Spoken from this Urban Place, from These Dark Lips: Using Space, Place and Poetry to Investigate my Lived Experience as a Woman of African Descent in the New Urban Environment
Peters, Nailah Dahlia
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This paper validates oral histories and micro-ethnographic experience by using the device of Griot poetry and prose to explore the spaces between life history and ethnography. This project destabilizes the imagined boundaries between (the multiplicity of) subjectivity/ies and objectivity, and the researcher and researched to illuminate the intersections between human experience, personal narrative, and the New Urban Environment (Caygill, 1998, pp. 5). It is argued that new ways of theorizing about contemporary racialized subjectivities are necessary to address the historic and persistent absence of subaltern perspectives from dominant discourses that intimately and directly shape our lives. Drawing on the legacy of artistic expression as a means to give voice to suppressed perspectives, this paper illustrates that psycho-geography and urban flânerie can be leveraged to make insightful and relevant connections between individual and collective consciousness to inspire critical and discursive analysis and broaden representations of Black womanness; from critiques to possibilities.