Last week we had the opportunity to attend a class on the decolonization and globality of design run by Danah Abdullá, lecturer on BA (Hons) Design Management and Cultures at the London College of Communication.
It was a great opportunity to remember how difficult it is to put yourself into the cage of the "where are you from" nowadays without killing part of your identity in the answer.
In Spain, we have a word for those whose both parents are originally from Madrid, and it's "gato" - or gata - (the Spanish for cat). I'm not one. My family is spread all over the northern and eastern coasts of the country, I grew up between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean and lived in Madrid until I turned 19. At that age, I booked a flight to Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic. In the following 5 years, I would be moving countries five times.
I can say with no hesitation that I consider myself a global citizen, and as a designer, I can’t avoid all the scents, the rhythms and the accents from all the places that are part of my journey and my narrative to be inked in everything I create.
I believe one of the major challenges we face in our era is to embrace the condition of global citizenship. We are programmed to stereotype, to label people, and passports seem to irrefutably determine our identity nowadays. However, we are witnessing a shift towards cultural neutrality where stereotyping and segmentation will no longer be effective.
To anyone who's not familiar with Momondo's ad “The DNA Journey”, I strongly encourage you to watch it and think to what extent the problems of our world would improve if we all took a journey based on our DNA and realized that those we considered foreign issues are closer to us than we thought. In a global world that is constantly confronted by global affairs, these can only be solved with global politics, by global citizens, who demand global solutions (Evans, 2016).
Sources: - Evans, H.(2016) What does it mean to be a citizen of the world? Available at: https://www.ted.com/talks/hugh_evans_what_does_it_mean_to_be_a_citizen_of_the_world