Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Visual Art
Restricted Access Thesis
I write and make art from my distinct point of view—which is, that there is no place like home. Because home is a notion tied so deeply to the idea of belonging, to not belong means to be home-less. Since belonging is tethered to inclusion, the multiple exclusions of those who have been marginalized because of identity can lead to life trajectories where, in fact, there is no home.
My work centers on the ideas of belonging, home and hybrid identities. It is through the specificity of my own experience, that I explore the ways that a multifaceted identity, in conjunction with an outlook found in the idea of existential migration, allows for me to access to diverse worlds and experiences. Dual (or multiple) belongings may feel contradictory, as to be divided in the union of two disparate identifications can lead to a feeling of never quite belonging to either. In this position, rejecting belonging altogether may be a solution. Through storytelling, this document, and the work it was born from, makes the claim that those who have experienced the pain of not belonging have a duty to notice and react against situations where others are persecuted or excluded. In fact, a history of un-belonging firmly places one in a discerning position to detect instances and spaces of un-belonging.
A search for home and a place of belonging can extend to any of us. In my work, I use narrative and art as a tool to prise apart and expose small fissures in social interactions that can weaken their foundations and eventually destroy them. In the space left after the rubble, I propose that we build anew, together.
Program Director's Department
Graduate School of Art
Ila Nicole Sheren, Ph.D.
Dzegede, Addoley, "Building Belonging: Assertions in Marginalized Spaces" (2015). Graduate School of Art Theses. ETD 35. https://doi.org/10.7936/K7W0943Q.
Available for download on Wednesday, May 15, 2115