Ambiguity of the Spatiotemporal

By: Abu Haque  

The production of social spaces of the Margin is not only ambiguous but also resembles joint or mixed experiences of what Foucault (1986) identified as 'other spaces' between utopias and heterotopias, which reify hegemonic representations through distortions (of spatial practice). On the other hand, in a postmodern narrative the copy becomes a true representation in its own right by dissolving the spatiotemporal boundary between the real and the copy (Baudrillard 2012), and hence, the misrepresentation remains true in public imagination. These spaces become ambivalent when viewed through the lens of the displaced and the migrants in the Western cultures that Bhabha (1995) termed are continuously becoming a hybrid living, which destabilizes or, at least, problematize the seemingly stable spatiotemporal existence of contesting realities (of diverse cultural groups) embodied within the limits of culture, as well, within national discourse (Foucault 1970). Therefore, analysis of these ambiguous spaces invites us to unpack them not from binary oppositions but within a triad of three: lived, perceived, and conceived spaces (Lefebvre 1991, 35) that reproduces various power dynamics of social relations. Language plays a central role within various nuances of identities: dominant, marginal, hybrid, indigenous, subaltern—where the margin struggles against the hegemonic discourse for its existence. In view of this existential split, this paper conceptualizes spatiotemporal perspective of the margin, where social spaces may not resolve the ambiguity, on the contrary, the production of these spaces reveals strange heterotopias and beyond, leaving us at the crossroads—a transformation from heterotopias to utopias—of imaginary or in-betweens.

Ambivalence, Hybrid, Spatiotemporal, Heterotopias, Margin, Discourse, Dominant, Misrepresentation, Simulacra, Culture
Media Theory
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Abu Haque

Tutorial Leader, Sociology, York University, Canada
-, Canada

I am a PhD student in the York and Ryerson Joint Graduate Program in Communication & Culture. My research interest lies in spatiotemporal practices of the margin, identity politics, media representation, cultural hegemony, politics of exclusion and Diaspora. I am also a documentary filmmaker and photographer. I was the featured artist in two solo exhibitions. My documentary was screened in Intersections Cross-sections Conference in 2017 and Princes Twin Cinema in 2014. I am interested in combining research and practice-either using creative process as means of inquiry or incorporating that in presenting the research finding. I am the winner of "The Ken Mackenzie Memorial Award" & "The Bell Media Videography Digital Media Award" for outstanding contributions.