Intersectionality is a term created by legal scholar and social activist Kimberle Crenshaw in her standpoint on identity politics. The term was meant to define the intersections that make up one’s identity mainly that of black women. We must consider every aspect of a person’s identity. Very often the term is used loosely and in a way it was not intended to serve different viewpoints. However, regardless of the misuse of the term, I do believe it is very important to consider a person’s identity in its entirety and not pick apart the pieces that may be more or less comfortable.
People are compositions of several elements and no one element can exist without the other. For me in my career it is important to incorporate intersectionality in my work in two very important aspects:
- As an artist, it is my responsibility to explore human exists and try to understand who people are and what makes them who they are. I am not only creating art for people I am also creating art that reflects people.
- As an educator I must be able administer knowledge to my students that is not only in keeping with what is required but in a way that is conducive to their success. To ensure students are successful it requires actively learning and understanding of who they are. I must also understand the “intersections” of art, education and development.
I cannot present, create or educate people if I do not understand their needs, to understand their needs I must be open to all aspects of their identities.