Noémi Zajzon´s project proposal Encounters with Diasporic Futures investigates the urban terrain as a socially constructed mainspring and mediator of being and belonging, of memories, motivations and narratives of diasporic youth in London. Mapping the activity of the Bangladeshi youth community in London, she pursues her particular interest in challenging the concept of diaspora, not as a world to be observed, but as a framework which promotes the contemplation of roots and routes.
“As a Hungarian raised in Romania, who went to a German school and learned English as a third language, a large portion of my personal sense of identity has been strongly tied with placemaking, as well as an interest in understanding the way cultures shape our imagination, values and practices. And further on, how our practices, activities and meaning making processes affect and shape the landscape around us.”
The British-born Bangladeshi youth represents a major percentage of the young population in the UK, especially in London. Using maps as tools for creative interrogation and personal reflection, Noémi Zajzon aims to depict everyday journeys and draw out how objects, resources, materials and the environment of London’s urban terrain both enable and restrict the creativity and imagination of the Bangladeshi youth community. In this way, maps become sources of knowledge not only of places, but also of site-specific social issues and expressions of power and knowledge.
Noémi Zajzon´s practice is driven by her interest in creative engagement and community participation as well as socio-anthropological research. Her master’s thesis The Banglish Legacy engaged three generations of migrant Bangladeshi families to explore what they treasured most. The result revealed how objects can take on new meanings and connotations across generations.
Noémi Zajzon is a researcher and designer living in London. You can browse more material from The Banglish Legacy on noemizajzon.com/banglishlegacy.
Photos and Illustrations: Noémi Zajzon