Othering (Collected) explores social, political, and spatial othering produced by texts, manifest as enclosures and borders, through creative practices, social engagement, performance and installation.
Othering is instigated by our research about the internment during WWII of Japanese Americans—in so-called “relocation centers” such as Poston and Gila on Arizona Tribal lands and in Tucson’s former Federal Honor Camp—and the echoing of those historical events in current executive orders that threaten to other citizens, residents and visitors. While Tucson’s prison once held conscientious objectors, little remains today as a historical trace of it or many of the other camps. These were brought into being by President Roosevelt’s 1942 Executive Orders 9066 and 9102 to exclude certain unnamed members of the population from “sensitive” areas.
Our intention, through Othering, is to foreground past blurring of truths, states of anxiety, and misguided judgements that resonate with our current socio-political context. Othering invites conference participants and the public to enter into dialogue during the duration of the event at a pop-up en-counter located in the Poetry Center’s covered patio and/or by digitally collaborating through a website. The dialogue centers around historical and current documents related to equality or racial othering (i.e. executive orders, constitution and amendments, testimonials, tweets and poems). During conference breaks and lunch, participants can select pithy passages or words that resonate or are of concern. We will collect hand redacted, edited, annotated and highlighted prints, digital responses and voice recordings sent back at us. These contributions will construct our ephemeral and performative archive.
At each day’s end, in order to reflect the community’s concerns, questions, curiosity, hopes, and fears, we will make visible a selection of that day’s archive through light and projection in the Poetry Center’s exterior space.
For those not attending the conference, we invite you to participate through the Othering (Collected) webpage. Othering Collected is co-authored by Ana Martínez and Beth Weinstein.