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Centre for Creative Ethnography

Dina Belluigi

Dina Belluigi

The conditions for representation and authorship are continued areas of intrigue for me. As a fine art student, I studied the subject early on in my life, looking at the im-possibilities of representation in the creative arts in the aftermath of the Holocaust and Apartheid . Later, when lecturing fine art studio practice, I studied the development of the artist through the question of intentionality and then later the problem of authorship in the context of formal (higher) education of artists. I came to realise that the discipline or ‘schooling’ imposed on the creative process by academia’s assessment regimes, have an adverse effect on artistic formation and evaluative judgement, which is particularly of concern in contexts emerging from social sanction and political oppression. This has led me towards a number of current projects, wherein I consider the conditions for ethico-political representation and authorship in academia.

Artmaking, art-based and visual methods have been centrally important for deepening my recognition of that incommensurable and unsayable, as a person entangled in these subjects, and similarly for my participants, co-researchers and collaborators, and our relationships. Many of my students engage in creative arts and visual methods for data elicitation too. Methodologically, I have been fortunate to contribute and explore such processes in an attempt to address power impositions of ‘scientific’ knowers on to those and that ‘studied’. This has included a range of interdisciplinary projects, and partnerships with artists and civil society organisations.

In my own artistic practice, I engaged with gendered conceptions of women as partners and artists; and with intimate erasures in family memory, looking at ‘white’ South African photo albums in late apartheid. Each of these were solo exhibitions of artworks created through the mediums of painting, photography and performance. I hope one day to perhaps be in a position to make artworks of my own again.