Artist Statement

The primary focus of my research is to investigate and explore melancholia in diaspora using decolonial methods and a return to ancestral knowledge and practices. Through objects and memories that are both intimate and nomadic, I wish to consider the effects of assimilation and fragmentation that migrant experiences hold and center the diasporic body as a fragmented and hybrid archive of dualities. Using interdisciplinary practices that mix realities and center performative film, installations, embroidery, digital collage, poetry and short stories, my work is a play on expectations and translations of racialized and migrant bodies. I attempt to tell stories about ritual, hair braiding, symmetry, pattern and discipline. Stories about mothers and grandmothers, about monsters, about memory, about loss and longing. I aim to empower racialized bodies through ritual while celebrating symbols of beauty like the brown skin and the black braid that have been undermined by colonialism, wielding ancestral knowledges as a way of offering, of healing, and of sharing. My work makes note of oppressive structures and attempts to creatively present colonial damage by creating decolonized safe spaces of healing while privileging the examination of diaspora through multiple, diverse, and intersubjective lenses. It is a blatant celebration of the differences in media and interdisciplinarity to “disrupt” the white cube rhetoric through decoration while evoking a sense of feeling “at home” to honor the mother, the motherland, the mother tongue and rituals lost to the onslaught of overwhelming eurocentrism and patriarchal colonialism. The eventual loss and longing felt by racialized and migrant bodies become the overarching themes, focal point and love language of my research and art practice.

Key words: diasporic melancholia, hybridity, archive, mother, decolonial, home

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