The Names We Change

Naming is the first act of calling into being and thus one of the original signifiers of identity formation, placing the individual in contextual relationship with culture, race, gender, and ethnicity. It is a symbolic contract between the individual and society and confirms the individual’s existence and society’s obligation and responsibility to the individual, and the individual’s implicit acceptance to the society.

This video interview series investigate two types of responses to the unsettling of identity often hidden in immigrant diaspora: how we keep or change our personal names, the original markers of self and identity; and the artifacts we keep or bring as carriers of history, family, locality. The first seeks to explore identity through language and naming, and the latter through memory and history.


Still shots form The Things We Bring, The Names We Change video interviews, 2017