Where the Rivers Meetis a project by Onondaga artist and curator Jeff Thomas in collaboration with the Bodies in Translation (BIT) initiative: “a multidisciplinary, university-community research project that at its core, aims to cultivate and research activist art.” As BIT defines “‘activist art’ refers to: fat, aging, disability, d/Deaf, and mad art through a decolonizing lens.”
More from BIT:
Co-lead by Dr. Carla Rice (Canada Research Chair in Care, Gender, and Relationships, University of Guelph) and Dr. Eliza Chandler (School of Disability, Ryerson University, and former Artistic Director at Tangled Art + Disability), BIT sets in motion a creative and intellectual wave of leading-edge artistic creation research, technological innovation, and critical inquiry within and beyond Ontario. Blending theories and practices of disability arts, feminist arts, and community arts, this grant explores how, and to what ends, we can cultivate arts that re-figure bodies/minds of difference.
We, the researchers, artists, curators, practitioners, and community members on this grant, explore the relationship between cultivating activist art and achieving social and political justice. We believe that activist art holds the power to represent these aggrieved communities who are routinely represented as non-vital, a representation that often produces violent and even deadly effects– differently; as artistic, creative, agentive, political, community-connected, and full of vitality.