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The Motherland Project

THE MOTHERLAND PROJECT: AUTO ETHNOGRAPHIC RESEARCH, AN 11 TRACK ALBUM OF THE SAME NAME AND AN AUDIO-VISUAL INSTALLATION ‘RESTORED: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE ALBUM MOTHERLAND’. THE BODY OF WORK EXCAVATES MEANING IN RELATION TO ISIDORE'S UNIQUE SUBCULTURE AS A FEMALE, SECOND GENERATION MUSICIAN AND MUSIC PRODUCER OF AFRO-CARIBBEAN AND RUSSIAN DESCENT, IDENTIFYING AS BLACK BRITISH. THE AIM IS TO OFFER INSIGHT INTO CULTURAL IDENTITY FORMATION AND THE SOCIO-POLITICAL FORCES THAT SHAPE APPROACHES TO ARTISTRY AND CREATIVE PRACTICE WHILST REFLECTING ON THE EFFECT AND INFLUENCE OF INTERGENERATIONAL FAMILIAL MUSIC PRACTICE. 

ISIDORE FAMILY MEMBERS HAVE WORKED AND PERFORMED WITH A LARGE NUMBER OF MUSICIANS AND ARTISTS FROM THE MID 1960’S ONWARDS, INCLUDING JIMI HENDRIX, EDDIE GRANT, MANFRED MANN, STEVEN STILLS, JOE COCKER, JUNIOR MARVIN AND LINDA LEWIS TO FELA KUTI, ROBIN TROWER, PHIL LYNOTT, PETER GABRIEL, SEAL, CLEVELAND WATKISS, MEMBERS OF THE ISRAELITES AND SUSAN CADOGAN. DISCUSSIONS WITH RELATIVES, ARTISTS, MUSICIANS AND CULTURAL ACTIVISTS ON THE EXPERIENCE OF COMING TO BRITAIN AND ESTABLISHING MUSICAL CAREERS, COMBINED WITH PERSONAL EXPERIENCES OF THE INTERSECTIONAL IMPACTS OF RACE, GENDER AND CLASS, INFORMED THE DEVELOPMENT OF THEMES AND CONCEPTS FOR THE ALBUM. THROUGH THE LENS OF THE ‘OPPOSITIONAL GAZE’ (HOOKS, 1992), THE IMPORTANCE OF MARGINALISED WOMEN’S EXPERIENCE IN COUNTERING OPPRESSIVE NARRATIVES IS ACKNOWLEDGED. THIS REIMAGINING IS ESSENTIAL PRECISELY BECAUSE THE ACT OF VOICING IS INHERENTLY POLITICAL. 

 

ARTISTRY AND PERSONAL HISTORY COMBINE IN THE CREATION OF THE ALBUM 'MOTHERLAND', TO HIGHLIGHT THE CULTURAL CONTRIBUTION OF AFRO-CARIBBEAN SETTLERS TO BRITAIN, SHIFTING THE FOCUS AWAY FROM A DOMINANT, WHITE, PATRIARCHAL REVISIONISM  TO COUNTER THE RECENT EROSION OF BASIC CIVIL LIBERTIES HARD WON, AS EXEMPLIFIED BY THE WINDRUSH SCANDAL. THROUGH THE INTRODUCTION OF NARRATIVES THAT PLACE MARGINALISED VOICES AT THE CENTRE WHILST REJECTING ESSENTIALIST PERSPECTIVES ON RACE, THE PROJECT TAKES A DISCURSIVE AND EXPLORATIVE STANCE, OFFERING BOTH ARTIST AND LISTENER THE OPPORTUNITY TO VISIT SITES OF IMPORTANCE FROM THE PERSONAL TO THE POLITICAL, HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL, ENRICHING A DEEPER ANALYSIS OF CULTURAL IDENTITY.

‘MOTHERLAND’ IS INTENDED TO CONVEY MULTIPLE LAYERS OF MEANING, EXPLORED FROM DIFFERENT VANTAGE POINTS, REFERRING BOTH TO BRITAIN OF THE COLONIAL AND POST-COLONIAL SUBJECT, TO THE CARIBBEAN AND TO THE IMAGINARY AFRICA AS ‘MOTHERLAND’, CRADLE OF CIVILISATION AND HOME OF MITOCHONDRIAL EVE, MOTHER OF ALL PEOPLE. AFRICA HAS BECOME A POWERFUL, UNIFYING SIGNIFIER AROUND WHICH A COMMON UNDERSTANDING OF CULTURAL IDENTITY HAS COALESCED FOR PEOPLE OF THE AFRICAN DIASPORA. HALL'S EXPERIENCE OF DISPLACEMENT AND ‘LONGING TO BE ONE AGAIN WITH THE MOTHER’, IS REFERENCED AND DOMINICA, ‘NATURE’S ISLAND’ AS SHE IS KNOWN, COMES TO REPRESENT AN ABUNDANT, NATURAL ORDER THAT IS CURRENTLY IMPACTED BY CLIMATE CHANGE. 

TO CONTACT JENNIFER ISIDORE ABOUT THE RESEARCH PLEASE EMAIL: JENNIFERISIDORE@GMAIL.COM OR JISID002@GOLD.AC.UK