MamaFuel: The Podcast

EP027: Sharlene Lopez on identity, racism and otherisation in the midst of motherhood

September 17, 2018

We have four nationalities in our family, and it often makes for interesting conversations when people ask "where are you from?" Today's guest has four nationalities wrapped up in her one being, and earlier this month she decided to step into one of her nationalities more fully.

Sharlene Lopez was born to a Scottish mother of Irish descent and an Iraqui father, adopted by a loving British family and educated in Catholic private schools. To say she's the nexus of many influences doesn't begin to cover it. Living in the British countryside with her Argentine husband and two boys, Sharlene has often felt a bit "other" in her village.

Troubled by the racism she's always seen in British society and feeling the plight of immigrants to her country, Sharlene recently decided to explore that "otherness" by, as she puts it, "trying on" one of her identities. She chose to embrace her Iraqui heritage and live for a month as an immigrant Iraqui muslim woman. She learned to wear a hijab and abaya and has been experiencing life very differently as she runs her business, parents her kids and shows up in her relationship and her community.

Listen to today's episode and be sure to join Sharlene and I in The Centered Mama Project's Facebook group to join the conversation after the episode. It's sure to get you thinking.