This project explores the theme of the dominant regime of representation a term created by Stuart Hall to describe the idea of mass stereotyping of a group of people by the media. For example, how the black male can be depicted as violent or aggressive and the black woman's body can be depicted as hyper-sexualised and even unfeminine. I am interested in whether this dominant regime can be contested and challenged and what that may look like.
One way I believe this racialized gaze can begin to be challenged is by black people representing themselves. One of the easiest ways this has been done is via the family archive and family portraiture. I believe there is power in black people being the possessors of their own representation, telling stories that have yet to be told and shedding light on identities that can often be lost due to stereotypes.
On another level, I am also interested in the idea of the "familial mythology" a term used by John Byng-Hall in “Re-editing Family Mythology during Family Therapy.” Familial mythology is the false or edited beliefs about the present which coupled with family legends (how each family member remembers and perceives certain familial events or relationships) then support those beliefs. “Re-editing myths involves enabling families to alter their relationship and their self-perceptions” - John Byng-Hall
So I am using my own family as a springboard to contemplate themes around how the black body is seen and represented. What a typology of a modern black family from London may look like away from certain stereotypes. How positive imagery can play a part in challenging this racialized gaze. Lastly how the camera and the act of photography can be a vessel to explore familial ties.