Ryerson's Maximum Exposure Winner 2019
Opening Reception: September 21, 2019, 2-5pm
Exhibition Dates: September 21 – September 28, 2019
“Tracing Ethnicity” is a first-person account on the discussion of racial identity, from the perspective of mixed ethnicity. Hannah Somers investigates this through the way people see her, and how she sees herself. When questioning how she fits in to her varying cultural backgrounds, Somers wonders whether she has rights to certain histories and traditions. She is most drawn to her Trinidadian heritage, because it is a part of her that she has the most questions about.
In this series, Somers contextualizes her search for identity by dissecting different features of her appearance, calling attention to parts of her body in an isolated way. This includes parts of her body that connect her to her black heritage, and other parts that might cause others to question her identity. There is a specific focus on the texture of her hair because it carries a strong connection to her black heritage and the experiences of being a mixed person of colour.
“As a person who identifies as ethnically and racially mixed, I feel it is important for me to contribute to the larger discussion about the challenges of being a visible minority. In creating this work, I aim to learn more about myself and broaden others' understanding about racial ambiguity” says Somers.