Jaz Rogers is a 25 year old graffiti and street artist, who has lived in Bideford all his life. His parents came from Hertfordshire to North Devon around twenty years before Jaz was born. Jaz’s mother is White British and his father is from St Kitts. Jaz believes he is probably the first Black child born in Westward Ho!.
Jaz has found that it has taken him a long time to express his work and identity in terms of his artistic capabilities. This has been made possible by the growing realisation that his identity is defined by “what I do, more than my skin tone”
“A lot of people have this … the colour of your skin comes before your name. So someone is trying to relate to who you are. They say, ‘Black Jaz’, or whatever. And that’s what it’s always been. ‘Ginger Sally, from round the corner’ and things like that, identifying people by their differences. But slowly it’s starting to change more, people have started to call me ‘Graffiti Jaz’. It’s a new identity, I guess. If you can form your identity for yourself, once you make a big enough impression, and people will actually take notice of you. They don’t care about identifying you for just your differences, rather than something that really stands out about who you are.”
Listen to highlights from Jaz’s interview below:
Listen to Jaz’s full interview here:
Click Jaz’s image to read the transcript of his interview: