Ryninks, Guy J
In our modern contemporary time period the vast and rapid expansion of globalisation is stronger than ever, resulting in the shifting of how identities are currently being formed. In Johannesburg there has been major shifts in the socio-political realities of our nation, coupled with globalisation there is a noticeable shift in way identities are formed in our present fractured environment. These shifts are important to acknowledge as South Africa is in the process of changing its image towards of an all encompassing equal state, and so It is imperative to study how these shifts are impacting on identity formation. There are multiple difficulties in a study such as this, initiating a study on a subject/s that is itself incomplete fails to produce finite answers or outcomes. Rather many varying results are produced and compiling this information proves challenging when attempting to comprehend these findings. It is my aim to understand not only how identities are being formed within the rejuvenating city, but also how the rejuvenation of the city is impacting on the formation of identities. Because of the long-established fractured nature of Johannesburg there has been a fracturing of identities that continues even in the face of the changes that are occurring. However with the changes meant to curb these fractures I question if these fractures are in fact diminishing, remaining the same or is there actually a noticeable change occurring. Initially I consider the history of South Africa as this has evidently impacted on the city, my research is it then focused on Johannesburg, as this is the environment I live in and have formed my own identity in. I also investigate how through the use of auto-ethnography I am able to practice ‘self-expression’ staged upon my personal view of Johannesburg and the fractures I encounter. Because I use auto-ethnography as my autobiographical filming technique I have exclusive control over the film and this proved challenging as I was positioning myself in the film as a form of subjectivity. This created a problem in how I was intending to represent myself along with the fractured landscape of Johannesburg. My outcome is a self-subjective representation of myself positioned into my environment represented as my personal view. I focus on the fractures I experience within my own environment the suburbs and that of the city, also the fracture between these two spaces and the continuing fracture in my own identity and relationship with the city. My research will allow for an avenue of self-representation on a very personal and idiosyncratic level as to encourage the city to be represented as it is experienced and perceived by its inhabitants. However my production can be seen as being specific to a similar case, that being of my own, but this practice allows for the use of auto-ethnography to represent our own individual perspectives and the subjectification of ourselves as inhabitants of the city from a personal perspective rather than a generalised and broad perspective.
A research report submitted by the Wits School of Arts, Film and Television Department, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters in Film and Television. Johannesburg 2015