Identikitted Out

When moving house in 2019 I began to categorise my belongings to be placed into vacuum bags ready for transportation to our new home. I was struck by the similarity between my belongings in their asphyxiated state and the toy uniforms available for action figures when I was a child. As I was reflecting on the compartmentalisation of my life I felt a deep tension between the many, sometimes contrasting affiliations, some relating to family, others to hobbies, work or social life.

 

Once photographed and viewed together they gain a homogeneity and are once again consolidated as many though varied parts of a whole. Amartya Sen writes that ‘the realization that each of us can and do have many different identities related to different significant groups to which we simultaneously belong appears to some as a rather complicated idea (…) but it is an extremely ordinary and elementary recognition. In our normal lives, we see ourselves as members of a variety of groups: we belong to all of them.’