Welcome to session #2 of the online space Migratory Times, “Silhouettes.”
Silhouettes are made by amateurs, artists, alike, and even cast as a shadow in the everyday. A silhouette is a shadow, profile, miniature cuttings, shadow portrait, illuminating a relationship between light and dark. Utilized by artists and activists alike, the mobilization of the silhouette in the visual has, as described by Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw, the capability to image race and “otherness.” Some silhouettes are iconic – where the relationship between the light and dark have captured local and global imaginaries. Kara Walker’s paper silhouettes tell a story of the US south as one shaped by violence, both sexual and racial. The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, an association formed in the 1970s, drew awareness to the disappearances occurring during the Argentinian dictatorship (1976 – 1983). Through shadows, the place with light and dark, outlines, silhouettes speak. As this session illuminates, silhouettes manifest in intentional and unintentional actions by artists, community members, scholars, and producers. The image that is created through the interplay and production of light and dark, speaks to coloniality and oppression. As described by Maria Lugones, “Given the coloniality of power, I think we can also say that having a dark and a light side is characteristic of the co-construction of the coloniality of power and the colonial/modern gender system” (2007).
This session includes events that occurred since 2017. It includes a Salon of the Institute of (Im)Possible Subjects with Pedro Pablo Gomez, that occurred in March 2017 – transcripts and audio of the salon are featured. This session also features pedagogical conversation, a Salon with the Institute of (Im)Possible Subjects – Silhouettes: Migration, (Un)Documented, and Pedagogies, where IiS members Fukushima and Benfield facilitated discussions surrounding the work of Sonia Guiñansaca and artist and muralist Ruby Chacón, and invited Crystal Baik, Jose Manuel Cortez, Cindy Cruz, Marie Sarita Gaytan and Juan Herrera. Silhouettes include the contributions of the artist Kakyoung Lee and her work from the “Barbed Wire Series” which consists of a series of prints, multi-channel moving-image installation, and a cat’s cradle shadow installation. Stills from Kiri Dalena’s Arrays of Evidence Installation, are showcased, in which this project was also contributor to the Migratory Times Project. Also included are images and the video, “Christmas in our Hearts” by RESBAK (RESpond and Break the silence Against the Killings), a collective of artists, media practitioners, and cultural workers that unite to condemn in the strongest possible terms the Duterte regime’s brutal war on drugs. In the Spirit of Itzpaplotl, Venceremos, introduces a feminist collaboration between artist and painter, Ruby Chacón, photographs by Flor Olivo, and feminist scholarly research by Dr. Sonya Alemán. Additionally, featured video and images produced through “Women in Migration” (2017) which consisted of a collaboration between the Institute of (Im)Possible Subjects (IiS) with the University of Utah Museum of Fine Arts A.C.M.E. session featuring IiS members Dalida Maria Benfield, Damali Abrams, and Annie Isabel Fukushima, and collaborations with UMFA Jorge Rojas and Emily Izzo and Utah community members Romeo Jackson, Maria, Yehemy, Veronica, Alejandra, Ashley, Jean, Alex, Akiva, Kylee, Andrew, and Christina. Therefore, Silhouettes is an invitation to scholars, artists, visual producers, the everyday person, to submit works that speak to the coloniality and oppression through the silhouette.
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Session #2: Silhouettes
Translating Geographies of Displacement, a workshop in Copenhagen
Translating Geographies of Displacement
A workshop organized by Jane Jin Kaisen and Dalida María Benfield
Convened by Migratory Times, the Institute of (im)Possible Subjects, For More Than One Voice, and at land’s edge
Dec. 9, 2016 12 – 15:00
Blågårdsgade 29 A-E, 2200 København N
How are migratory voices being heard? And where? Who has the right/space to speak? How are we, collectively, responding to the politics of voice in relation to current restrictions on being able to inhabit space and to voice/speak? Sharing ideas and knowledge in multiple dialogical modes, among others a collective performative reading and a cartography of our shared situated knowledge, this workshop will reflect on spaces and rights; displacements and resistance.
This workshop was conceived as a conversation with Geographies of Displacement, held in Los Angeles on Dec. 15, 2016, organized by at land’s edge, an autonomous pedagogical platform based in East and South Los Angeles. at land’s edge nurtures the voices of cultural producers who are committed to social transformation.
Geographies of Displacement asks: How might the gentrification that is taking place in Los Angeles be historicized within legacies of colonialism and related to processes of displacement taking place globally?
We ask: How do these ideas translate to the geographies of our displacements and to the contexts of Copenhagen?
The discussions that emerged from Geographies of Displacement and Translating Geographies of Displacement contributed to Migratory Times, a translocal architecture constructed by the Institute of (im)Possible Subjects to facilitate artists’ projects, research, and dialogues on migration and displacement. Over the course of 2016-17, Migratory Times facilitated learning circles in collaboration with artists, researchers, and local communities as well as through virtual networks.