This project is an exploration of my relationship to, & understanding of, the role of photographic image within the politics of representation. Using early images from my own practice as a photographer, NGO imagery & media sources, I unpick the politics & ethics of representations of Africa within a post-colonial context.
As a white, middle class, British woman, I believe my cultural identity has been shaped by a patriarchal, white dominant society seeking to oppress other perspectives & understandings, actively denying our colonial history. By using images taken by myself ten years ago as stimulus, I seek to reflect on my naivety & interrogate the internalised prejudices from my background. Through my work with charities & INGOs, I have gained an increased understanding & critical awareness of the politics of representation. However, it is easy to reflect on an academic theory without considering its application, particularly on a personal level. I want to critically consider my position within these complex concepts. This project is the unpicking of the images, influences & politics that contribute to my current understanding.
By re-examining images, creating collages of cultural reference points & seeking references from diasporic artists & critics I try to identify the internalised prejudices that contribute to my gaze. I am not expecting my role as artist to transcend my privilege or boundaries of class & race, instead I seek to interrogate it & document the outcomes.