Hi! My name is Frances and I am a passionate and pessimistic seventeen year old.
I was born in Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand (the largest and most disliked city in the country). I live in the same house I have always lived in, in the suburbs of central Auckland. The city is green and grey. There is a strong and diverse spoken word poetry scene, rap scene, and other stuff like that.
I am currently in my final year of high school, where I study History, English, Media Studies, Statistics and Biology. When I finally graduate I plan on completing an Arts degree, unless I become masochistic enough to take an Arts-Law Conjoint. My ideal degree would encompass Political Science, Philosophy, Gender Studies, English, Sociology and Anthropology all by itself.
At the very least, my dream job would enable me to create positive changes to the environment and people’s lives. This can obviously be done in many ways. I would most like to become an environmental lawyer – just without having to take a Law degree – or a documentary maker. I am inspired by the actions of my favourite prankster activist group The Yes Men, which are immortalised in their witty, engrossing and withering documentaries. I would like to make films of a similar style if I turn out to have any directorial talent.
In my spare time, I like to play the bass, read poetry, long dismal epics or Tank Girl comics, write and listen to music. My favourite authors are Audre Lorde, Franz Kafka, Yoko Ono, Kurt Vonnegut, and those within the Beat Generation. I also like films by Andrei Tarkovsky and Greta Gerwig. As I have grown older I have become enamoured with anything that involves concepts of absurdism and/or futility, as well as exploring every corner of queer theory. I have also found that I can’t stop seeing myself in Byronic characters.
Being raised by an art historian and a musician/artist, I have visited more art galleries than I have museums. My favourite is Auckland’s Gus Fisher Gallery. In April-June 2019, the exhibition We’re Not Too Big to Care focused on mass consumption, alienation and loss within the contemporary melodrama of late capitalism. My favourite work was Cao Fei’s Asia One (2018), a film following the poignant experiences of two remaining human workers in a cavernous fully automated warehouse. I was struck by the damning realism of the film, which was elevated by inventive and surreal touches, as well as its flawless execution.
I believe it is highly important to not only embrace the true intersectionality of girls and girlhood, but also the intersectionality of human experiences and identities. This means considering diverse and diverging gender, cultural, heritage, social and economic backgrounds as an integral part of our understanding of girlhood – that there are as many girlhoods as there are girls.
– Frances Belt
Girl Museum Inc.