As part of FUSE’s popular States of Postcoloniality series, the artists and writers in this issue explore decoloniality in aesthetic practice across the Americas and the Caribbean. Produced in partnership with the e-fagia organization.
Featuring: Berlin REED; Miguel ROJAS-SOTELO; Gordon Brent INGRAM; Heidi McKENZIE; the TRANSNATIONAL DECOLONIAL INSTITUTE; Naufus RAMÍREZ-FIGUEROA; David GARNEAU; Julie NAGAM; Kency CORNEJO; Leah DECTER and Carla TAUNTON; Gita HASHEMI, Tannis NIELSEN and Maryam TAGHAVI
At this time of year when temperatures are at their lowest and the sun peeks only half-heartedly over the southern horizon, many minds and some bodies in Canada turn to the south. At the same time, many people in the Caribbean look longingly, if ambivalently, toward North America. The International Monetary Fund and other branches of global capitalism’s police force have fostered large-scale un- and underemployment in the Caribbean, and have torn mercilessly at what little safety net existed.
In this issue, most of the texts share concern, anxiety or frustration with the limits and borders of collective identity. Such contested terrain is the location of some of the most pressing concerns of this new decade, and is prime FUSE territory. As usual, our writers don’t hesitate to ask hard questions, revealing not only vexing problems of identity, but provocative alternatives to conventional models.
Last March, a considerable number of artists, curators and cultural workers from Canada and abroad added their names to an open letter addressed to Marc Mayer, Director of the National Gallery of Canada, for a series of comments he made during a CBC report on diaspora art and the cultural politics of public institutions (CBC, “Diaspora Art,” The National, February 2, 2010). Mayer’s comments to reporter Jelena Adzic can be summarized with the following quote: “Our real mandate is excellence. We do think about diversity, however… We put on what we find in the Canadian art scene that is excellent and we’re blind to colour or ethnic background, or even whether you were born in Canada, we don’t care. (…) We’re looking for excellent art. We don’t care who makes it.”