The notion of home and the diasporic subject: memory and forgetting in Allan Desouza's The Lost Pictures series Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Piazza, Lisa
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Art and Art History
  • What is home for the post-colonial diasporic subject? How do one's memories of home shape one's identity? In this paper, I examine three photographs from The Lost Pictures series to demonstrate how both memory and forgetting shape the diasporic subject's sense of home. Bringing together Roland Barthes's notion of home and Julia Kristeva's concept of the abject I suggest that the photographs represent a notion of home concerned with issues of identity and gender rather than a precise geographical location. Begun shortly after his mother's death and an emotional return home to Kenya, the series is a representation of family photographs, which, I will argue, illustrate a blurry amalgamation, mimicking the processes of memory itself wherein traces of the past mingle with fragments of the present. I will likewise indicate how the photographs demonstrate a sense of loss and a longing for the ultimate home: la maison natale.
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  • Magee, Carol
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