Between being and becoming

negative space

Negative Space © Denise Startin

‘As Stuart Hall reminds us, identity is a matter of becoming as well as being:

It belongs to the future as much as to the past. It is not something which already exists, transcending place, time history and culture. Cultural identities come from somewhere, have histories. But, like everything that is historical, they undergo constant transformation. Far from being eternally fixed in some essentialised past, they are subject to the continous ‘play’ of history, culture and power. Far from being grounded in a mere ‘recovery’  of the past, which is waiting to be found, and which, when found, will secure our sense of ourselves into eternity, identities are the names we give to the different ways we are positioned by, and position ourselves within, the narratives of the past.’

Geoffrey Batchen, Each Wild Idea, Writing, Photography, History, The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, London, England: 2001, pp.79