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mini-zine issue 1.0

On resigning from the diaspora Mitra Fakhrashrafi


Table of contents 1. about 3. a love letter to the diaspora 3. photo-essay on home and/or lack thereof 4. closing.

about on resigning from the diaspora Through poetry and prose, Gloria Anzaldúa speaks to the danger of diminishing the violent reality of borders and border regimes to metaphors. I am thus looking to understand border violence beyond metaphors by examining the ways in which border imperialism and state exclusion very directly impact bodies and notions of “belonging.” I am looking for ways to talk about revolution, war, and settler colonialism while being both dislocated and continuously a part of both at the very same time. I am looking for ways to understand

why

“identity

politics”

continue

to

fail

me

as

a“mixed-

race”/muslim/queerish/woman and I am (attempting to) build space for more complicated and nuanced understandings of “diaspora”and “home”…


“if i wrote a love letter to the diaspora it would break every word count undo every border erase every dictionary definition unravel every noun/verb/adjective and then it would unwrite itself no colonial tongue was made to describe or translate or sustain the pain

trauma

love

that is lived with every fractured severed healing diasporic breath” — another fucking poem about finding “home” in “third space”


on home and/or lack thereof How do we understand multiple displacements, (un)belongings and processes of exclusion as always already inter/connected? How do we understand irooni exile and forced displacement by way of amerikan imperialism as directly linked to ongoing settler colonialism on turtle island? By pairing family photos alongside Maryam Zandi’s classic photojournalism documenting the Iranian Islamic Revolution of 1979, I explore these complexities in relation to “identity” and “home.” Photography and photographs act as a means of bringing the past closer to the present and thus the layering of images acts as a means of specifically understanding the present as distinctly connected to the past.

(wearing hijab in toronto to “feel” more irooni vs. irooni women protesting mandatory hijab policies in Tehran)


(displaced by amerikan imperialism vs. building “home� on stolen land)


(a cute young irooni-muslim-white-ashkenazi-jewish couple and no racism is not over)


closing. Where does exile fit on a map? If “identity politics” in the diaspora are a politics of location, what does this mean the ones in exile? What does this mean for ongoing processes of simultaneous displacement including my own ongoing settlement on stolen land? Patrick Wolfe (and many unnamed indigenous women before him who have yet to be acknowledged by academia) said that colonialism “is a structure not an event.” Can this understanding of legacies of violence be applied to migration studies to understand forced displacement as a dynamic and ongoing process that should not and can not be limited to specific or singular points in history projected as seemingly detached from broader systems and structures of exclusion? And lastly, does/can an understanding of displacement as a dynamic process rather than a static event pave the way for the possibility of more nuanced understandings of “diaspora”and“home”?


~ end/fin ~ *French also because one colonial tongue is never enough

on resigning from the diaspora  

mini zine issue 1.0

on resigning from the diaspora  

mini zine issue 1.0

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