VOXPOP: Anticlone Movement Embodied (I of VIII)
We unearth through the masses of fakery to discover a collection of individuals that personify self-expression and individualism. They embody Anticloneism, a term originally created by Sade English to represent those who do not conform to suit society. Choosing to live instead of simply existing, each of these individuals express who they are honestly, live their beliefs, act without care for the approval of others, proving it is possible to not conform to suit society. And do so fearlessly.
Parma Ham, 28, Gallery Producer & Artist
If your skin is a canvas, is it for you or is it for others to decor?
The way I groom myself and experiment is playful, and I feel the most confident and empowered when I look my best. I never dress with other people's opinion in mind, and I dress to my own aesthetic standard. However, simply being aware that I am being looked at reminds me I am a self-defining object in other people’s worlds. Sartre called it the “look of the other” and it's the realisation that I am not alone. Without other people being aware of me, I wouldn't be aware of myself, and so I am dependent on others to have an aesthetic dimension.
What’s the weather like underneath your skin?
An average temperature of minus 145 degrees Celsius, with winds of about 384 miles per hour.
“I'm sick to death of this particular self. I want another”, said Virginia Woolf’s Orlando. Are we defined by our identity and our portrayed style or can we kill these characters of our lives off at any point to move on?
When I was a teenager trying to find myself I went along with characters which had been written for me - the nerd, the goth, the twink, the queer. When you're young you can experiment with characters, and I did that several times. I didn't kill these characters, but the need to perform them fell away. You can be whoever you want, and it's fun to play around with possible identities, but underneath every performance there is a fixed identity, it cannot be killed, but it can evolve. Evolution and growth are important, but trying to kill some of your identity is a denial of your past. Even the past that you are ashamed of, or the mistakes that you made, they are all part of who you are today. It's important to acknowledge all dimensions, even the ones you would rather not have.
Should we feel comfortable in a skin we didn’t choose?
We are all gods in our own worlds, so it's up to us to alter the things we don't like. My gender is non-binary and there are aspects of my body which I have come to accept by changing the way I think about them, and there are other parts which I will cosmetically change to suit me. I don't think anyone should just accept the status-quo. The act of resistance is rewarding in its own right.
In a world increasingly governed by trends, fads and algorithms, how can we encourage people to really be themselves as opposed to copies of others?
In an ever-globalised world homogenising forces are eliminating multiculturalism and subcultures in favour of an overbearing monoculture. There is a huge pressure to conform which is a threat to individual identity. I think it's important to recognise that we are all influenced by difference. Difference promotes diversity, competition, creativity, innovation, choice, tolerance and progress. These are key components to a flourishing individual and to society at large; promoting the celebration and preservation of difference is essential.