Process notes for Heliotrope (manuscript in progress)
This year I gave up the idea of maps. Otherwise known as the net cast over the body of the earth for conquest.
When approaching this idea of coexistence, I found my thoughts being magnetized towards nature. Ecological doom. Water wars. Resource scarcity/ hoarding. Anthropocentrism at its finest. After being in cohort with folks and after being given some space to pick through the ways coexistence exists…I started thinking about horror.
The word coexistence has a spatial component, and implies the sharing of space or cohabitation within overlapping territories; it also has a temporal dimension, suggesting simultaneous presence with others in the same moment in time.
What happens when those same people cling to the idea of forgiveness in order for them to sleep at night? They forgave to forget. And they expect me to do the same. I have. But they give themselves the power to forgive people who are unforgivable.
As a writer, my life straddles a basic division – I’ve often found myself attempting to translate experiences I had in a different part of the world, and more tellingly, in a different language.
The Argentinian writer Jorge Borges, blind, dared to say that anything that happens to an artist that does not destroy them is a gift. I don’t know if the Chilean poet Raúl Zurita would agree that his, for instance, extreme suffering at the hands of one of the world’s ugliest regimes, led by the CIA-backed Agosto Pinochet, was a gift.
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My work starts from the premise that slavery is process that is currently ongoing, and that Black voice is always (already) constrained by a white supremacist violence that hides its destruction behind liberal ideals such as progress, The Human, multiculturalism and more.
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