Tapestries: Interwoven voices of local and global identities


Statement of Purpose: This essay represents a continuation of work that I was fortunate enough to be able to begin while I was studying abroad at the University of Cape Town in South Africa during the spring 2022 semester. Beyond this, however, this paper represents an exploratory dive into the spatial humanities, particularly with regard to architecture, history, and landscape–an interest of mine that has developed (and which I hope to pursue more [in/ex]tensively in my graduate studies) as I have had the opportunity to learn from Professor Walter Greason, one of my mentors here at Macalester College. Throughout this work, I weave together anecdote and a broad host of theory in order to expose insidious spatial violences I saw and moved throughout during my time in South Africa, and to consider what alternative negotiations of space–which I also witnessed–refute these violences. Finally, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge that this essay, as is the case with all writing, is a fundamentally collaborative project: I would not have been able to complete it if not for the support and brilliance of those who I have been fortunate enough to work with and learn from. I am indescribably grateful for my peers in the senior seminar; for my mentors at Macalester College (Professors Walter Greason and Duchess Harris; and Hana Dinku) and the University of Cape Town (Drs. Shari Daya and Natasha Vally); and for all of my family and close friends.

Author Biography

Benjamin Perry Levy (they/them &/ he/him) is a senior at Macalester College, expecting to graduate in May 2023, majoring in American Studies and minoring in Political Science. Reminded by their mother and maternal grandmother growing up to “never forget their people” and where they come from, Levy’s upbringing in Kingston, JA; Tulsa, OK; and Beloit, WI has fundamentally shaped how they engage with community and academic life–with interests ranging from the relationship between memory, new media, and Afrofuturism; spatial justice and architectural theory; to Black aesthetics and politics. After graduation, they will move to Washington, D.C., to work for a year before heading to graduate school.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License