A little about me…
My name is…..well that’s not as straightforward as it seems…. Currently my name is Davina Wilson but I’m starting to use my maiden name again particularly when I’m writing. I suppose that makes me Davina Vencatasamy right now. Even though I was divorced three years ago, I chose not to change my name for a couple of reasons. both of those reasons are related to race. I didn’t want to have a different name to my children; the trauma of dealing with victimisation at airports is something I will avoid if I possibly can. The other reason is that I know having an anglicized name is of benefit to me. Not only do I not have to spell it out ALL the time but I know that I can strip away a layer of ‘fight’ before I have to face people’s unconscious bias. On the phone, making appointments, registering for services, making complaints, filling out forms, applying for jobs; all those little things people take for granted if they don’t have a name that looks or sounds ‘foreign’. For a more in-depth look at names, take a look at the blog page under ‘Names’ (unsurprisingly!).
I have recently undergone somewhat of a transformation in my thinking about life, the universe and everything and because there is this opportunity to share that here, this website / blog was born.
I am a music therapist (for more information about music therapy visit www.bamt.org) and having been working as such since I qualified in 2006. Over that time I have worked in a wide variety of fields ranging from early years work to dementia. For now, this aforementioned transformation has been mostly around the realisation that I am brown. Weird right? You’d think I know given that my skin colour hasn’t changed since birth. However, because of the way I was brought up, and because of the lack of representation in my current profession, I have had little or no representation throughout my life which has resulted in my hegemony and the belief that I fit in – that I belonged. Brexit was a rude awakening and I have recently written an article all about this.
My personal transformation aside, the discourse around race and music has been brought sharply into the spotlight with some real conviction. I am now more aware of the structural and systemic issues that effect people of colour in music therapy and academia. I plan to take this new found knowledge and use it to change the world. Change the music therapy world at least. It has to start somewhere and with me, it all starts here.
I am currently working on compiling a ‘fit for purpose’ EDIB training incorporating all the different issues I’ve come across as someone with lived experience of racism and oppression. In the meantime, I am working on consultancy work in embedding EDIB practices within organisations at grassroots level and providing solution based discussion opportunities at every level to help others understand the need for equitable work practices.