This post includes some work by a graduate from the MA Visual Sociology, Dominique Barron:
It’s not us examines citizenship through the lens of Black women in public space. Frustrated and inspired by my and my friends’ daily experiences with misogynoir and microaggressions, I wanted to explore what we mean by the term ‘citizenship’ and what are the limitations of being a ‘citizen’ when the concept is applied to Black women. Using misogynoir as the backbone of this research was a very deliberate act. The term ‘misogynoir‘, coined by queer Black scholar and activist, Moya Bailey, refers to the specific anti-black racism and misogyny that Black women face. Through It’s not us, I wanted to explore the ways our experiences were shaped not just by us being Black or woman, but specifically by our position as Black women.
The biggest challenge to the project was not finding examples where I experienced misogynoir, but determining a way to capture and further examine these experiences. By using autoethnographic audio recordings and turning such recordings into audio soundscapes, I present one way by which to disrupt the assumed ‘intangibility’ of misogynoir. Through listening to this recording, audiences are able to get somewhat of a glimpse into my inner thought process as I try to grapple with and understand the experiences I’ve had. Finding ways to make tangible what is assumed to be intangible is one way through which I hope to call attention to and challenge the microagressions and experiences with misogynoir that challenge my ability to be a full, free citizen when I am in public spaces.
Dominique Barron is a visual sociologist, artist, and facilitator based between Chicago, USA and London, UK. Her research incorporates multi-sensory methodologies and falls at the intersections of Black feminist theory, Black geographies, and diaspora studies. Other projects have explored social mobility, place-making, resistance, and free space. For more information and to check out her work, visit www.dominiquezbarron.com.
It’s Not Us was created for the Inventive Sociological Practice course, which in 2014-15 ran on the theme of Citizenship and Belonging. The course involves students making sociological objects that are exhibited in an end-of-term group exhibition.
In 2015-16, the course theme is Repetition: Exercises, Rehearsals, Training, Tests. The exhibition will open on Friday 18th March – more details to follow soon.