A university lecturer will delve deep into the identity of one of British music's most iconic figures.

Dr Barbara Mitra, principal lecturer in media and film studies at the University of Worcester, will be discussing the exploration and representation of identity in David Bowie's music.

The talk, part of The Hive's 'Out Loud' series of spring events, will begin at 7pm on Thursday, April 18.


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Attendees will gain insight into iconic characters Bowie created, such as Ziggy Stardust, and their respective challenges to gender and sexual norms at the time.

Dr Mitra will be considering specific Bowie song lyrics and music videos, offering her interpretations on what they mean, as well as reviewing some of his album covers, including The Man Who Sold The World.

Her research typically focuses on gender, particularly on body image and beauty, in media and social media.

The decision to explore Bowie's works was driven by Dr Mitra's long-standing fandom and belief in his trailblazing influence over societal norms.

Highlighting the relevance of Bowie's works, she said: "What he was really doing was saying you are not limited and that you are not defined by societal norms.

"He definitely led the way, nobody else was doing that kind of thing.

"He’s been a big influence over many artists."

In addition to delivering her insights, Dr Mitra will invite audience members to share their interpretations of Bowie's songs and their own experiences in taking inspiration from them.

The lecture will go beyond music and delve into Bowie's assertion that "your identity is in flux and it’s okay to be who you are, you don’t have to be tied to societal norms".

Dr Mitra identifies with this message, having grappled with her own identity growing up half-Indian half-Irish in London's East End.

Mira said: "Because his lyrics are sometimes obscure it allows us to fill in the details with our imagination and to connect with his songs and personas.

"Bowie highlights our ever-changing selves and allows us to be different."

Tickets for the talk are free but booking is essential, and can be found on The Hive's website (https://www.thehiveworcester.org/out-loud.html).