Mixed media on fabriano | Charcoal (different mediums), fineliner, acrylic, colour pencils, pastels, and gold leaf. Size 85.0 x 59.4 cm
Who am I? Who can I be? What can I not be? (Limitations). Where I come from? Where am I heading? Is it okay? Abantu bazothini (What wil people say) syndrome.
These were some of the questions that came in mind when I was about to start this painting. With this work I wanted to question these thoughts and my perceived notions of Black Girl in a ‘Modern’ world ‘The physical relationship I have with this world in terms of my identity as a young black woman in society’.
Growing up I was labeled as a ‘coconut’ black outside and white inside because of my verbal communication with those I interacted with. From childhood into young adulthood what one wears, how one carries themselves, what one has specifically ‘foreign’ material’ one was classed and reidentified by their community well my community. My ‘Blackness’ was always in question. So here the question lies What makes one Black? Is it by what one wears or posses? Or it is how one carries themselves which is a reflection of their being. It matters not to me what one wears whether naked or western. Do I have to constantly wear my Afrikan attire to reassure one that I’m ‘still Afrikan’ that’s the question that came to mind and again to be ‘fair’ our traditional clothes have become a luxury because we as Afrikans have started mummifying our culture and moving with the western times. I don’t want to lie the thought of my heritage being a distant memory hunts me. Hence this question and thoughts have been a tug of war. But for now I conclude saying a persons identity it is the roots of Ubuntu oneness of self & community and wholeness of community.
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