Co-producers Hannah and Marisa explore their own personal connections to the theme of ‘Identity’.
Hello, I’m Hannah, and I’m Marisa! Welcome to Issue 2 of Folded. Our theme this time is Identity, a topic close to both of our hearts. Exploring your identity can bring you pleasure, and it can bring you pain. It can cause you to dive into moments from the past, and also to envisage what the future may bring.
As an ex-anthropology student, I have spent a lot of time pouring over the notion of “identity”. Something that humans across all times and corners of the earth have in common, is their desire to classify things: Including themselves.
My fascination is with the liminals: At what point does one thing become something else entirely? When does a pond become a lake? When does a lake become a river? What is the difference between a moth and a butterfly? I believe identity to be fluid because the idea of it is entirely constructed.
How do we construct that identity? Through boundaries. The definition of oneself is essentially a rejection of “the other”. In community there is implicit exclusion, and in every “is” there is an “is not”.
The idea of identity through negative space is one I find interesting. As a third generation refugee, with no clear national identity, I find myself too existing within those liminal spaces. I’m not really British, but I’m not the country my ancestors fled from, either. This is a feeling which has permeated all areas of my life, as I have bounced around like my grandparents, finding a home wherever I can.
Increasingly I am understanding identity as fluid. Fluid means ever changing, and it also means osmosis where every space, person, animal, plant has imprinted on me, and I on them. It’s like what I described in Issue 1’s podcast, with the transfer of energy between things being a form of connection- it’s all these points of connection that shape a person.
Identity is also something very pertinent to me at the moment as I have just recently discovered that I am autistic. Having a realisation like this is one of those defining moments in life – like a plot twist in a film that you know the character can never come back from and where the rest of the plot will hang.
This is something which I’m still just beginning to come to terms with and can only be described as coming out of the neurotypical closet… And hanging in that closet are a lot of masks from a lifetime of hiding my true self (and if you don’t know what masking is you should definitely look it up!)
What this issue has taught me about my own work is that it is materials lead, as in the materials come first and dictate what the piece will be. They have specific personal associations with people, with places, with memories, and so they have an energy, an identity of their own, which connects and intertwines with mine.
Identity is a topic as vast and as varied as there are people on the planet. Knowing yourself is a powerful and necessary thing.
We’ve got a lot of amazing content for you, ranging from online games to weaving, historical recipes, to music – and we can’t wait to share it with you.
So please enjoy the journey that all of Issue 2’s talented creatives take you on and explore what it means to be a young Cumbrian today.