Hybrid identities in Johannesburg

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Grafting garment, city and self

My practical and theoretical research is informed by Johannesburg, the city in which I live.

My thesis is positioned within postcolonial academic and theorist Homi K.

Bhabha’s theory of a “Third Space” and within South African academic, Colin Richards' theory of a graft that operates within an enculturated semiosphere.

In this instance, I identify spaces in which a graft operates in the form of two examples: garments designed by Strangelove and Stoned Cherrie and selected suburban boundary walls in Parktown West, Westcliff, Houghton, Melville and Emmarentia.

These two examples are used to argue whether a graft ‘takes’ to ‘open out’ a space for cultural difference or whether it does not ‘take’, thus closing off space.

I understand my examples as hybrid forms and manifestations of identities in a process of re-definition in the context of postcolonial Johannesburg.

My practical work explores manifestations of hybrid identities in my lived context, Johannesburg.

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