Monday, June 12, 2006
In the novel ms, I've been playing with historical coincidences, and at this point in the second section, the lead character is attending a boarding school in Jhansi run by german nuns, this just around the time of the onset of the second world war. Was wondering what it would have been like for these nuns (this convent based on a historical reality) living in india where there was all this anti-british/quit-india sentiment at the same time as the country was allying itself with its colonizing rulers against axis aggression. A line from Casablanca came to mind when Bogart/Rick is telling Bergman/Ilsa that he remembers the very details of when he last saw her (before she abandoned him at the platform) where he says, "The Germans wore grey; you wore blue." And so, I suppose, what with longings for juxtaposition and moving in and out of historical and present realities, here i have photographic play, blue clad and painted on feet, grey passing over and obscuring mountains. Blue & Grey. And spaces in between.
Saturday, June 03, 2006
Sharanpal Ruprai and I presented some of the ongoing research for the "Distillery" project at a SSHRC-organized session at this year's Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences. There were two days of presentations from those of us who hold the relatively new research/creation grants that supports artist-researchers in their work. We talked a bit about the history of the project, the various elements that are being woven together, or will weave together over the next two years. I explained that the priority for me was to finish the novel -- indeed, that is what the Banff arts residency is for me, an opportunity to write pretty much uninterrupted, a desire ironized by having to pick up in the middle to talk about the project itself! (But my short-term goal is to write 50 pages from when i return to banff Saturday afternoon, until i have to re-engage the calgary scene 72 hours later to attend Larissa's phd post-defense celebration -- I'll count on those out there reading this blog to keep me to that!). I also said that as I was pushing out bits and pieces of the novel, these intrepid research assistants -- Sharanpal, Rubeena, Bill -- were pushing and playing with elements of material representation, that is, how this novel might inhabit the gallery space in some fashion. The photo above is of a macquette built by Rubeena and Bill and videotaped (with an iSight camera, I believe, which was small enough to navigate the tiny spaces of the sculpture), representing a section of the novel where Jamshed explores notions of choice and free will. In reflection, I think such representative work is too direct and not enough caught in the imagination and language, but this is the way to proceed, by experimentation and re-angling ourselves. For a not-so-virtual experience, here's a quicktime walkthrough of the macquette.
Friday, June 02, 2006
A few photos from Toronto and the Congress conference up at York. To the left, at the Intercontinental Hotel, OmiSoore, new academic co-ordinator of the Toronto Women's Bookstore; photogrpher and visual artist, Abdi; and OISE Canada Research Chair, Rinaldo Walcott. Below, the buzz of Yonge Street (that's Sharanpal Ruprai and David Chariandy). And below that, me and Sharanpal -- we presented on the "Distillery" project at a SSHRC-organized panel at Congress this year. Down further, that's the registration site, second photo from the bottom, at York University. And at the bottom, sunlight glistening off of Sharanpal's toenail polish!
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Here at the Griffin poetry awards dinner, waiting nervously for the results to be announced. Me, i express a pref for Mouré for the can poetry award, and Braithwaite for the international. Will post the results, with elation or sanguine, later....
From Toronto, -ashok...
The results now posted -- Legris took the Canadian, and Braithwaite did, indeed, get the international... Here, the press release for the event.
Canada Research Chair in Cultural and Artistic Inquiry
Thompson Rivers University