On Virtual Becoming and Belonging: Visualizing the Performativity of Sudanese Cultural Identity and Resistance
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A contested history with turbulent political narratives has played a leading role in the formation of Sudanese identity. It is situated firmly in a romanticized past as it is in a troubled present. For the diaspora, social media platforms function as spaces for the continuous formation and expression of these identities. These platforms often serve as spaces to (re)produce the social and political relations that define everyday life in the homeland. This thesis explores the use of graphic design to discuss the performative articulation of these identities in virtual spaces. It follows understandings of identity from cultural studies as, always in production and never complete. By employing user- generated content found on online platforms for visual explorations, this thesis explores the ongoing dynamics between individual and collective narrations of identities; between personal reflections and public representations. The projects prepared discuss the complexities and nuances of Sudanese cultural identity online in the milieu of current political and social tensions. In the visual expression of Sudanese cultural identity, there is resistance, activism and a vision of triumph.