Folktales Of Freetown
Embracing one’s ethnic heritage while living in an ethnocentric county of the United Kingdom such as Kent is a dichotomy. Nuanced prejudices in this petri dish of suburban British society serves to constantly remind you that if you are not white, you are different. This self-portrait returns that prejudicial white gaze. Thus, adhering to the stereotypical notion that young black men are all aggressive by nature. Taking ownership of this archaic ideology as the subject assumes such a defiant pose creates a sense of empowerment to the often undermined ethnic male.
The texts used in the collaged ground provide a means of contextualising the portrait by acting as a catalyst for the expression of pan African pride. With the authentic Sierra Leonean fabric deployed as a motif for the vast natural abundance of the nation. Placing the traditional headdress of the founder of the ‘Temne’ tribe from Sierra Leone, of which my family are descendants of, I look to pay homage to Farma Tami (the afore mentioned founder). As I am the first generation of my family born in England and with the ‘Temne’ being founded in the early 16th century, I hope to maintain a connection with my heritage; which I explore in this multifaceted work.
600 X 420 mm, ballpoint pen & collage