Self-isolating during lockdown and solo living—with sometimes nowhere to go apart from memories and clearing the closet—reminded me of The Dressing Up Box and watching the quietly but resolutely ethical Mr. Benn TV animation programme from the early 1970s (his adventures were always real, never fantasies). Throwing in to the mix a love of photographers August Sander, Cindy Sherman (plus a bit of Village People) and a curiosity about self-portraiture (invention? projection? masks?), playing with roles, clothes and identities and capturing them all seemed a more immediate way of thinking and reflecting and communicating than writing with footnotes. I hope they trouble investments in the valourising of ‘the authentic’ and trouble boundaries of lightness and depth.
Daniel Monk is Professor of Law at Birkbeck, University of London. His research explores ideas and debates about childhood, families, education and sexuality, in a variety of contexts and draws on a range of methods. His two current research projects are a study of the impact of royal divorces on the institutions of marriage and monarchy and an examination of the regulation of school dress codes. http://www.bbk.ac.uk/law/our-staff/monk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org