January 27, 2019

What is the true value of authenticity?

Emily Fulton


The young people of my own generation have been characterised by a collective crisis of identity. We focus so much on authenticity and yet also are possessed by a need to cultivate ourselves, to construct our own ideal identities which we then project to the world.

The question of whether it is possible to retain any sense of authentic self (and indeed, what constitutes an authentic identity) in an environment where we are barraged with questions and demands which instil a deep distrust in both ourselves and our society, is key.

In this story, a sinister interviewer at once highlights and contributes to the insecurities of an anonymous candidate, who is never heard from.

I wished to play with the idea of the uncanny: a familiar interview setting swiftly descends into a seemingly nonsensical monologue; hopelessness and humour coexist in an unsettling and relatable situation.

Finally, as well as questioning the nature of authentic and preformative identities, I also wanted to ask whether in our fixation with the self we are missing the point entirely.