The Isle of Wight Analogy
Describing her experience attending a boarding school as a young girl on the Island, anthropologist Judith Okely notes:
The Isle of Wight, though imagined isolate, has been integral to the reproduction of a specific British cultural hegemony. At the inter-flux of maritime trading, war strategies, yachting, and differentiated holiday escapes, it elaborates royal connections and class divisions. Two prisons once incarcerated the most dangerous and the criminally insane, while idyllic locations record Queen Victoria, Tennyson, Keats and Dickens.
— Judith Okely, The Isle of Wight as a Site for English-British Identity, 2012
As memories of the great Empire fade further into history, the Isle of Wight has been relieved of most of its historical duties. Yet, traces of an older kind of Britishness still linger, having taken on a nostalgic quality. A native of Hong Kong, a former British colony, I have lived in the UK for over a decade. The question of my own cultural identity led me to investigate the Island, a microcosm of an old Britain, one which is strange yet familiar to me in a cultural, historical and personal context. Through exploring the myths surrounding Britishness, I hope to find a sense of place in my adopted country as a response to my own displacement.
Selected for Source Graduate Photography 2016.