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Mélangean installation
Mélangean installation
2014

wall text, conch, books
adjacent to photographs by Deborah Jack

Drawing from my penetrating investigation into Martinican history, society, and culture, I began developing a consciousness while on the island, related to the embrace of a banyan identity--grounded, though un-chained, fluid, plural, and complex. I wrote the following entry on my blog after ruminating on a new name for such an identity, one that was not already heavy with essentialist or absolutist claims to its definition:

Je ne suis pas un mélange confus et désordonné (I am not a confused, disordered mixture)…je suis un Mélangean

it’s about being mixed up, not being “confused”

Inspired by my current visit to Martinique, and reading Aimé Césaire (on Négritude) and Édouard Glissant (on Créolité/Antillanité), as well as the recent insights into my obscured Afro-Brazilian heritage, and extensive mental excursions into Frank Herbert's Dune—I’m going to give this phrase a shot as a cultural/political/racial/philosophical/sexual/and gender identifier— balanced between individuation and universalization (all are welcome to use it also).

In the spirit of créolité, I hope it also becomes an example of “wreaking violence on the language itself”.

MÉLANGEAN