Written by: Charlotte Fischer/ Edited by: Lila Ovington At first glance, nationalism and the nation seem to be genderless concepts, affecting, and being affected by, all people equally. Understandings of the nation appear to lie squarely within a state level of analysis, whereas the notion of gender is largely individual-based. Most scholarship on the topic […]
Published anonymously /Edited by: Sanjna Menon It is difficult not to stand in front of a monumental building, be it the Pantheon in Rome built 2000 years ago, or the Anit-Kabir in Ankara built a mere 80 years ago, and not feel you are in the presence of something bigger. Hitler described architecture as “words […]
No one could foresee it becoming an issue in last year’s Norwegian General Election: the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation’s (NRK) launch of the TV show ‘Faten goes to the polls’. Before the show was even aired, NRK had received around 6000 complaints, different in nature, but all deeply dissatisfied with a hijab-wearing woman being the protagonist of the show. The discussion around what the hijab symbolised, and whether it was compatible with Norwegian values, fired off.
Living in London now, in an environment where Asian (and in this case East Asian) culture is peripheral, I am hungry to see or hear representations of almost any kind, and am unbothered in my rampant consumption of Japanese cultural products. But growing up in Singapore as an ethnic Chinese, I felt conflicted about the widespread popularity of Japanese films and books.
We asked some people in London one disarmingly simple question: what makes you think you’re British? Philosopher Ernest Renan said that “a nation’s existence is… a daily plebiscite”.
Beyond the theoretical articulations the artworks embody, the exhibition is a reminder of the tangibility and materiality of an identity. While the answer to ‘Is there a Negro image’ remains unclear, the potency of the idea is apparent.