Hannah Dawn Henderson: Being, In a State of Erasure

‘Being, in a State of Erasure’ contemplates a particular trajectory of migratory heritage within the framework of British history, namely that of Commonwealth migrants. In seeking to understand how one may locate a sense of ‘origin’ despite belonging to a diaspora formed by multiple diasporas – as is the case with my own Jamaican heritage – I was confronted with the urgency to address the politicisation of personhood and movement. By bringing the autobiographical into a literary dialogue with the archival, the publication sheds visibility on the prevalent commentaries that circulated Commonwealth migration to the UK during the mid-20th Century.

Throughout the publication, the viewer encounters and is sometimes even interrupted by tightly cropped images. Through this technique, the gaze directed towards the depicted subjects is hyper-enunciated whilst equally an abstraction is instigated, a sense of de-contextualisation that echoes the dislocation that was inflicted upon Commonwealth migrants of this period the moment they became diasporic entities — the fracture and consequential negation of a fixed, singular identity.