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In Between Identities

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The Melbourne-based, South Sudanese artist and writer Atong Atem’s ‘Third Culture Kids’ portrait series explores the space between the culture of one’s heritage and one’s adopted home.

The series of studio portraits emulates the type of set-up introduced to many parts of Africa by British colonisers, and uses as a backdrop and props fabrics and accessories that, though introduced by colonizers, have now become an integral part of African identity. In a recent interview, Atem explains, “Being a Third Culture Kid means recognising there’s a space that exists between the culture we’re from and the culture we’re living in. I feel not South Sudanese enough, or not Australian enough. I have to accept that I’ll never be both: those ideas are completely fabricated from outside of myself.”

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All images © Atong Atem