{ In-between }


1. situated somewhere between two extremes or categories; intermediate.
“I am not unconscious, but in some in-between state”

2. an intermediate thing.
“successes, failures and in-betweens”
(Google dictionary)

“What do I have to lose, in order to maintain a stable job and a decent life in Sweden?”
An uncomfortable yet honest question was spoken out loud by a Roma woman during the Roma Tangible Heritage Conference at Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm 2019. Carrying both the identity of being a minority and a Swedish citizen, she wonders how much she has to lose of her own Roma roots and culture, to be able to be accepted by the society in which she has been raised and educated. It seemed to me that the question reflected so many life choices with which she might have been confronted in the everyday – whether exposing herself as a Roma or acting like a ‘normal’ Swede, being alienated or assimilated, being loyal to her roots or transforming herself into the realm of normality.

Between those two extreme categories, we often tend to force ourselves to pick one side: to end internal struggles, to settle for a sense of home, to be socially accepted from at least one side. It is a survival skill that we have learnt from this social and political society. However, instead of trying to measure how much to lose by picking one side, could we actually imagine a way of being that exists between extreme categories, in which we could perceive the world from both sides and practice our social and political flexibilities? Dwelling on the in-between, therefore, comes as a proactive political statement, to reformulate our political critiques from the ground on which we stand.

“Home is that place which enables and promotes varied and everchanging perspectives, a place where one discovers new ways of seeing reality, frontiers of difference. One confronts and accepts dispersal, fragmentation as part of the construction of a new world order that reveals more fully where we are, who we can become, an order that does not demand forgetting.” (hooks 2017: 19)


Ying Sun