Brennan Broome BFA Thesis Spring 2011
Unpacking My [White] Knapsack: The Construction of Race and Identity in White Culture
Through my thesis project, I will document the ascent into something new, something unfamiliar and uncomfortable, through learning the Mandarin language, in order to challenge and change the way I think and work as a Western male. By learning the Mandarin language, I will not only be answering personal questions of identity and belonging, but I will be looking to answer, in the age of post-colonialism, European diasporas, and the erasure of ethnicity and culture, how are issues of place and identity being represented and dealt with in everyday life.
To answer such a question, I will take a journey. Through investigations of a culture very different to that which I live in and would call my own, I will immerse myself in the Mandarin language in a semester long intensive course, using tools such as study groups, audio tapes, books, computer programs, and a Mandarin language course. In order to document my grown and immersion, I will use standard documentary tools such as video and photography to step by step not only the learning of a language, but the process of positioning oneself in a greater sense of the world.