British Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies Conference, Savannah GA 2020

Thought I’d get some writing finished, considering we’re all going to be quarantined for the foreseeable! At least it’ll help the productivity!

I presented my research in February at the 29th British Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies conference at the DeSoto hotel in Savannah, GA, organised by the Postcolonial Literature department at Georgia State University. The conference was presented over two days, my panel Postcolonial Ireland was on day one. A link to my presentation is here.

On day one, the first panel I attended was Postcolonial Collective Traumas which looked at collective traumas in a literary sense through the lens of post-colonialism and looking at grief as analogous to slavery. The overall arc of this panel was to show that trauma transpires from the individual to the collective and that the legacy of slavery is still embedded in the collective experience. There were a couple of authors mentioned that I definitely need to check out, among them Roger Lockhurst, Lacapra and John Peterson. My second panel on day one was Cross-cultural and Cross-Genre Approaches which looked at postcolonial literature set in and around India and the Indian experience. The third panel of day one was my one; Postcolonial Ireland. I was on this panel alongside E. Moore Quinn and Rebecca Ziegler. Moore spoke about seasonal migration from Ireland to England by women and Rebecca spoke about postcolonial perspectives of the historical Jesus. I was asked a really interesting question after my talk about the link between nostalgia and trauma, which I definitely need to do some more research into. The last panel of day one I went to was Women Confronting Empire: Nature, Bodies, Food. This panel looked at situated versus un-situated knowledge and transnational diasporas, “diaspora that destabilizes national identities” (Goya), the concept of the Americanah as Chimanda Nigozi Adhiche defined it and migratory subjectivity (Carole Boyce Davis). Identity is a political process and experience and is not formed within one specific locale. The last talk of day one was a keynote by postcolonial author and academic Robert JC Young. Young’s talk was primarily on his work on the historical roots of hybridity as it pertains to the colonised subject and the postcolonial outsider. He spoke about plural linguism, Said’s critique of the euro-centrist depiction of the east and language as a construct of the colonial project. This talk will definitely be useful for my thesis research as I am looking at hybridity in the postcolonial subject.

Day two began with a workshop on Narrative, Pedagogy and Literature. This workshop was on data analysis and using various tools for pedagogic learning and teaching. This was super useful to see the different was researchers analysed their data and to also see teaching methods in academia. The second workshop of the day was The New Imperial Neo-liberalism:Media, Policy and New Avenues in Postcolonial Research; An Interactive Workshop on Integrating New Media into Your Research. This workshop started with the participants being asked to write three sentences about what their research is, which helped me to focus down my ideas a lot. Chris Cartwright from Georgia Southern University who was giving the workshop says that postcolonial research must be accessible, multi-textual, intersectional and socially engaged; which is something I definitely agree with. New media used in research is participatory, fragmented (the same story retold) and converging. Chris used to the example of King Solomon’s Mines from 1885 to illustrate that research texts in this vein must have characters, stories (events), settings (place), themes (ideas) and aesthetics (discourses). He used a lot of literary text examples, among them Treasure Island, The Rhodes Colossus and Heart of Darkness. The last panel of the second day (and the last one I went to) was Imperial Ideologies in 20th Century British Literature. This panel looked at postcolonial themes in British literary texts and liberal humanism versus capitalist and imperialist modernity. Colonial trauma was referenced throughout the panel and Cesaire’s discourses on colonialism were mentioned by all three panelists. Carol Dell’Amico spoke about Jean Rhys and wartime ethnography in the late modernist project. She also spoke about how Greenwich Mean Time was a form of colonial oppression; how the colonised being is a divided one; the two parts of the colonised individual: desiring to be a white man and being separated from his community; how the newly liberated slaves sometimes gained psychosis and how in the colonial situation, everyone is a slave (in the Hegelian master/slave dialectic sense). She also points out that violence against the settler is the native’s work, the native is the agent of change and freedom is only achieved through capital.

All in all a very productive and fruitful three days. (Day three was spent wandering around Savannah and then Uber-ing to the airport)

 

 

 

Updates

Well, long time no speak!

A lot of updates to go though in this post – not least that I’ve just moved back to London after being home in Dublin for six months.

July 2016: we got through the Wimbledon College of Arts degree show (big ups!)

September 2016: moved back to Dublin and tried in vain to get a job in London and in Dublin

March 2017: moved back to London, much to my delight

Also in March: put a deposit down on a studio space at Hotel Elephant in Elephant and Castle (more on that in a later post)

April 2017: turned 26 (boo!)

Also in April: invested in a studio light setup (finally!) – check my Instagram profile

Other things: photo-book dummy. Accidental Journeys is going to be an actual physical BOOK. Thanks to William and Dirty Illness. More on that – process images, sketchbook photographs, design iteration images, and printing – to come in later posts!

Project planning: I shot another roll of HP5 a couple of weeks ago and finally got it processed and printed. I’m so happy with how the images turned out. Check back soon to see it on the website. I’m also planning to have done four projects by the end of 2017, updates on these on the blog as they happen – research, process and final images.

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Process #2

My degree project was a book documenting the Irish Diaspora’s journeys from Ireland to England. I photographed and interviewed people in the various Irish centers around London: the London Irish Center, the Luton Irish Forum and the South London Irish Association. The book itself was hand-printed and bound but my bookmaking skills are very lacking! As such, I enlisted the help of my friend Chloe (a 2015 UAL Wimbledon graduate in Print and Time-based Media) to help me fix the binding and structure of the book itself.

Chloe won the Wandle Studio Prize for 2015/16 so she has use of a studio space at Merton Abbey Mills where she runs an “alternative book-makery” called Object Book.

