It’s all about #identity

by Gaby Albornoz

So, who am I? I dared to ask myself. The answer, simple as it is, was not easy to find.


If you had known me as a child, you could have said I was VERY chatty. My mum tells me that from a very young age, I would talk to strangers on the bus and ask them a million questions. Most of my school reports would go on to confirm this over the years. 
I also seemed to love music, singing and dancing to it a lot. Most of my happiest memories involve me freely dancing in my living room or bedroom, as I became more self-conscious about it. 


These two things: my ability to chat and my need to express myself through music and dance have defined me all my life much more than anything else. Yet, no matter what I accomplished or failed at, there were other labels, imposed by society, that I had to carry around just for being a woman: mother, maiden or whore.

Whatever I did, right or wrong, could easily put me in one of those categories. As a child, talking to boys in school would certainly mean I was in love with them, because what else can you be doing but hoping to find your prince charming, right? As a teenager, the way I danced at a party could make me look like a whore. Later on, being a wife earned me inexplicable respect.


Fast forward several years and about a thousand “when will you have a baby?” questions and here I am, joining this project in an attempt to answer the key question of who I am beyond those labels that society has been imposing on me all my life.


I am not alone in this adventure: Nandini Manjunath, Himadri Madan and Karen Watts are dancing to the sound of this question while Agomoni Ganguly Mitra and Ingrid Young from the Centre of Biomedicine, Self and Society at the University of Edinburgh have provided the academic framework for it.


You see, besides being caring mothers, loving partners and sexually active women, we are so many other things: academics, dancers, choreographers, writers, teachers, journalists, producers. All these other labels define us just as much and make the answer to the identity question that much more difficult to answer.


Something is clear enough, if we put together all that we are on the table, dance our hearts out and then openly talk about it, something new and positive will come out of it. We are not aiming to create new ways of labelling ourselves or new hashtags to try to define our identities. We are merely exploring what it is to be 'just' a human being with all the simple and the complex details that make us. We will use these attributes that each must explore the question of who we are and ask you to tell us what you see. It will be both easy and hard, a bit amusing or uncomfortable at times but it can also get quite deep.


Guided by the academics in the group we started this process by reading some interesting and challenging literary material which then inspire Nandini, Himadri and Karen to create each a piece of movement that expresses some of the ideas that resonated with them from these texts. These dance pieces will be streamed on October 2nd at 3 pm via our Facebook and ZOOM (links below).


Join me as a spectator of their journey within their own identities, we want to know what you see.

Interested in taking part?

The webcast which we streamed on Zoom is now available for you to watch on Youtube:

You can still take part in this project by watching the full webcast and submiting your feedback by

completing the form which you can access below

Important: You have time to submit your feedback until October 9th, 2021.