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  • Writer's pictureMidWestMixed

Lacey: Within, Between, & Beyond

Updated: Jul 17, 2021

Within, Between, and Beyond is a multi-layered art installation and participatory experience sharing an evolving archive of stories from Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) who identify as Mixed Race or Transracial or Transnational Adoptee. Interviews for the video portion of the installation were conducted by Lola Osunkoya, who here introduces our subjects and shares a few highlights from their stories.

Lacey is a mixed race person of color of Russion, Indian, and Macanese heritage. Lacey also identifies as a queer, transgender, and non-binary person, who uses they/them pronouns. We actually first met Lacey when they signed up to record a reaction to the first iteration of Within, Between, and Beyond at the 2019 MidWest Mixed Conference! Lacey left a huge mark on our team at that conference, commenting on the gaze shared between artist, subject, and observer, so we were thrilled to include them in this next iteration. Their interview focused a lot on navigating intersectionality and privilege in their identities, depending on how they are read.

It can be difficult to negotiate social situations when I get read differently... because I don’t know how someone else is reading me until we’re partway through an interaction. And the social scripts for how those interactions go is really different depending on how someone is reading me in terms of my gender, but also my ethnicity. And so I have to do a lot of mental gymnastics.

Lacey does an incredible job of articulating the complexity of social interactions for people who are read ambiguously in multiple aspects of their identity. They found a lot of affirmation in the book, The Body is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor.

How we look at people based on race, gender, in their body size, abilities, disabilities… they all connect on the idea that a body can be bad or wrong and that oppressions that we are seeing in society now and throughout history all rotate on this axis of bodies.

Who’s in a body and do you have a right to be in that body? And how should that body act?

Thinking about my experiences and framing it that way has been really helpful for me to divorce my experiences of oppression from who I am as a person. To be able to see it for what it is, which is that people have expectations about bodies and I’m somehow not meeting those expectations but like also… that’s not my job.

I’m in a body, I get to stay in that body and I have a right to be here.

And the oppressions that I sometimes face have to do with other peoples’ difficulty with the body that I’m in. And separating that out from myself is really helpful.

Lacey shares some powerful insight on the dynamics of taking up space, you’re going to love their interview, premiering at Mia! Within, Between, and Beyond runs 7/16/21-10/31/21.

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