International passports : portrait of the Nigerian diaspora

Makun, Adetoun Jones (2012) International passports : portrait of the Nigerian diaspora. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.

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Abstract

International Passports: Portraits of the Nigerian Diaspora considers notions of 'alienation‘ and 'nation-hood‘ through the lens of portraiture. This dissertation addresses issues of identity and representation in a contemporary cultural context as they pertain to the concerns presented through my current visual practice. The paintings that I have produced from 'real‘ life are primarily depictions of Nigerian individuals, friends and acquaintances (professionals and students) residing in Grahamstown, South Africa as temporary or permanent migrants. I reference the mug shot pose of identity documents and passport photographs and render them in such a way that ideas of their persona are subject to the viewer‘s gaze and deliberations, thus provoking the spectator to consider questions of 'otherness‘ and 'stereotypes‘. This provocation is subtle and complex, and in many ways I am offering the viewer a 're-looking‘, an opportunity to examine one‘s moral position and subsequent implication within the act of stereotyping an 'other‘ individual. The initial idea within this body of work was to paint images of Nigerian nationals exclusively, yet the restrictive nature of such categorization pushed me to complicate certain nationalist ideologies through the inclusion of non-Nigerian individuals. I look specifically at notions of the 'other‘ and 'strangeness‘ in a contemporary South African context and how this connects to the concept of portraiture and not simply portraiture theory but also the social theory in relation to how people are 'imaged‘. Throughout this thesis I consider several theoretical concerns in portraiture practice and discourse whilst simultaneously unpacking the psychological and social contexts that influence my practice.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Portraiture, Alienation, Nationhood, Identity, Representation, Context, Cultural, Social, Psychological, Painting, Nigerians, Grahamstown, South Africa, Migrants, Identity documents, Passport photos, Otherness, Stereotypes
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
N Fine Arts > ND Painting
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Humanities > Fine Art
Supervisors:Simbao, Ruth
ID Code:3864
Deposited By: Philip Clarke
Deposited On:29 Oct 2012 13:20
Last Modified:11 Dec 2012 07:00
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