Join the Conversations: Cultural Identity

Join the Conversations: Cultural Identity How does your cultural identity shape who you are? Flickr: IRRI photos

After a two months discussing the jam-packed topics of motherhood and ambition with you all, for March we’re turning our attention to something a bit different: cultural identity.

How does where you live shape who you are? That was one of our Project’s founding questions, and it’s always provoked some really intriguing answers (which you can see here). For our third month of Conversations, we wanted to go deeper. Where you live certainly shapes you sense of self, but identity is about so much more than just location: it’s about family, heritage, culture, racial identity.

In previous Conversations, culture kept cropping up: in the motherhood podcast, for example, both Viv Oyolu and Jody Day talked about how a culture of expectation put pressure on them to become mothers. For March, we wanted to expand the debate, and get everyone talking about how your cultural identity shapes who you are as a woman. If you’re a member of the diaspora, if you were born in one place and grew up someone else, how does that affect your identity? If you’re part of a minority, how does that make you feel? If you’re surrounded by people who are culturally different, or similar, to yourself – what does that mean about how you see yourself?

We’ve spoken to Nosarieme Garrick, Washington-based producer of documentary series My Africa Is – you can hear what she had to say in our mini-podcast later this week. Kiri Kankhwende, a member of Writers of Colour – the group aiming to improve diversity in the media – has shared her thoughts on skin-whitening creams with us.

We’ve also had a chat with Tehmina Kazi, director of British Muslims for Secular Democracy, and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, a Ugandan-born Independent columnist, who reflects on how far we’ve come, and what challenges still face a diverse, multicultural Britain. Her podcast is coming in a few weeks.

We’ve also got a very special video made by artist Selina Thompson, who’s been exploring issues of race, culture and identity with her installation project about hair in Leeds. You’ll be able to see her work and find out what she sees when she looks in the mirror. Finally, we’ll be ending the month by hearing from another three contributors in a debate on cultural identity.

That’s not it, though – we want to keep hearing from everyone. Whether your cultural identity is at the forefront of your mind, or if it’s something you rarely consider, you answers are important to us. Tell us your story today, and help us keep exploring what it means to be a woman.


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