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Title: Beyond binaries
Author: Zahir-Bill, Samina
ISNI:       0000 0004 2678 3680
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis examines the creative cultural production, consumption and representation of individuals within Britain, classified as of ethnic minority backgrounds. It draws together the fields of 'race', ethnicity and nationality and argues that these wide ranging themes have been conflated to produce simplistic, inaccurate, understandings of contemporary identity categorisations. The thesis challenges these prescribed understandings and argues that they produce identity as situated within a binary perspective, British and Other. The need for an intersectional, relational perspective is outlined, not just for individuals but also when engaging communities. The thesis draws together two case studies to explore these issues. The first considered the research subjects' engagement with participatory arts practice within a youth centre setting in Coventry, UK. This case study highlighted the complexities of the cultural identities of those often marked as alterior. The second case study involved working with Asian women and young people in Birmingham to develop a visual arts exhibition, a publication and performance event. The case study particularly highlighted the ways in which people negotiated existing cultural institutions whose arts practice often moves towards an assimilationist agenda. Together the case studies provide a means by which the complexity of everyday life can be considered in relation to art, cultural production and representation. The thesis contributes to debates on culture, identity and art particularly in terms of public policy and how publicly funded cultural institutions fail to serve the needs and interests of ethnic minority communities within the UK. The thesis argues instead for the need to use arts and cultural practice to deconstruct binary perspectives, replacing them with intersecting cultural crossroads.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available