“Gender Diasporist” (in progress) (historical documents, installation, text, video/audio/photo)
“Gender Diasporist” is an interdisciplinary artwork including video, installation and text, which examines ways in which the state determines the parameters of our bodies.
‘Gender Diasporist’ is an interdisciplinary project combining video, photo, vocal performance, historic documents and artifacts, using what I call ‘transsexual knowledge’ to interrogate how borders and concepts of citizenship make moral and ethical claims on our bodies. ‘Gender Diasporist’ examines ways in which the state determines the parameters of our bodies, by outlining the theocratic ‘gender recognition’ law in Poland regarding transsexuality and citizenship. I believe that both the topics of nationstate and transgender are of urgent interest. I applied for Polish citizenship as an out transsexual person of Polish-Jewish heritage. This was both a decolonial gesture, a refusal of the ‘right of return’ and an act of solidarity with feminists and LGBTQ+ allies and activists in Poland. In Poland I’ve photographed, shot footage, interviewed activists, artists, journalists, curators and human rights lawyers, as well as documented my first trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau with my uncle on the 75th anniversary of his liberation from the death camps. I also traveled to meet LGBTQ+ activists in Belarus, and with their help tracked down the house where my mother was born.
‘Gender Diasporist’ is still in progress as an interdisciplinary artwork that examines this legal process and its socio political and cultural implications, developing critical contemporary resonance(s) with issues of migration, inhabitance and border, and continues until all my identity documents have been created, as long as this process and exposition is still of use to LGBTQI activists in Poland. In the interim, choreography, inks, performances, interactive lectures and workshops are presented to raise awareness and strengthen support networks in coalition with local human rights organizations.
Soundtrack thanks in part to support from Center for Traditional Music and Dance NYC. Film, performative score, disability/access support and travel were made possible thanks to generous funding from Canada Council for the Arts | Conseil des arts du Canada, and Ontario Arts Council – Conseil des arts de l’Ontario via The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery as recommender.”Gender Diasporist” began thanks to the encouragement of and in collaboration with the Office of Human Rights and Ombudsman of Warsaw, and Trans-Fuzja, the transgender activist NGO in Poland.
Exhibition history (in-progress lectures and performances were presented at):
2023 ‘Gender Diasporist’ at Disruption Network Lab, Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin
2022 interactive performative lecture as guest of Biennale Warsawa
immersive performance of soundtrack, projections/inks, dance at Polin July 9 CANCELLED by museum admins, via text, on JULY 8, Warsaw
2022 work in progress lab at Czulent during FestivALT, Krakow
2019 ‘Gender Diasporist’ excerpt presentation – Koło Naukowo-Artystyczne “Introit” i Festiwal Sztuk Wyzwolonych, “Womens Journeys in Eastern Europe”, Artes Liberales, Warsaw, Poland
2019 Gender Diasporist excerpt presentation – MAKEOUT Belarus
Support for portions of Gender Diasporist has been granted by:
2019-20 NYSCA/Centre for Traditional Music and Dance Folk Arts Apprenticeship, NYC and Canada Council for the Arts.
This project has received travel support from Canada Council and exhibition support from Ontario Arts Council/Power Plant Exhibition Assistance program.