Breakthrough

I’ve had a breakthrough with my project. After weeks of heavy questioning and postulating, I’ve managed to let go and approach this project with a renewed energy. My previous research has answered my original question:

Why can’t I communicate effectively my experiences of racism?

I found the reason to this was that my responses were in a sense too old-fashioned. British society has progressed, and whilst racism still occurs, for most people, racism isn’t a major issue. Dealing with the issue of racism isn’t the same as dealing with racists. A project in the present day which deals with the experience of racism isn’t then necessarily serving much more than repeating conversations that many people have heard, and for a minority of people, chosen to ignore of haven’t understood, and so keep on expressing their racism. I’ve always contested that racism will exist, but tolerance must prevail. Everyone is entitled to an opinion but should be willing to be proven wrong, or keep their prejudice to one side when interacting with wider society.

Having left the issue of racism, I began questioning the issue of race and identity, through a politics of identity. I was looking at hair, and what this could mean. However, this was more of a diversion, as neither race and hair are issues that directly affect me, and I would be producing quite a disingenuous project if I pursued it further. This idea was perhaps a passing thought which I latched onto at the time as the strongest idea I had going.

However, what had been stifling my development was myself. I kept on charging forward with the race card; I don’t know where this obsession has come from, and I feel that it is a way of disguising other issues I experience. I am not willing to deal with any other aspect of my identity so a suggestion from a friend today really helped to focus my thinking.

I need to take myself out of the work! I can appreciate more clearly what I have been taught throughout my University course now, and have made more progress in the last 24 hours than the months of facetious research. I have started to think about audiences, and have used that as a starting point for more project. I have decided on 11-16 year old school students for numerous reasons:

My brother is 14, and we have very different experiences of race and racism. For this reason, it has been interesting for me to see how he and his age group responds to issues surrounding race and identity, and how irrelevant it seems to them. Whilst it plays a part in their identities, it is not their most important concern, which I too have learnt is neither my biggest concern. I have learnt then that I cannot necessarily communicate my experiences how I would prefer, and need to accept these differences.

I also was determined to produce my project online, and tackle some race related issues in an interactive way. By process of elimination, I have decided that older generations would have already formed their own opinions of race and identity, and remember myself during secondary school as becoming aware of an identity and notions of race. I also feel that this age group would be better equipped and more knowledgeable when it comes to online technologies.

Having my audience decided, I feel that a process of exploration can happen more effectively as the techniques I use will be dictated by the audiences preferences. I can quite easily think back to myself at this age only being 20 now, and so feel well placed to produce work for this age group.

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