Monday, December 09, 2013


Media-review about 'KiwIndian'

“Terms of cultural engagement, whether antagonistic or affiliative, are produced performatively. The representation of difference must not be hastily read as the reflection of pre-given ethnic or cultural traits set in the fixed tablet of tradition. The social articulation of difference, from the minority perspective, is a complex, on-going negotiations that seeks to authorize cultural hybridities that emerge in moments of historical transformation. “ (Homi Bhabha Quoted in Graves, 1998)
Coming to New Zealand was a temporary displacement from my origins and birth. I felt uprooted, as the distance shortened my memories of India but also connected them to the new context.
The two most significant aspects of encountering new boundaries are dislocation and association, both geographically and socially. A displacement in location not only transposes our physical entities but also transforms our consciousness about all that has been accumulated and absorbed in the course of time. Being a visual artist and an educator, this displacement elicits response, both in my art practice and my teaching art.
Relocating my cultural identity in relation to New Zealand was a task that I began to explore in the art of daily living. Just as every migrant would perhaps become an anthropologist for a while in a new place or country, my first priority was to understand New Zealand cultural identity.
If traditions, values, beliefs, customs and heritage define a culture, then the issue of ownership may also depend on the cross-cultural interventions in which the role of a citizen needs to be addressed. It is in this context that I view my own multicultural background within ‘our’ New Zealand multi-ethnic community, in which a growing new hybrid generation is also born from the marriage between the indigenous Maori, the European, and other settlers.
We share our identity by recognizing and accepting that we are each part of the wider human network and that the idea of connectedness is deeper than a race, ethnicity, gender or geographical location. 

'The politics of space defined by the rules of ‘power’ become operational in territorializing places; assigning them with the status that befits those who dominate, as a race, gender or culture. Spaces are assigned with an intrinsic material value that defined the human existential dogma. It has always played a dominating role in locating, disseminating, addressing and percolating issues relating to invasions, occupations and settlements. This has inevitably evoked a sense of distance-proximity and familiar-alienation, demarcating the spaces into places with imaginary boarders [sic] and boundaries that are at times political and extraneous to the human existential needs for life'.
Sudhir Kumar Duppati


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