswilliams.work

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The Bi-Racial Artist Using White-Passing Characters to Talk About Blackness

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2018-06-08 02:42Z by Steven

The Bi-Racial Artist Using White-Passing Characters to Talk About Blackness

Sleek
2018-06-07

Harriet Shepherd, Junior Editor


Drive-By, Side-Eye, 2016 © Genevieve Gaignard, courtesy of the artist and Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles

Genevieve Gaignard uses American stereotypes and comfortable settings to confront uncomfortable issues surrounding race and identity.

American artist Genevieve Gaignard is a homebody. Not in the sense that she’s confined to the couch every Friday night, but rather that she’s infatuated with domestic spaces. “I’ve always had this fascination with what people surround themselves with in their homes,” she tells SLEEK. It’s a theme that’s been a constant in her work since she threw in the towel at cookery school and headed down a fine art path. From the panoramic interiors she lensed for her Yale application, to the carefully curated domestic installations that made up her solo show, Smell the Roses, at the Californian African American Museum earlier this year, to the household-centric creations currently on display at the Stephen Friedman Gallery in London — home is where Gaignard’s heart is.

Though she’s what you’d call a multidisciplinary artist, it’s Gaignard’s photography that’s earned her such widespread attention. Known for turning the lens on herself, Gaignard’s Cindy Sherman-esque self-portraits occupy a complex realm where class, race and gender intersect, seeing the artist assume caricatured roles that toy with her own bi-racial identity and the way that blackness and whiteness is perceived. And the home, more often than not, provides the comfortable backdrop for Gaignard’s more uncomfortable subject matter…

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The Myth of Brazil’s Racial Democracy

Posted in Articles, Arts, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive on 2018-05-02 15:46Z by Steven

The Myth of Brazil’s Racial Democracy

aperture
2018-04-18

Amelia Rina
Brooklyn, New York


Jonathas de Andrade, Eu, mestiço, 2017–18
Courtesy Alexander and Bonin, New York

In a new exhibition, Jonathas de Andrade confronts his country’s complicated past and present.

Brazil is renowned in the world for its racial democracy,” begins anthropologist Charles Wagley in the 1952 study Race and Class in Rural Brazil. Produced by Columbia University and UNESCO, the text describes ethnographic studies performed by Wagley and his colleagues in four regions of Brazil. In each region, men and women from what they determined to be the four major racial groups—caboclo (indigenous and Afro-Brazilian), preto (Afro-Brazilian), mulato (Afro-Brazilian and white European), and branco (white European)—were shown photographs of other Brazilians from these categories and then asked to assign them different traits, such as most/least attractive, best/worst worker, most/least honest, most/least wealthy, et cetera. This binary restriction was one of the study’s major flaws that first intrigued Brazilian artist Jonathas de Andrade, and inspired his recent project, Eu, mestiço, currently on view at Alexander and Bonin

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