Noughts and Crosses

Two weeks into the project and there has been a lot of progress. We’ve had several sitters come in to be photographed and share their stories. For me, it’s all about the imagery. As I am not of mixed-race, I feel it is not my place to speak on the behalf of someone who is. This is where the testimonies come in- they make the project more interesting and give it a broader context. We’ve had some insight from Dennis and his partner Jane about the use of the term ‘mixed-race’  and this week we filmed the testimony of my daughter Emilia, who with her mother Laverne was the first sitter for the project. Her full testimony will be on the blog soon, but for now, here is an extract from it below.

Emilia Barter, 14, on what it means to her to be mixed-race

A lot of people would describe mixed-race as being half this and half that, so I would be half black and half white. In actuality being mixed-race pushes off those labels from me and makes me neither black nor white. Without those stereotypes, being ‘mixed-race’ allows you to think, dress and behave as yourself, instead of perhaps conforming to one particular ethnicity.

In her book Checkmate, which is part of the Noughts and Crosses trilogy, Malorie Blackman summarises that ‘you’re not half anything, you’re wholly you. Half implies short measures or a fraction of something. You haven’t got half a tongue or half a brain. And you’re not a zebra with black and white stripes. You can take the best of being a Cross (someone black), the best of being a Nought (someone white) and put them together to create the person you want to be’. This quotation I feel sums up my opinion on what it means to be mixed-race.

Malorie Blackman Website

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