Confessions of a teenage afakasi Faith Wilson
Coming into adulthood has been my best performance. Starting from being a teenager, navigating home life, social life, school life, personal life, often with different personalities, I have shapeshifted. Faith Wilson was the best teen ever. She had A grades but still managed to piss off her teachers. She went to parties and smoked lots of weed and spewed in bushes and on floors at parties. She had lots of friends and was the life of the party. She lost her virginity to her boyfriend while sneaking out on a school night. She had an eating disorder that started at 16 one summer and would go on for 10 + more years.
Faith is an afakasi. She has never been white even though she felt and wanted to be white. She is brown but never felt brown, and all the PI girls at school told her she was white. Her body, its status, its size, its colour was everybody’s business. Faith wanted her body to shrink to be seen. She idealised the body of the slim white woman whilst shunning the big brown body of her mother’s. Scrawling emo quotes on her bedroom walls in amongst the thinspo and alt-rock posters, spewing into plastic bags while blasting The Strokes, and writing screeds of earnest and desperate poetry into journals, is Faith’s teenage bedroom.
Always trying to find a place for her body in the world, Faith will return to her former self in a series of two performances, a decade after her ED began, to attempt to rewrite the narrative of her body. She will turn the gallery into a remnant of her past, but instead of FTW scrawls, she will reclaim her story.
Faith Wilson is an artist and writer who currently lives in Te Whanaganui-a-Tara but hails from Tokoroa and Kirikiriroa. Her practice centres on the experience of the self, as an afakasi Samoan/Palagi female who grew up in Aotearoa. She hopes that by telling her stories, she can help others who may identify with hers.
Peace, love and resistance.