Our guest blogger this week, Andrew Jackson, is an artist who engages with the challenges of representation and narration through the medium of photography. His interventions focus on migration, memory and notions of urbanism. Andrew is a recent recipient of the Light Works Residency in Syracuse (2018) and Arts Council England’s Artist International Development fund, which enabled him to develop a work exploring language, identity and the spaces of Montreal. He is working towards a major exhibition in Birmingham, UK in 2018 exploring the Jamaican Diaspora. A graduate of the MA Documentary program at Newport in Wales, Andrew has since undertaken both self-initiated and commissioned works in the UK and abroad.
This semester has been particularly hectic for me. I’ve been juggling two jobs while also being a full-time PhD student. I teach an undergraduate course on second language learning at McGill University, where I work with a group of 76 students, most of whom are perfectly bilingual (or multilingual!) and come from diverse ethnolinguistic backgrounds. At the same time, every Saturday I teach Greek language and culture to a small group of 16-year-old students of Greek heritage. Most of these students go to French immersion schools on the weekdays, so their opportunities to use the Greek language are limited to their interactions with their family and these Saturday classes, which are organized by the Hellenic Community of Greater Montreal.
The importance of storytelling and narratives has been brought up several times in various BILD posts. Further inspired by some panel presentations at the recent Metropolis conference in Montreal, I’d like to continue this conversation, though approaching the issue from a different angle. I want to take a step back from the practical implications as discussed in the previous posts and move, perhaps to a more theoretical level, highlighting the two constructs of integration and investment. Continue reading