14 January - 8 February 2008 (Extended to 22 February)
This installation was produced in connection with the project "African Investments: Narratives of Dress, Gender and Cultural Difference in London" completed with an MSc in Gender, Development and Globalization (2007) at the LSE Gender Institute. The research analyzed narratives of "dressing African" obtained from field research with three white women living in London. Drawing together gender, dress and cultural studies, participant narratives were situated within the context of postcolonial London as a particular urban space. In-depth interviews were undertaken in order to explore "dressing African" in relation to gender and sexuality, where themes of body ideals and 'the gaze' were found to be important aspects of participants' narratives. Supplementing and extending Cavallaro and Warwick's (1998) theory of dress as margin and boundary, the strategies participants used in establishing the concept of "African" were interrogated. In particular, strategies of differentiation that emerged vis-à-vis dressed "others" were schematized and explored in depth. The research contributes to theorizing everyday experiences of globalization and the ways in which they implicate white feminine subjects in previous histories of encounter (Ahmed 2000).
Ahmed, S., 2000, Strange Encounters: Embodied Others in Post-Coloniality, Routledge, London.
Irwin, R. & S. Springgay, 2005 "A/r/tography as Living Inquiry Through Art and Text", Qualitative Inquiry, Vol. 11, no. 6, pp. 897-912.
Warwick, A & D. Cavallaro, 1998, Fashioning The Frame, Boundaries, Dress and The Body, Berg, Oxford, New York.
This exhibition has been supported by LSE's Arts Advisory Group.