The Witness

by Zena Mbanxa

I knew one night that societal expectations of how to act or behave had corrupted my subconscious when I caught myself being embarrassed by how I was dancing whilst alone in my room. 

This realisation sparked the thought, “Why am I embarrassed to be dancing carelessly, when there is no one here to see me do it?” These thoughts on how I had internalised a sense of omniscient dystopian surveillance led to my creation of The Witness

Someone is watching you! 

This is the central theme behind my installation. The Witness comments on the idea of an ever-present watcher in one’s life, whether that be an outside force in the form of surveillance cameras, being captured in the background of a stranger’s photo, or an internal projection of societal judgement that manifests itself in more unique subconscious ways, such as self-policing or self-surveillance.