A Thousand of Him, Scattered: Relative Newcomers in Diaspora is curated by Mother Tongue, a research-led curatorial project formed by CCW PhD student, Jessica Carden, and Birkbeck PhD student, Tiffany Boyle, in response to individual periods of investigation in northern Scandinavia and West Africa. The project participated on the 2011/12 CuratorLab programme at Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design [Stockholm]. Carden’s PhD investigates the Arctic as a region which can be viewed as literally and symbolically ‘white,’ it is essential to realise, as Henry Morley states, that the Arctic was as much ideological as physical terrain, one on which Britons could stage debates about domestic and imperial identities, far from British and colonial shores. The exhibition is showing at Stills, Scotland’s Centre for Photography, in Edinburgh
The exhibition journeys through themes of storytelling and biography to examine how individuals relate to their diasporic status and its daily realities. Through the work of six international artists – three showing in Scotland for the first time – stories and links are told and travelled from Luanda to Tel Aviv, Togo to Helsinki. Each work differently reflects the history of diaspora as a concept, and the simultaneous utility and redundancy of it as a term describing a shared experience away from the homeland. The confrontation and resistance, dejection and upheaval, affirmation and attachments made visibly on show, urge us to (re)think and define ideas of belonging and citizenship in the present and for the future. Artists in the exhibition are Edgar Arceneaux, Yael Bartana, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Bouchra Khalili, Maud Sulter and Milja Viita.
The accompanying publication – produced in collaboration with TrAIN: Research Centre for Transnational Art Identity and Nation at University of Arts London – will be released mid-show, including contributions from John Akomfrah, Sezgin Boynik, David Dibosa, Lubaina Himid and Cinthya Lana and featuring the poetry of the Scottish-Ghanaian artist and poet Maud Sulter.
The Private View is on Friday 18 April, 6 – 8pm, and the exhibition is open Saturday 19 April – Sunday 20 July 2014. Stills: Scotland’s Centre for Photography is free and is open every day 11am – 6pm.
A Thousand of Him, Scattered: Relative Newcomers in Diaspora is kindly supported by Creative Scotland; FRAME Finnish Fund for Art Exchange; The Craignish Trust; The Tannahill Fund at the University of Glasgow; TrAIN: Research Centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation; Middle Eastern Film Festival Edinburgh; French Institute London and The Devil’s Advocate Bar & Kitchen in collaboration with Hendricks Gin, Monkey Shoulder and Reyka Vodka.