The Annotation of Skin

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Taking my cue from Black Skin, White Masks where Frantz Fanon suggests the skin's profound impact, physically and psychically, in an ‘epidermal racial schema’ (2008 [1952]: 92), I examine how the annotated skin–culturally marked skin that is further marked–plays a crucial role in opening up questions around heritage, cultural memory and difference. I propose that British Asian artists like Hetain Patel, through deliberately chosen strategies such as the hyper-visualization and hyper-orientalizing of the skin in performance, urge us as audience to confront certain fixed racial and cultural assumptions around the meaning of skin, and force us instead to look closely at skin as a palimpsestic surface of a complex lived experience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-121
Number of pages8
JournalPerformance Research
Issue number6
Early online date26 Nov 2015
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Nov 2015

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