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  • Writer's pictureJaz

Proposing the Pocket of God

Updated: Feb 21

Identity is an ever-present topic in Black British discourse, with recurring themes of displacement and belonging fuelling concerns around self-actualisation. Routes to identification are often made more tangible in the presence of cultural, religious, and local communities.

However, due to ongoing displacement and pseudo-intellectual Western ideals of the 'individual', many Black Brits find their heritages less accessible. If personhood is more of a relational process than an inherent quality, we can begin to see how obscured connections to the past can stagnate the process of self-actualisation, leaving individuals unequipped and unsupported to tackle the present.

This isn't specific – or new – to Black Brits. Little self-actualisation damages selfhood and esteem, affecting mental health and enabling the cycle to continue. The state of being 'other' is palpable in the feeling of displacement, and is compounded by other factors like dis/ability.

For many disabled Black people, the margins of society have become a liminal space or heterotopia for them to be discarded into and forgotten. Society violently continues to dis-able community ties through victim blaming, ignoring access needs (or treating them as optional), and refusing disabled people space due to their perceived inefficiency as labourers.

Black Britain is a growing culture within the Black Diaspora, but many formative milestones are occupied by consequences of racial capitalism – such as harassment from authority figures. Blackness has the potential to be morphological, more so when it is freed from the constraints of this policing white gaze. Aka, we can be whatever we want to be, once we know who we are. These Afro-Diasporic musings have highlighted a need for spaces within the public sphere for social practice.

GOD-POCKET will turn the liminal space into an Afro-Speculative 'Firmament', situated between time and space, between life and the afterlife, and away from the policing societal gaze. It shall be a crossroads between the seen past and unseen future; a pocket universe where Otherness learns to become morphological.

(Photographs added January 2024)

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