Virtual Connectivity through Creativity:
Diasporic Bangladeshi Women Sculpting Cultural Identity in পেন্সিল (Pencil)
Keywords:women’s identity, digital diaspora, cyberspaces, creativity
This article involves a popular Facebook group named Pencil that features creative productions from Bangladeshi people from around the world. While its basic focus is on writing, it also creates room for audio-visual productions such as songs, poetry recitation, dance, and photography. Among the contributors, a modest number is from diasporic Bangladeshi women who represent Bangladeshi culture through their artistic endeavors. The purpose of this research is to study how diasporic Bangladeshi women writers make use of the virtual platform of Pencil to express their kinship to Bangladeshi culture, as well as to carve an identity to endorse it. The prevalent discussion here is theoretical with a limited close reading of texts. While discussing the process of identity formation, this research refers to Stuart Hall’s concept of “cultural identity” to create its theoretical background. Another predominant idea of the research is the “cyberspace” provided by the Internet to diasporic subjects. The final concept is “digital diaspora” which is integral to the study of cyberspace and diaspora. Considering the debate on the ambiguous role of cyberspaces in women’s emancipation, this article argues in favor of cyberspaces by perceiving that the virtual platform promotes women’s resourcefulness.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Musarrat Shameem
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