Losing Identity: Shifting Spaces, Changing Faces

Losing Identity: Shifting Spaces, Changing Faces December 9, 2023

Is it valid to say that one’s lived landscape determines one’s cultural identity? As one’s physiognomy has the potential for direct impact when changing geographical locations, can movement from one region to another possibly perpetuate evolving cultural strands? Losing Identity: Shifting Spaces, Changing Faces briefly ponders on the notion culturally and metaphysically.

Take for example, one who leaves Europe to live abroad. Do they silently denounce their culture as they re-patriate? Or, does exiting their former nation forfeit allegiance, or cultural ties, to that sovereign space? If so, how can the individual who has simply crossed an invisible demarcation breach a cultural covenant? Is it truly possible to relinquish one’s cultural identity by crossing a border? For some, the answer is, “Yes.”

The history of this globe has been forged by collective people’s gesticulation from one land mass to another, extending their cultural spectrum of ideas, recipes, religious practices and much more to develop a new society. A broader being. Of course, these societies developed over stretches of time… decades, centuries and in some cases thousands of years. A prime example being the ancient East Africans who populated our present world. Although their identity in lands across the globe were often sequestered, denied, eradicated, discarded, argued against and egregiously falsified by certain modern researchers, they remain our distant relatives. As our East African ancestors shifted spaces, engendering changing faces, their identity somehow became lost.

While African explorers spent thousands of years in regions across the seven continents, and land bridges, present day populations no longer resemble their initial ancestors. Additionally, as more cultures intermingle, folks’ features are mutating further from their distant relatives. However, recently unearthed monuments, and ancient statues, reveal Africana presence in cultures surrounding the globe.  Unfortunately, due to cultural mis-representation, many darker hued faces of contemporary peoples remain hidden from television and movies.

What of believer’s today? Do we lose our identity when we cross the line separating us from sin? Do we diminish the Christ in us, when we patronize spaces non-conducive to our walk with Christ? When mingling with people meaning us no good, do we forsake our spiritual identity while compromising our standards? When we ignore God’s personal commands in our lives are we ex-patriates to His will which directs our paths?

Losing identity when rejiggering another for the purpose of engendering a thing doesn’t ultimately connote derogatory intentions. Alternatively, when our identification in Christ is subdued by ungodly selfsameness, we become lost, therefore, abandoning our true nature. Our true identity.

About Dr. Nicole Elaine Avery
Dr. Nicole Elaine Avery earned her doctorate in Art & Art Education from Columbia University in 2017. She’s an award winning educator with over 25 years of experience across curricula: art, dance, drawing, ELL, English, literature, math, physical education, science, and social sciences. She’s facilitated instruction to preschool through college. You can read more about the author here.

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