Are you my motherland?

Are you my motherland? Or the myth of nationality from the diary of an antipodean interloper.

2015 Cabinet exhibition Whitecliffe College of Arts & Design.

PART ONE: Foyer cabinet

Justine Giles, 2015, If you lived in this box     Justine Giles, 2015, If you lived in this box(detail)

Justine Giles, 2015. If you lived in this box you’d be home now [cardboard, marker pen, stick]

 

PART TWO: Library cabinet

Justine Giles, 2015, The things we (never) leave behind Justine Giles, 2015, The things we (never) leave behind2 Justine Giles, 2015, The things we (never) leave behind3

Justine Giles, 2015. The things we (never) leave behind [Nana’s embroidered table runner, sprouting potatoes, dimensions variable].

 

Are you my motherland? Or the myth of nationality from the diary of an antipodean interloper.

Nationality, unlike race or culture, is arbitrary.

Parliamentary debates about changing the New Zealand flag, as well as the issue of extending New Zealand’s quota in response to the refugee crisis, have brought issues around nationality to the foreground in recent months.

What constitutes nationality? Is it a birth certificate? A passport? Citizenship? Having a family history in a particular place? In a country formed through migration, we all have stories from other places that have helped construct our identities.

If nationality is based primarily on happenstance, distilling our diversity into a cohesive symbolic identity is problematic; we don’t all fit into the same box.

And if nationality is so tenuous, how can we make decisions on who does or does not belong?

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s