The Chain

Sharon Webb

University of Sussex

 How can we reimagine ourselves in a Zoomified world?

‘This is your set up…’

Intersectional feminism is intergenerational, generative and built upon links in a chain of feminist herstories. It is produced, reproduced, repurposed and reimagined through every iteration and every new instance. It is paper copy and paste, it is digital ‘control c’, it is imagined and then reimagined creatively in physical and digital worlds. 

A few months ago my 12-year-old niece in Ireland sent me a video clip explaining the lecture set-up they had created for me in a Nintendo video game called Animal Crossing. In a world where you can create ‘a world of your own’ (Nintendo) Amy was inspired to create a lecture ‘room of their own’ (Woolf, 1929), a room that was not entirely a fiction but was based on a reality, on their links and their familial chains. 

This act of recreation is a manifestation of imagined possibilities, of a world in which you situate yourself and those around you. These digital recreations are fabrications threaded and weaved with truth; they are future and present, timely and unbounded. The game itself is ephemeral, a moment in video gaming cultural history and memory. But the moment of creation, during a global pandemic, is also critical. These are new worlds, new possibilities when the real world is shut, and virtual worlds become reality. I wonder what students may have gained from sitting in this world rather than being on display in our stifling, disconnected, zoom world. 

This act of recreation also represents feminist genealogies, of a passing down or passing on of ideas and ideals – this is you, but it could be me. It is a model of the self and a model of the world, of situated knowledge that informs values systems, ways of being and ways of thinking. The models we hold in our mind are the models we transfer into digital worlds – they represent us, them, you, otherness, sameness, difference. 

‘This is your set-up…’  what can you model with code?

References

Animal Crossing (2001) [computer game] Nintendo:Japan, 

Woolf, V (1929) A Room of one’s own.Penguin books, 2004

 What can you model with code?

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07/05/2021

07/05/2021