Hybrid Perspectives: Defining the Relativity of Culture and Identity through Migration Experiences

By Nish Belford.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper examines how culture and identity can be relatively defined through hybrid perspectives in relation to migration experiences. Addressing and portraying definitions of culture and identity is crucial in understanding how notions of such issues connect and initiate the migrant subject through new experiences, perspectives and ways of being. In enunciating the transitions from home to a new place, and elaborating on the rupture of an inherited culture and grounded identity, I refer to them through self-reflexive perspectives. The search for meaning through appraisals of cultural lineage and linguistic capital through a Diaspora, a post colonial history and lived life experiences from my home country, pre-empts the ambivalent and hybrid status in defining culture(s) and identit(ies). It is crucial to recognise how challenges for adaptation to new culture, language, societal norms, and differences in class, nationality, race and gender play specific roles in the migrant experience. My current experiences of migration to Australia are narrations of encountered difficulties, fears, inhibitions, new aspirations, perceptions and perspectives, which map an ‘identity crisis.’ From this narrative structure, I investigate through my ongoing PhD study, how my artistic expression and representations progress towards experiences, and themes that metaphorically reflect, inspire and enact the hybrid structures of culture(s) and identit(ies). Explored reflexively my representations suggest how the ‘liminal space’ or the ‘third space,’ (Bhabha, 1990) express transitions about the ‘self’ and my artistic expression, which enable further reflection and positions to emerge and extend to metaphorical expressions.

Keywords: Relativity of Culture and Identity through Migration Experiences, Metaphorical Reflections through Artistic Expression and Representation, Enacting Hybrid Structures of Culture(s) and Identit(ies), The ‘liminal Space’ or ‘Third Space’

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 9, Issue 8, pp.23-44. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.662MB).

Dr. Nish Belford

PhD Student, School of Education, Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

I am currently in 3rd year of my PhD at Deakin University, Australia. I have worked as a secondary school art teacher in Mauritius. Research interests: (i) Action research project-Possibilities of recycling paper in producing artwork, (ii) curriculum and pedagogy in Art education–through a “Comparative study of Art Education in the upper Secondary sector in the Mascarene Region,” Current research focuses on reconciling my different roles as artist/art teacher/researcher (within a/r/t identities). I am using a/r/tography as a framework that merge use of narratives, art as process, representation and reflexive analysis in investigating notions of how identit(ies) and culture(s) as enacted through my artistic expression.


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