Clips from a presentation Jamika Ajalon presented at the Now Not Now conference in Arts Academy vienna. For more info about this work in progress and other w…
Those forced to wait or startled by violence, whose activities do not show up on the official time line, whose own time lines do not synchronize with it, are variously and often simultaneously black, female and queer. More specifically, as numerous scholars have recognized, bourgeois-liberal entities from nations to individuals are defined with in a narrow chronopolitics of development at once reacialized, gendered and sexualized. (Elizabeth freemen)
.’women of colour’ might be understood as a cyborg identity, a potent subjectivity synthesized from fusions of outsider identities and in the complex political-historical layerings of her ‘biomythography’, Zami” (Dana Haraway).
“outside your timezone/ a stranger in a strange land/
NOWHERE is my home” jamika ajalon
WOC, (women of color) and their narratives- spoken, written, and lived, disrupt the “official” chrono-political timeline which concretize historical presents (read ‘modern times’) and futures. Her intersectionality not only allows her the skills to navigate portals into different possible futures, but allows her access to different ‘time-zones’ within each passing moment. Pulling from ideas put forward in my paper Fugitive Archetypes of Resistance (FAR): a Metamorphical Narrative, I will reference, among others, the works of Tony Morrison, Octavia Butler, and the legendary General Harriet Tubman to explore ideas around ‘re memory’ and the ‘re telling’ of pasts and presents as a function of mental and cellular time travel. I will attempt to show how, WOC, as eccentric futurist, under the totem of FAR, are time travelers, predicting and producing fantastical futures through recreating the ‘fantastic’ in her own image.
As an historically displaced people, we have written about and incorporated into our folklore music, literature, etc the desire for space travel in an effort to find ‘home’ , or a place were we ‘exist’ . Often ‘home’ rests in the domain of re-memory. Re- memory differs from memory in that it is a re-emerging of a past that has not only been repressed by an individual but subjugated and hidden inside a dominant chronopolitics. A kind of mental and cellular time travel is necessary to recover a truth which decentralizes dominant chronology, to reveal a timeline that reflects a deviant understanding of our collective presents and possibilities of our collective futures.
I would like to suggest ‘home’ in this context can refer to a transient temporality, that is a place where ‘one exists now’ and at any given moment in time. WOC’s intersectionality ensures subjectivities which are constantly moving, not only changing over time, but transversing and transcending time and space, like an inter-dimensional nomad. WOC, as artists academics etc, have established that we speak in many tongues, that our subjectivities are in constant negotiation, a constant state of flux and therefore, ‘becoming’. As we move, (not unlike migrating vegetation), we leave memory seeds behind. These seeds fall in unsuspecting places, later creating spontaneous ‘settlements’ of resistance.
The potency of a WOC resister is so charged with anomalies to the Dominant Order of all things, that she must be erased and or encased in unthreatening boxes if she is indeed to be a part of History, to exist in/ on the Grand Narrative’s timeline. “THE” future is negotiated via careful control of our histories and so called defining moments of the present as articulated and re-articulated thru a deluge of media and media mediated simulacra— both presented as fiction (i.e. in movies) or fact (news and other factual or documentary based media)
In light of this I will take contemporary images which pull on ‘historical references’ (i.e. Lincoln the Vampire Killer, and They called her Moses (on the life general Tubman) and interpose them with narratives that come from the directly lived,and imagined experiences of WOC. I will do this through audio visual anti-lecture which will include spoken word, sonic land scape and looped images to articulate the disruption of the normative timeline via the dissonance of WOC narrative.