Post colonial legacies of marginalisation, as rendered in the visual works of young people in Lambeth

Mullings, Sireita R. L.. 2013. Post colonial legacies of marginalisation, as rendered in the visual works of young people in Lambeth. Post-Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This dissertation examines the impact of arts projects on the lives of multiethnic marginalised youth in London, by contrasting their contemporary experiences rendered in arts projects, with the works produced by the Caribbean and the Black Arts Movements (CAM and BAM) in the 50s and 80s. The experiences that arose from socially ‘marginalised’ positions are explored through ‘race’, ‘class’ and ‘difference’ and have effectively been expressed as rich visual narratives that raise a number of points for discussion. Specifically I explore how the negative portrayal of ‘black’ youth is as contested today as it was in previous eras.

The young people, who are the focus of the study, come from varying ethnic backgrounds and have at some stage been classified as marginalised primarily because of their NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) status. Their participation on informal learning programmes encourages them to articulate their experiences and concerns about their social world through art, design and photography, which is employed as a method to stimulate learning and communication. It is the artwork produced by the young people that provides the empirical data to be analysed, as it speaks to their engagement with the learning process through discussions which reveal the challenges they face as marginalised or ‘excluded’ youth. Their narratives question the meaning of ‘exclusion’ from a youth perspective and create a platform for them to share their daily contentions, through art as praxis in the form of mapping their local communities in varied and interesting ways.

I argue that it is through the use of photography and digital imaging that young people have imaginatively reassessed their everyday spaces, enabling them to render their individual narratives in ways that demonstrate a reflexive way of thinking, whilst countering the overly negative representation of youth as ‘problem youth’. Doing so enables me to draw on the narratives of the CAM and BAM to assess how their art was used to articulate their social position and to identify the differences in the problems that contemporary ‘black’ youth face, as opposed to other multiethnic youth. This will enable me to consider the repercussions of Government led strategies that are designed for the social inclusion of contemporary youth.

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Thesis (Post-Doctoral)

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Date Deposited:

06 Nov 2013 16:17

Last Modified:

06 Sep 2022 22:06


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