Bethan Cooke is an emerging curator and writer currently based in Manchester, UK. She has recently completed her masters in Contemporary Curating at Manchester School of Art, with her dissertation focusing on psychogeographic explorations of the city through the work of female artists. Prior to her masters study, she received her bachelors degree in History of Art from Goldsmiths. Her research interests include how identity, both individual and collective, is formed and influenced by society and our surroundings. Working from a feminist and Marxist perspective, she is interested in how our unconscious thoughts and desires shape the way we view and represent ourselves and others in our current neoliberal society, and the possibilities for this to change.
During my time in in Vienna, I hope to carry out deeper research into how we build identity in the present day, particularly in relation to the spaces we inhabit. In turn, how do our individual and collective identities affect our perception of these spaces? As the popularity of right-wing politics increases across the world, those marginalised due to their race, gender, sexuality, and religion, amongst other aspects of their existence, must find a way to construct and celebrate their identity in a way that feels hopeful. In the neoliberal age, in which our worth is decided by our contribution to capitalist society, must we look to history in order to move beyond this, or can we now look to the future?