Hyphenated living: between longing and belonging, an exposition of displacement as liminality in the transnational condition
This thesis explores a complex concept of home with respect to issues of belonging and displacement from both a personal and transnational1 perspective, which deals with the here in New Zealand and there in the Netherlands. Through the visual and the poetic, in printmaking, book art, digital photography and installation--drawing on auto-biographical experiences of migration, as well as contextual research--I have been investigating the concept of "home" as a hyphen. This hyphen motif aptly performs the migrant condition of between here and there, a liminal space of betweenness and transition, where internal and external worlds, here and there, past and present, intersect. This intersection point, marked by hyphenation, always performs across multiple borders and thereby emphasises a spatial-temporal liminal register experienced by many transnational. In textual practice a hyphen is a punctuation sign that connects and separates two different entities. As such, here the hyphen begins to evoke an interesting spatial-temporal paradigm for transnational, who are placed between two or more divided geographies, sociographies and cultural identities. As well as being a link between multiple series of dual entities and conditions, the hyphen can simultaneously signify an ambiguous area of liminality--a psychological space of neither here nor there, an undecidability of identity and belonging, which, on various levels, is symptomatic for many transnational. This project explores how this hyphenated position influences a sense of identity and belonging and its relation to our postmodern world.