As a third culture kid and a woman of visible minority, I have encountered many interesting situations in my life such as, being called 'Chinatown' in Chinatown, or be told that, 'in Canada, people give others access to the sidewalk', after being bumped into and kicked from behind. Because of these colourful instances, I have learnt to be tolerant and adaptive, but most importantly it has given me a sense of responsibility in addressing racial and cross-cultural issues in my work.
None of my project nor Project Barca will rid our society of racism, or sexism, or agism, or slant glances from one person to the next for whatever reason imaginable. There is a we and a they, a you and a me. I believe that our distinctions make our society interesting and will allow our cultures to continue thriving. By focusing on distinctions rather than differentiations, one examines the world with what is rather than what is not.
Distinctions are circumstantial, rather than generalized as in the case of differencing/othering. Here, we are not only dealing with issues of semantics, but semiotics, which is key in understanding culture. As noted by linguists and anthropologists such as Saussure, Levi-Strauss, and Turner, cultural practices, particularly its fundamental organization of relationships (kinship) and beliefs (myths, and ritual), is tightly intertwined with the formation of symbols in language and speech. Like language and speech, art too is a way to express symbols, and by addressing culturally relevant issues through the lens of art, artists and audience participate in the continual process of construction and deconstruction of culture.
Project Barca recognizes and celebrates the distinctions in each of its members through personal stories, aestheticized performances, and critical analysis. My hope is that this project will be a positive influence on how we think about diversity, that we need not to dilute distinctive cultural traditions, but that we can further these practices in parallel with one another.
In another note, I have recently come across a new film called Ghosts with Shit Jobs. It is a mocumentary about Canadians (westerners) in a post economic apocalypse world that takes places in Toronto, Canada. It explores the possibility where most Canadians will have to work jobs that no one in China would take, such as collecting spider silk, making robotic humanoid babies, being a human spam, and a digital janitor. It looks like a highly satirical film and I hope you check it out!
The link below will bring you to the film's trailer.