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So, if any readers are in the Aberdeenish area, you might want to come to this:

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JONGA – look at me!

Museum of Women, Dolls and Memories

“How do you do that? Make someone love you?”

Pecola Breedlove in Toni Morrison’s Bluest Eye

Senzeni Marasela takes us on a journey through the evocation of personal memory, exploring contemporary and traditional perceptions of beauty in the wake of the 50th birthday of plastic style-icon Barbie. Senzeni investigates a society which values a doll-like physique as an ultimate attainment, and searches for the origins of Blonde Ambition. Do our childhood recollections hold the key to our self-perception? Can self-value be realised through the (re-)creation of memory?

Centering around a Barbie/Doll amnesty by the local community, the exhibition installation Jonga looks at the role of the doll and how doll-play shapes future perceptions of the bodies that we live in. Like Pecola in Toni Morrison’s book Bluest Eye, Senzeni offers us a new outlook on echoes of the mind. She questions whether a constantly changing unattainable endeavour can truly be held as a standard of what is beautiful and lovable. When we are brought up to idolise the unrealistic, how do we create an identity that is not based on fairytales?

To take part in the Barbie Amnesty

Please bring or send Barbies, dolls and redundant make-up to the Brander Library, The Square, Huntly, AB54 8BR. If you would like your well-loved Barbies returned, please label with your name, address and telephone number, and they will be sent home in the first week of April

See the website for more info and an events programme. (I’m taking part in one of the discussions, although goddess-only-knows what I’m going to say, given that the other speakers include a plastic surgeon and a woman who has had extensive plastic surgery to emulate Barbie. Any thoughts or suggestions much appreciated!)