This video was made as part of an installation of videos called Transatlantic Saudades, a project I work on with the support of the UNESCO/Aschberg bursaries program, the Instituto Sacatar artists residency in Brazil and was first exhibited in partnership with the Goethe-Institute in Johannesburg.
Working through the idea of fragmentation, I play with the opaque hard-to-pin-downness of memory through a series of vignettes, which play together in space as an installation of various pockets of memory, where things that have been subsumed continually return to the surface.
"When something is born out of such prolonged and sustained degradation of human dignity, can the resulting structures not bear traces of the permeating and pervasive traumas? A question that started forming in my mind a few weeks into my stay in Bahia and has remained with me ever since. And a question as applicable to my home in South Africa as it is to my experience of Brazil.
In this project I explore the breadth and limits of links between myself, my personal lived memories, the communal memories I claim in an African context and the degree to which I can claim a kinship to the communal pool of racialised memory I encountered in Bahia. This project plays between memories of a personal lived encounter in Bahia, which mirrors my own social positioning in South Africa, in order to create a lapse or slippages between the two spaces. It becomes a conflation of different experiences of marginality, expressed through specificities of the personal in different contexts.
The idea of memory is used as a vehicle through which to connect the personal experiential with broader historical narratives and while doing so disrupting those histories that were shaped over centuries on the Atlantic and have come to sit so firmly on my skin."
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