Dreaming the Spaces In-Between


Sun. Oct 4
Z Art Space
819 Avenue Atwater (metro Lionel-Groulx)

Co-creating Pleasure in the Context of Diasporic Pain: The Arts of Embodying Presence from Absence

How does pleasure fit into the physiolgical, emotional, spiritual experience of being diasporic on Turtle Island, in the context of the embodied pain, absence, longing, and disconnect that we can find ourselves in? 

How can the "art" organic to our lives –  the  creation, imagination, and play – in the spaces, places, and times of our dreaming in between being "productive" or "visible" - between performing or working -  in the rhythms of the deep breaths we take during a bath to de-stress from racist bullshit, in our grocery shopping ruminations, in our conversations in between the workshops, in the poetry we create within ourselves on the stroll home after the performance nights, in the cutting-board and kitchen table conversations in preparation for and during our savouring of curries we've cooked for ourselves with the guidance of internet recipes found through googling the delicacies of our ancestries be used re-claim, renew, restore, re-connect with, be present within, and find home in our bodies?

In the context of a colonized, capitalist culture that individualizes, celebritizes, exploits, co-opts, celebritizes, de-contextualizes, and profits off of art and pleasure, how can we talk about and practise pleasure and art in a way that challenges colonization, capitalism, and individualization? How can centering pleasure be foundational to sustainable community and movement building and de-colonial practise?

How do we honour the deeply communal and organic way "art" and "artist" functions in indigenous societies - for example as basket and cloth weavers for the use of the community - in a "Western" context of capitalistic art where aesthetics and individual pleasure and recognition have become a central function of art?

How might romanticizing and dreaming in the present be important for *playing with* absence? And how can tactile, intentional practices allow us to re-create and renew the existence of art in our lives as ritual that is both practical and pleasurable, and in ways that honour community?

How can we use our dreams and imaginations to create presence in the context of diasporic absence, the often very material conditions of dearth in our access to people, resources and information about our ancestries and lineages, and how do notions of "originality" influence these dreams and imaginations? 

How do the impacts of colonization on our selves condition the possibilities and limitations of creating "original" art practices and selves? And how can we take on the messy process of honouring our "origins" in ways that honour their complexities, and that challenge and / or reduces the harm of how colonialism + capitalism instrumentalize "originality".

How can we honour the process of re-creating and romanticizing originality as a way to challenge our complacence with was has been stolen from us, and also as a practise of "letting go", while also acknowledging the limitations of "originality"?

We're here to explore these questions with you! 

// We seek to prioritize the participation of black, indigenous, mixed-race, and people of colour // 

Shaina is an inter-disciplinary dreamer. She dreams about the messy pleasure of unfurling tresses from pins, and making + finding love in places that are undone.

Shahir is an interdisciplinary artist, clasping onto mouldy faith and rotting diasporic roots. Enter the cave palace, and watch her overdose on the chaos of emptiness.