Gianina K. Lockley

Scholar, Performer, Educator

"Just how black?" (2009)

How does identity inform and influence the performativity of our multiple selves? What are the immediate and long-term effects of these performances? As Guy Debord writes in The Society of the Spectacle: "In societies dominated by modern conditions of production, life is presented as an accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has receded into a representation."

Just how black? is an ethnographic performance that examines the layered complexity in defining blackness--not in opposition to whiteness--but amongst people of the African Diaspora. Incorporating video, text, movement and live performance, Just how black? takes an intimate look into personal stories collected throughout Africa and the United States regarding blackness and the "black other." Merging my scientific background with the arts, I investigate the construction of identity both genetically (through DNA testing) and through social construction.