Action 1 – Identity

Ask yourself: is your home ground where you are in the moment? Or is your home ground an ancestral location? What has meaning for you? What is part of your identity? How can you share some form of experience of your home ground that is more than facts and figures? How can share some visceral, emotional, sensorial experience through zoom, bluejeans, email and cell phone

What is an ancestral land?

Ancestral domain or ancestral lands refers to the lands, territories, and resources of indigenous peoples, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. (

Who’s my ancestor?

Maternal and paternal

The history can be traced: Pending inquiry

How can you claim a land?

How do my ancestors put a claim on land?

Is land an entity? Can you create land? Can you relocate land?

If I trace my ancestry my father was born (the ‘60s) and brought up in Gujarat. my grandfather was a professor, born and brought up in Bombay in around the 1930s. His father was born and brought up in Anand, Gujarat. He was in the army. His father fled percussion from Rajasthan after the fall of the kingdom to the British during colonization. History before this is unknown. Does my trace for ancestry stop here?,-0.044,2.543,1.12,0 Jpeg 1

Migrating from Rajasthan to Gujarat, they imbibed the new cultures and traditions. At some point they converted to Christianity.

Also, why don’t I know more about my maternal side history? Is that because once the woman marries she has to leave her family home and everything behind.? These seem like a deliberate attempt to keep the longevity of patriarchy.

Now what do I call as ancestral land in this?

I think Gujarat is my ancestral land. Now let’s trace Gujarat history……. its history is more than 3000 years old. Now this is making me ask….. is the 3000-year history of my land a part of my ancestry? Where should I start from where should I stop? There are still structures and traditions, communities and myths and religions etc etc formed during this time that are followed worshiped, etc.

But if keep tracking and tracing I go back to before the Indus valley civilization we were Neanderthal before that probably apes?

Can I include fora and fauna in this?

Going back to the question

is your home ground an ancestral location?. The answer is yes, and it is my ancestral land.

What has meaning for you?

It gives me a sense of community and belonging. It gives me a sense of ownership. A sense of how do I preserve it? ( at the same time I ask myself do I need to preserve it?) In times when I feel lost and I look back at my ‘past,’ I see the way/purpose/survival of life is being in community, traditions, inclusiveness. It also provides context sometimes when I question myself why am I this way? or why do I behave this way? why do I think this way?

It adds to the layers of my identity

In a broader sense, what has meaning to me?

Learning new skills, trying to be sustainable, exploring abstract ideas, spending time with my friends, traveling to new places, experiencing cultures/traditions, experimenting with traditional techniques for making it useful now, socializing, helping, music, new music, making things, talking and explaining things, food, family,

What has lost meaning for you?

Capitalism, the use of money, sex, patriarchy, democracy, authority, static sexuality, mentorship, vertical architecture,

Do inherited identities create a sense of being exclusive?

Do inherited identities create violence amongst communities?

What is part of my identity?

The physical appearance is my identity. Surface and regional anatomy. biometrics

DNA is part of my identity. It contains my history and my future.

Documents: Issued by an authority validating your identity, eg. passport, PAN card, Unique identity number (aadhar card), bank account, driving license,

Digital: Facebook, Instagram, dating apps, gmail,

(they have accessed and stored tremendous information about me/us. I only partly have access to them.)

False identity: (temporary) identities I create which don’t align in reality, Identities we create to get out of a situation. Identities we create in social settings to fit in.

Emotions: emotional identities, the way I react to a certain situation. Eg. If I don’t should empathy with certain issues. I can be termed as I am made of stone. (2) If I cry to every little sad story I hear, I can be termed as ‘he is too emotional’. Etc etc.

Also when you identify that, I am a strong person, I am weak person, (emotional state)


Things that you are trained in academically, or skills you have mastered.

Designer, doctor, cobbler, cleaner, cook etc.

Personality: Personality is defined as the character sets of behaviors, cognitions, and emotional patterns that evolve from biological and environmental factors.  ( )


some questions while reflecting.

Universal identity? Can we create a universal identity?

Collective identity? what is our collective identity? how is it enforced on us?

Can we change our identity?How can we change our identity?

Can they be manipulated? (social delima)

Because of globalization and the age of the internet? The effects of it on identity? This thought came to my mind when a discussion happened about how are our identities conflicting within us. Compared to our parents.

Can identity be made/programmed?

Can we have multiple identities?

Is our identity really ours?

What would be our identity without ‘inherited identities’? (an interesting case study of the kids who were held captive since birth in the basement in Austria) ( Could it be useful for space travel)

Is identity fluid or static?

How much should I identify?

Now that we are aware of what our identities consist of, what is next? Where do we go from here with this self-awareness?

How can we reinforce identities? If we were to start a fresh colony? ( colonize mars)

As a designer how do we respond to this?


A particular community called rabari has inhabited the land I call “my ancestral land”

A playlist of Gujarati songs I enjoy.