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Original book
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How it stood
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Lying flat

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Attempt at attching the covers

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I attempted to attach the covers and put too much glue on the front
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The binding was too loose so pages would move
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Cutting the binding off each folio
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Placing the first cover
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Sewing the first section
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Tying a kettle stitch at the end
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Sewing the fourth folio to the third with a kettle stitch
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The cross stitch was made by putting the thread through two layers of thread on the folios and making a X shape and tying a kettle stitich
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Exposed biding
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Kettle stitches at the end of each folio

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Flattening in the nipping press

PS: I’m doing photo-book narrative workshops at Object Book on the 6th of August. More details to follow.

CUE at ArtsLav

On Friday last I had the privilege of attending and photographing an exhibition organised and curated by fellow students from Wimbledon College of Art, Katarina Rankovic and Tahmina Ahkmedov, co-curated by Kosha Hussain. CUE, held at ArtsLav in Kennington, south London, is an exhibition of painting, installation, video and mixed media work. Housed in a Victorian ex-lavatory, ArtsLav was an unusual choice of venue but worked amazingly well; with work hanging off toilet cubical doors and behind cubical doors and on the walls. The atmosphere was decidedly 1920s with Reinhardt jazz music and candles dotting the narrow rectangular space.

The rest of my photographs from the private view can be found by clicking on the photograph.

The work is on show now until the 6th of June at ArtsLav, 180 Kennington Lane, London, SE11 4UZ.

 

 

2013 in review

Well hello, lovely readers! This little space on the internet has grown a lot over the last year compared to 2012 and for that I’m so grateful, hopefully it will continue to grow in the New Year! I have so much planned for the New Year for this blog so watch this space! For now though, here’s a look back on my 2013 year in blogging.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 710 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 12 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

 

Common History

Two posts in one night?? Aren’t you all lucky people ;)

my major documentary photography project for my Documentary Practice module in college this semester was to make a book, so that’s what I did. It’s called Common History and it’s on myself and my best friend and I’ve wanted to do it for the longest time! It’s a personal exploration of how when we were babies, we were in the same hospital for the same amount of time (although a year apart), we were treated by the same doctor for visual impairment and yet we each turned out completely differently. The book uses archival images, self-portraits and portraits to tie us together visually.

http://www.blurb.com/books/4214521-common-history

What do you think?

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A Short Way From Here

I know you all are sick of me apologising for being a bad blogger so I’m not going to :) Instead, I’m going to let you look at my new book!
It’s a photobook called “A Short Way From Here” and it’s published on Blurb books. This is the result of a photographic project on the seascape and documenting it in an unfamiliar way.
Hope you like it :)
What did you think? Is it too abstract?
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Caroline Issa for LK Bennett

I know I haven’t blogged here in nearly month, which is terrible but I’m nearly finished this semester so I’ll be back soon with street style posts (I’m interning at The Fair magazine for the summer as a streetstyle photographer! ) and maybe some daily outfit posts too, so look out for those!

iPhone cases come in all shapes and sizes (and price ranges!) and I’m forever searching for one that protects the phone but also looks stylish and sophisticated. LK Bennett recently sent me out an iPhone case from their collaboration with Caroline Issa (editor of Tank magazine, if you didn’t know!), which I won through a giveaway Canned Fashion held. I absolutely adore this case. It’s sturdy, it’s made of plastic but it doesn’t feel cheap or like it will break easily; with most of my other covers, they feel like one drop would break them! This case hasn’t gotten a scratch on it since I got it! It doesn’t obstruct the volume button, power button, headphone socket or screen at all, which is a major plus; with other case I’ve found myself having to take the phone out of the case to fully use / see (I’m blind as a bat!) the screen properly. Unfortunately, after much searching, I’m not sure these cases are available to buy. The design is beautiful too, this is definitely an iPhone case I’d want to be seen carrying!

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Malta 2013

During February, I attended a “creative retreat” in Malta with my friend Kate, her husband and six other artists or “creatives” as Kate liked to call them! While we were there, we had forums on our own work, where we presented the work we had done during the day (each day we were given a word to concentrate on and make art about); visits from local artists and we worked on making the art we had made into a book. The book is finished and hopefully going to be available through Blurb soon!

Now, the photos!

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I probably don’t need to tell you that: All images are copyright Aisling Keavey, all right reserved. Photos can only be used with written permission.

Have you ever been to Malta? What did you think?

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News and luck

Just to let you all know that I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth and I’m still alive! I’ve been so busy lately, I haven’t had time to sit down and blog properly. I’ll have my editorial calender sorted out and back to normal next week, promise! Now onto the purpose of this post: updates!

I’ve achieved things on my goals / aspirations list for this year! (See post from January here).

I’ve made business cards, I’ve had an exhibition of my work, hung my own photographs (this didn’t turn out the way I had hoped, but that can’t really be helped; everything’s a learning experience, right?) and most importantly, I’ve been accepted to my dream course: BA Fine Art Print and Time-based Media at Wimbledon College of Art in London! (Course link here). I’m so unbelievably happy about this, it’s part of the reason I haven’t been blogging much, I’ve been so busy trying to sort everything out for moving and that; plus, I only have five weeks left in college so I’m busy with end of year stuff too.

On the subject of college work, my current project is a documentary-style book on myself and my best friend, it’ll have self-portraits, portraits of my best friend and archival images. It’ll hopefully be available to buy through Blurb when it’s finished so I’ll keep you updated on that! I’m also working on a book (also made with Blurb) of fashion images so hopefully that will be available to buy too.

Finally, more good news that came through today, I won a Caroline Issa for LK Bennett iPhone case from Canned Fashion! I never win anything… I think my luck is starting to turn!