Ce n’est que ceci: Material Histories is an exploration in materializing the cultural, socio-historical, and geographical aspects that determine my identity. Drawing inspiration from my environments and experiences in a multicultural family, this collection of designed objects anthologized into a book serves as an informed archive that examines how my heritage, the objects I collect, and my identity cyclically influence each other.
Through creating five sets of objects that mirror the types of items I currently collect—postcards, keychains, pins, stickers, and booklets—I was able to reconnect with and discover the cultural intricacies of the three cities and countries that comprise my heritage: Minneapolis/United States, Aix-en-Provence/France, and Meknès/Morocco. This research and creative process prompted a journey of self-discovery and familial reconnections that uncovered gaps in my personal history, analyzing nuanced contexts such as tradition, kitsch, nostalgia, and “third cultures.” Its emphasis on tangibility and varying materials celebrates physical interaction, using different styles and bold colors to visually reflect the amalgamation of what constitutes the self.
By using these created collections as a medium to tell my story, Ce n'est que ceci has become a tangible representation of my multifaceted identity and mental spaces condensed into a physical space. Ce n'est que ceci/“It is only this,” it is only me.