The construction of a transnational identity: the notion of space, place and belonging, as a response to Australia (Melbourne)

Abumeis, M 2013, The construction of a transnational identity: the notion of space, place and belonging, as a response to Australia (Melbourne), Professional Doctorate, Art, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title The construction of a transnational identity: the notion of space, place and belonging, as a response to Australia (Melbourne)
Author(s) Abumeis, M
Year 2013
Abstract This exegesis and the practice-led research (paintings) investigate the characteristics of a transnational art practice. The exegesis examines significant aspects of hybridity aesthetics and ‘transnationalism’. It focuses on two places and two cultures – Libya, my old home, and Australia my new one. This practice-led research project turns on my own art, practice, concept, materials and techniques as a transnational artist working in Australia. My temporary migration to Australia has resulted in strong attachments to my new home city of Melbourne. This has impacted powerfully on my personal identity. To summarise, this project engages with notions of place and space, with my own belonging in the context of the relevant literature, and with contemporary art practice.

To approach closely the perception of space, place and the reconstruction of identity within a transnational framework, and to address issues regarding the conceptualization and the transformation of home and belonging, from a migrant perspective and as a displaced artist.

To find a new path by using an appropriate method in order to produce a body of original painting that utilizes and revitalizes the historical and traditional aspects of cultural expression to create a correlation between personal identity and Australian influences, reinforcing the idea of being a transnational artist in Melbourne.

Beyond the project’s aims and objectives, there is an attempt see how close the boundaries can be possibly met. Ultimately, there are multiple entry points into the new meanings achieved through new visual and transformative, metaphors and conceptual frameworks, in order to work predominantly with text, while playing conceptually with cultural boundaries.

Research questions:
Can we ever leave home? If we can do so, can we escape from the past? If so, what kind of concern should we give to notions of ‘elsewhere’? And can we develop new achievement elsewhere? (Al – Ali & Koser, 2002) In doing so, in what ways can I use my identity construction themes to incorporate powerful integration between ‘over here’ - Australia as my temporary migration place - and "over there” my homeland Libya, in the context of contemporary art?

Throughout this thesis I have framed issues involving how I might re-work concepts and theories through further interrogation of practical artworks. In doing so, I have engaged with several terms, which have been taken literally from established disciplines, such as theory, psychology, sociology, literature and art. Significantly, I refer to my own experience and its attempts to make connections beyond Nationalism. This thesis explore cross - issues in art, concerned with terms such as hybridity, fluidity, transnationalism and belonging in order to adopt the structuring values of the emergence of transnational art practice.

The chapters of this exegesis share certain features with the ongoing debates on cross-cultural issues such as key areas of theory, the dilemma of identity, including: nationalism, hybridity, shifting meanings of ‘home’, narrative and notions of place, space and a sense of ‘belonging’. Multiculturalism and transnationalism are conceptualized in the context of migration while art as research deals with creativity and integrity.
Degree Professional Doctorate
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Art
Keyword(s) the dilemma of identity
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Created: Fri, 06 Jun 2014, 12:59:56 EST by Lynne Johns
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