The Stranger and the Periphery

Prof Doc Thesis

Kim, S. 2022. The Stranger and the Periphery. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Architecture, Computing and Engineering
AuthorsKim, S.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

Within my work, I have been interested in exploring, through detailed observation of, and collecting artifacts from, my surroundings, the effect that place and memory have on humans and their environment. I explore the various invisible stories impacted by specific places and events, and those things that exist but do not show themselves directly. Recently, using ‘placeness’—which gets its meaning from recognition and experience—as a foundation, my interest has moved towards people and places separated from their pasts due to migration and movement, disconnection and destruction, and thus that do not have this sense of ‘placeness’.

While on my doctoral programme, I went beyond simply composing my work from photographs I had taken myself, to researching and collecting a variety of materials. This was my own way of reaching times and places unreachable to me, However, having worked with the medium of photography, I came to realise the limits and difficulties of working outside the current time and beyond places I could approach directly.

I believe that my work is one way of telling a story, and is also a process of training myself to communicate with and learn about the world. I am interested in the concerns of contemporary society, as well as the connections I hold with the world, continually questioning what meaning my work has in the present, and what meaning it will come to hold as time passes.
Within this process, the present report provided me the opportunity to theorise around the fundamental ‘anxiety’ I felt as a stranger living in a foreign country and to examine my experience from an objective point of view. I searched out information on theories surrounding all types of societal outsiders and marginal men, as well as boundary areas; I was able to reflect on their definitions, and understand that the anxiety I felt was not peculiar to me.
The emotional anxiety of the foreigner, and the personal thoughts I could not express, and to which nobody would listen, went beyond a language-based problem to the structural level. The sociological theories and humanities-based definitions I researched for my Doctoral report gave me a more comprehensive understanding of these emotions.

PublisherUniversity of East London
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Publication dates
Online19 Oct 2022
Publication process dates
SubmittedJun 2022
Deposited19 Oct 2022
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