"2FACED1 is a visionary digital network, a loose collective with members in Europe, Africa and North America, bound together by what we call ‘stereotypophobia’."
“It is all about critical questioning of what identity really is. Would you be the same person in another context? Does society have certain expectations on you based on traditional parameters like class, gender, color, sexual orientation, religious beliefs and so on? And how much do these expectations affect your so-called self? Every forward thinking person are aware of those things, its a gift which also make you relate to other peoples struggles.”Read more
2FACED1 is a state of mind, 2FACED1.com is a display-window for this mindset and the network of 2FACED1 includes all of you progressive non-stereotypes with a double perspective on identity .
Decida - Founder, Creative Director, Director (Stockholm)
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Spoek Mathambo - (the Zombo Blog) (Johannesburg)
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Pernilla Philip - Design (Amsterdam)
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"Pinpoint People's Pedigree!" Artwork by Chrille Brun
On one of the last and sunniest days of 2012 I compared responses to the world’s dullest question with a filmmaker and a writer, both of whom – like myself – have spent most of their lives outside their countries of birth. Not that the answer to what we agreed is a personal, yet alienating question is unimportant. The problem is the habit of using it as a device to spot differences rather than to explore the vast common ground that exists between anyone in the world and ourselves. A habit that interferes with our ability to discover unfamiliar facets of the universally shared.
The seemingly innocent and polite five-word question is usually asked minutes into any first encounter and signals the beginning of a third degree inquiry. From experience we know that the probe, usually triggered by our names or hues, ultimately will lead to arbitrary verdicts in matters we never asked be resolved. Matters concerning affinity and, in the end, the right of belonging. Because it happens so often, we also know that such rulings will change within an hour, day or week depending on when next we come upon somebody for the first time.
I was much younger than the other two when I left my birth-country, unaccompanied by older and wiser people. Perhaps that is why I learned much later then they did, that I was under no obligation to contribute to the research of random people. Before that, in an effort to lessen the unease of oversharing, I rehearsed a short narrative, which was more of a summary (and became one myself in the process). Unlike the other two around the table I am not a born storyteller, which might be another reason why treating my story so carelessly came more naturally to me.
In stark contrast to my own sloppy narrative of some years ago stands the most striking and carefully told story I came across in 2012, which was the story of Satché - a man about to die. Alain Gomis’ latest film Tey (Today) unfolds as a journey between Satché’s mother’s house and the home of his wife and two children where he is heading for his final rest. While navigating through Dakar, Satché, played by poet and performer Saul Williams, is confronted with defining aspects of a life, which spanned over two continents. His, it is implied, was an existence that oscillated between close companionship and utter solitude, excitement and disappointment, as well as between hope for a better future and absolute despair. During the course of his walk Satché is celebrated at times and taunted at others. He is flirtatious in the company of an old girlfriend - or a mistress - and relaxed - at least for a while - together with his friends. Before the uncle who will perform the cleansing of his dead body the following day, Satché remains respectful and serene.
During one hour and a half, Gomis captures the extremes and in-betweens of what appears to be a far from unfulfilled life cut short. Through texture rather than detail and through suggestions instead of clarifications and declarations, Gomis gently invites his audience to share a life, which is unique for his protagonist, but which in essence could have belonged to anyone. The ambiguity and tranquillity of the tale makes for an atmosphere, which enables the audience to immerse in shared emotions of happiness, lust, sorrow and fear. Gomis offers an exceptional, but not at all exclusive opportunity to discover ourselves in someone else and the other way around. An opportunity, which presents itself every time we stand before another person for the first time, as long as we refrain from asking that uninspired question “Where do you come from?”
Katarina Hedrén is a constant foreigner, a film programmer, film festival organiser, previous chairperson for the Swedish film festival CinemAfrica and the contributing editor for film for Efrika.tv and the author of the blog “In the Words of Katarina”. She occasionally writes, mostly but not exclusively, about film for various websites, papers and publications – many of her film reviews appear on the African review site Africiné. Katarina also sometimes works as an interpreter and translator between English, French and Swedish.
Over at 2FACED1 we have this idea of a Transnational identity based on the share-ability of Pop Culture in an Internet-connected world, where huge amounts of people also have migrated/emigrated the last century. Pop Culture is, in many aspects, a phenomenon driven out of today's market capitalist economy, but we refuse to just see it as something trivial and dumbed-down for the masses. Instead, can we label it a common language, that at it’s best moments encourage people to create their own identity, without uncritically basing it on a specific traits attached to stereotypes around traditional identity markers.
See the 2FACED1 State Of Mind Blog as a think tank for the ones skilled with the gift of being self aware enough to have a double folded view on identity and structure.
A 2FACED1, two-faced-one is highly aware of existing stereotypes and priviliges related to your own "identity". You’re trying to avoid them but sometimes also play with them to make people think twice about who you are. Two faced doesn’t mean anything negative here, it explains the double folded view, self awareness is not a curse, it's a gift, because it helps you understand other people. To be a 2FACED1 is to have the feet in different worlds, be able to move between them but feel rather at home in that space in between. You've stepped out of your comfort zone and has become one of the new identities where ol' categories are mashed up and rootlessness and non-given identity just means major possibilities, since identity is fluid and contextual.