This is the first draft of my cultural identity map. The map features a number of items, most of which bear several symbolic meanings.
I found throughout the course of creating this map that certain images recurred when I thought about trying to express certain ideals. I also found a great challenge in trying to coordinate a hierarchy. Anything important enough to make it onto the map in the first place seemed like it ought to be pretty big. I also ran into challenges because some of the things that are part of my daily life aren’t necessarily things I want people to immediately associate with me — even if they are where I draw a lot of my ideas and motivation. Other things, as always, possess a draw. I think these things are the most dangerous because they place us in the position of presenting ourselves as we wish to be seen by others — purposely allowing ourselves to be the disempowered objects of Lacan’s gaze. And yet, in a strange reversal of that very notion, not including such objects because we are afraid of being gazed upon is an equally disconcerting feeling. I have tried to present a balance of those ideals in this cultural map. A future post — after I finish the map — will explain its elements. In the meantime, please let me know what associations you draw from it.