constructs a transnational architecture for conversations and collaborative research projects between artists, writers, and researchers across multiple global sites. Migratory Times is an online archive and journal that documents and builds on a year long project (2016-2017) by the Institute of (im)Possible Subjects. The project engages artists and researchers in projects and events that emphasize the times and spaces of human migration in and from a Global South perspective. The Migratory Times online space documents these projects while also building on them, inviting new works by artists, writers and researchers. The online sessions last for three months, with the inaugural session commencing on March 8, 2019. The sessions are punctuated by events, including online conversations with artists and authors, and invited commentary on published essays.
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Session #1: Translating Geographies of Displacement
We are saddened by Alanna Lockward’s passing. We met Alanna Lockward participating in the conference ‘Decolonising the museum, at Museu d’art Contemporani Barcelona in 2014. It was inspiring to hear her speak: her work on creating networks and archives for feminist and black art practices in the context of western Europe was trailblazing.
Going through the work posted here is like wandering through a mind-map of our conversations and questions during 2016-2017. It is amazing to revisit so many projects and writing that we realise now so informed our own work during this period.
El artista vive aquí / The artist lives here
In the salon conversation we connected with a group of artists trying to find a common vocabulary for addressing the nebulous links between gentrification and colonialism. The way the conversation focused on creating cartographies of displacement not just witnessed but also experienced, enabled us to think about art as a tool of analysis and resistance to historical structures of displacement – from the coloniality of knowledge to evictions and forced migrations. We remember the many comments speculating on the role of the artist not as a benevolent figure ‘intervening’ in communities, but as a member of those communities and how the incredible network building practices of those who have experienced exclusion are rarely understood to be ‘artistic’ – pointing to a further hierarchizing of knowledge. It was inspiring in this regard to see the actions and research conducted by At Lands Edge, which we encountered through Edgar Fabián Frías’ work and the video documentation of the At Land’s Edge conference.
It was also great to meet the researcher and translator Jennifer (Antena Los Angeles) during the salon and hear about her work facilitating bilingual spaces. Learning about the techniques she uses motivated us to imagine how we might contribute and convene such spaces in the future.
One thing we connected with across Migratory Times projects is a transversal focus on questions of translation – from participating in the bilingual working spaces to encountering Rolando Vasquez’s incredible text on epistemic violence, translation and erasure via the online flash reads. These encounters cultivated questions for us around translation as a network that dissolves borders – a web of commitments, locations, spaces of visibility and opacity, moments of resistance and silence as well as the right to not be translated.