Negotiating cultural identity through the arts: Fitting in, third space and cultural memory | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 3, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1757-1936
  • E-ISSN: 1757-1944



The article examines ways in which arts-based educational approaches were applied to a group of African descendant youth in Western Australia, as a way of understanding challenges to their bicultural socialization and means to developing their bicultural competence. Drawing on African cultural memory as a cultural resource enabled participants to discover the relevance of African cultural memory and embodied knowledge to their bicultural socialization and bicultural competence. The article challenges the argument that successful integration into dominant culture is only possible when migrants remain focused on acquisition of dominant cultural values – ‘Fitting in’. The African Cultural Memory Youth Arts Festival (ACMYAF) offered an alternative conception of successive integration as a process inclusive of creative appropriation and revaluation of ancestral culture through cultural memory. The festival became a third space through which the participants explored embodied knowledge and African cultural memory towards a positive self-concept and bicultural competence.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): African Youth; arts; cultural identity; cultural memory; migration; third space
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