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Ezra Baldwin

Ezra Baldwin presents at the Rainbow Studies Now symposium, held on 23 November 2023 at Te Herenga Waka - Victoria University of Wellington.

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Ezra Baldwin's presentation delves into their master's project, an autoethnographic study titled "Transcendence: An Exploration of Collage as a Voice for Non-binary Identity." Baldwin's work seeks to visualize and express their non-binary identity through the medium of collage. The project is deeply personal and rooted in Baldwin's own experiences and Western-based perspectives on transness and non-binary identity.

Baldwin chose collage to explore their identity, defining non-binary as anything but man or woman and transgender as a journey of gender transition, potentially involving multiple gender identities. The project is driven by two main motivations: a personal desire for a clearer understanding and expression of their non-binary identity, and a broader goal to improve representation of non-binary and transgender individuals in society and the community.

Baldwin's work is contextualized against recent events highlighting ongoing discrimination against the queer, transgender, and non-binary communities. These include an arson attack on a Rainbow Youth building, transphobic rhetoric by Posie Parker, and threats of violence against transgender students. Baldwin's thesis emphasizes the persistent fear, judgment, and misunderstanding faced by these communities, despite societal claims of acceptance.

The presentation showcases three of Baldwin's five collages, each representing a facet of their non-binary experience. The collages, "Eros and Ludus," "Reclining Colossus," and "The Younger Self," blend traditional and modern elements, reflecting Baldwin's journey and their relationship with femininity and masculinity. Baldwin redefines collage as a harmonious amalgamation of different elements, mirroring the non-binary experience as a continuous process of combining and transforming ideas and identities.

Baldwin also addresses the diversity of queer activism, arguing for the inclusion of introverted, softer, and artistic approaches alongside more extroverted forms of protest. They highlight the role of art in the queer and trans liberation movement, emphasizing that activism can take many forms beyond loud, confrontational events.

This summary is created using Generative AI. Although it is based on the recording's transcription, it may contain errors or omissions. Click here to learn more about how this summary was created.

Record date:23rd November 2023
Location:Te Herenga Waka - Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington
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Archive:The master recording is archived at the Alexander Turnbull Library (reference number to be confirmed).