Can you give some background to each of your projects which made up the ‘Embodied Lines’ exhibition?
Rosa: My project is basically exploring how Latin American migrant women in England experience intimate and state forms of violence, in particular, what I call intimate border violence. So how the immigration system at the national level is perpetrating violence, but also creating a conducive context for intimate partners to perpetrate further forms of violence by producing an unbalance in power that allows them to abuse migrant women.
But I also explore how women have resisted this violence in communities, across spaces and also through the borders, by crossing them and by staying in this country, by sometimes having to stay in abusive relationships, surviving until they have the resources to leave.
As part of this, I worked with the Latin American Women's Aid and invited survivors to map their bodies. In feminist geography, especially in decolonial feminist geography, we talk about the body as the first scale. It is a territory of dispute, but also one which we can self-determine and where we can resist.
Ivana: My project, ‘Puzzling: The Sensory Politics of Infrastructure’, seeks to recompose the voices, and geographies of Indigenous “1948-Palestinians” – descendants of those who stayed on their lands in 1948 with the establishment of Israel. It looks at how their lives have been fragmented by high-level infrastructures developed close to their towns.
Using a multi-sensory approach, which includes participatory photography and collaborative filmmaking, it examines the coloniality of infrastructure in relation to capitalism, race, gender and mobility.
The struggles over infrastructural development plans have fostered collective forms of service provision and communal arrangements of property, but historically these have been neglected by the categorisations and mapping of colonial powers. As such it’s opened up forms of self-recognition and Indigenous sovereignty.
Hana: ‘Endz n’ Out’ explores the impacts of urban regeneration and gentrification on young people’s mental health and wellbeing in South London.
A lot of people are now talking about how gentrification is affecting Black and Brown people across London. These communities are being physically, psychologically and culturally displaced and erased through regeneration programmes.
Even in these conversations, young people are rarely heard despite the fact they not only have to grow up in these neighbourhoods but have also had to live through a decade of austerity that has actively disinvested and undermined all the support and services they need.
The project centres the experiences of eight young researchers, as well as their own social analysis to challenge the story behind regeneration and to re-think how space can be re-designed.