Diasporic people are cultural chameleons, living in between cultures. They have the power to mix and change culture.
So, what happens when diasporic people reclaim their cultural heritage?
Ritual Media documents the stories of diasporic people who are reconnecting with their culture, whether it is through their arts, their crafts, their activism, or any other way.
But we don’t stop here. We believe diasporic people have the power to change culture. They are cultural chameleons who navigate different cultural spaces. They thus have the capacity to question traditions, norms, and other codes of the cultures they inhabit. When they reclaim their culture, they often create new cultural codes…new rituals.
Diasporas thus remind us that our identities are not meant to be static or homogenous. Our identities cannot be made into rigid categories. We all contain an incredible variety of identity layers that are constantly changing.
Diasporas can also resist cultural erasure and hegemony. Preserving our different cultural heritages means preserving different ways of seeing, feeling, and interpreting the world. There is not just one way of being in the world. There are as many ways as there are humans, and it is from their encounter that we can aspire to evolve as species, and thus survive… a bit like preserving biodiversity is key to maintaining life on this planet.
Ritual is therefore as much a media as it is a cultural project. By documenting diasporic stories, we wish to defend the plurality of our cultures and to contribute to transforming current narratives on identity.
I was born in France. My father is from Iran. My mother is Colombian. They both came to France in their 20s and 30s to study. They met, married and that’s how the story goes… Perhaps because I grew up far from my parents’ home countries, I have always been fascinated by cultural preservation, heritage, and transmission. I first studied these questions through law, by taking an interest in the right of memory, particularly in situations of forced displacement, immigration, and exile. Then, culture came to me as a more natural response. By practicing traditional Colombian music, I was able to reclaim my history, to repair what had not been transmitted or even denied.
Today, I know that it is by reclaiming all of your cultures without having to choose between them that you can better reconcile the different facets of your identity. By creating Ritual Media, I wanted to create a space – and a community – for people from different diasporas who are going through life with the same questions around identity and belonging, and who want to share their attempts at answering them.
I am an artist and director of animated content. Following my Master’s degree, I quickly entered the world of video games as a motion designer. Since then, I have often found myself on a thin line between graphic design and art. But at the same time, I am part of both.
I also belong to several different worlds: cultural, spiritual and ethnic. Above all, it’s through digital identity that I have developed my first reflections on cultures. Today my research focuses on cultures, identities and environments. I question the images that we consume daily, in the news, in advertising and in entertainment.
I conduct workshops in collaboration with associations and schools, to incite discussions and reflections on what cultures are and what they mean to us. For Ritual, I bring in my knowledge of design and images, but I also contribute with my personal reflections around identity.
I was born, grew up, and I live in France. My mother is French-Malian and my father is French-Danish. My parents also grew up in France, quite distanced from their different cultures and I even more so.
For several years, I have been interested in the issue of systemic discriminations and how they interconnect. I have also worked with French NGOs and contributed to the preparation of legal cases against racial profiling. I think my interest in these issues is intimately linked to my different identities ; in a way, they have been like a gateway to connect me to a cultural heritage that I had little access to.
There are many ways to appropriate and reclaim our different identities and cultural heritages. For me, Ritual is a space to celebrate this diversity and to “make community” based on the understanding of our differences. I bring in my research and communication skills.