Claire McGee

Claire McGee

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Biography

Claire is a postgraduate researcher with an interdisciplinary interest in global material and visual cultures. Her thesis ‘Communitas in Your Pocket: The Construction of Visual Identity in the Botswana Heavy Metal Scene’ (working title) employs an interdisciplinary approach to global material and visual cultures. The project concentrates on social media images and the visual archive of the Marock heavy metal subculture produced during the Covid-19 pandemic. In the Marock scene, originating from Botswana, members style themselves with a distinctive heavy metal aesthetic drawing on cowboy imagery, with some parallels elsewhere on the continent. Using Art Historical and Anthropological methods, Claire’s research demonstrates how Marock participants use costuming, and performance, creating meaningful identities, and a strong sense of community; and how their adopted Wild West aesthetics recognise their familial cattle-herding heritage, playing an important role in the self-fashioning of the scene. This research aims to develop the study of visual and material culture in Botswana, at the same time challenging some long-standing images of Africa. More widely, her research touches on themes such as subcultural identities, costuming and performance; death and commemoration; as well as social media and digital communities.