The Name Project seeks to understand how our names shape our character and the role it plays in our identity.
Some reflect our cultural backgrounds.
Others are indicative of our parents’ values, interest and ideologies.
This week's Name Project features DJ Ayes Cold or as named by her mother, Ayesha. While Ayesha has been "laying the vibes" at parties since college, the experiences with her name has in effect sent many varying vibes her way. Some that have helped her to see herself through other's perspectives, essentially gaining an understanding of the cultural perspectives from which those social interactions stemmed. "The DJ name that I've chosen is not really indicative of my culture. So my whole life, I've had a name thats marked me or placed me culturally. Right? Ayesha. There's no way I can pass as not "other" in the U.S. There's no way. Whether people thought of me as South Asian or Muslim, there's no way, I was always sort of marked by that name. And defined in people's eyes and minds. With a name like Ayes Cold though it's interesting... I introduce myself often as Ayes Cold, it's interesting because it doesn't hold the same cultural weight, in fact, it doesn't. And that's interesting because it's a name that's kind of culturally ambiguous. That's an interesting space to exist in actually because I never...well I guess, I'm clearly a brown woman and culturally ambiguous to the extent where someone could think I was Dominican, Egyptian or a variety of other cultures, but "other" with a capital 'O.' But basically I never really felt culturally ambiguous. It's always been very clear that I am a South Asian brown woman. But now with a name like Ayes Cold it's interesting because when people see me on bills or see my name in writing, they don't know it's a brown girl coming to the party, that's always fun."
We all have a name that subsequently has a story. Here is Ayesha's name story.
Directed and shot by Antoinette Brock. Post production/editing by http://fromforeign.co