Gerard Hanson  | Biography  | Info  

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Messge board  

'Message Board', Nov / Dec 2007
Cowley road tattoo
Pavement jewellery


As a person of Irish Caribbean heritage, recognised as black in a white community and white in a black community, I feel a complicated sense of belonging. This personal experience of a dual dilemma and its limited acceptance, presents a potential threat to others: ‘Can I be trusted, and will I support their cause?’ ‘Keep your head down’ and ‘Don’t speak out’ ring in my ears! British Multiculturalism advocates difference in all its forms. Trends within society show more and more relationships that span religious, social and racial boundaries. Physical boundaries however, within the community, prove a strong challenge. Minority groups are confined to deprived urban environments, where they undertake low paid work. Within these close confines, social unrest and dissolution are inevitable. To stray out of these urban communities creates a fascinating contrast. Am I welcome in the ‘country village’ wearing my urban uniform? Or will I be under surveillance every step of the way? You could argue that the green boundaries that separate the edge of the council estate (or ‘Projects’ as they are called in the US) and the rural idyll are as overt as the ‘Separation Wall’ in Israel.

Gerard Hanson 2007

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