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FVW Mixednessismymythology 01
CREDIT: Farren van Wyk

Mixedness is my Mythology by Farren van Wyk

RPS Women in Photography Events

Mixedness is my Mythology - an online talk by Photography Farren van Wyk on Monday, 9 September, 19:00-20:30 GMT

Mixedness is my Mythology explores the historical relationship between South Africa and the Netherlands that revolves around the connections and contradictions of migration, ethnicity, colonialism and apartheid.

I was born in South Africa in 1993, the official last year of the apartheid era that classified me as Coloured. My grandparents were forcefully removed and my parents chose to raise me in The Netherlands from the age of six. My family sits in a grey space where we deconstruct the apartheid construction of ‘colouredness’ and make it our own.

© Farren van Wyk

The conscious choice of black-and-white analogue photography refers to the historical, anthropological, and inhumane images of people of colour in South Africa that were used to support ideas on race and legalised oppression. As an apartheid baby, there is an element of confronting the Netherlands' governmental failure to acknowledge its role and responsibility in South Africa's history. I counter this history of portraiture and create a coming together of cultural aspects from Africa, the Netherlands and the African diaspora in America.

© Farren van Wyk

Being neither black nor white, a person of colour is a shade of grey in which everything is possible. In this grey area, I use photography to reclaim and redefine what being a person of colour means. This body of work shows a reconciliation, and acceptance of our mixed identity. It is about getting in touch after being cut off from our Coloured roots, land and culture. The literal touch of the skin and hair, rediscovering oneself and reconnecting with one's identity through the creation of a visual iconography. We are creating our family’s mythology that is an ode to being Coloured.



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