At a distance. From within.

“The notion of the rhizome maintains, therefore, the idea of rootedness but challenges that of a totalitarian root. Rhizomatic thought is the principle behind what I calI the Poetics of Relation, in which each and every identity is extended through a relationship with the Other.” (Poetics of Relation, Glissant, 11)

Diaspora, by definition, evokes the allegorical description of the scattering of plant seeds across the earth, to then settle and grow roots in another location. These roots then spread into creating rhizomatic systems that continuously grow underground, a tie to and a creation in the land they are now located in. At a distance - from within draws from the allegory of the seed as an entity that creates a sense of rhizomatic placemaking. This relational form of placemaking refers then to the flourishing of communities, practices, and exchanges that come from diverse and multiple diasporas. Placemaking then functions as a way to create real or imaginary worlds that encourage the diasporic experience, rather than reject the ‘Other,’ and allows artists and individuals to experience a sense of community that creates and embraces a hybrid space of identity.

Despite numerous theoretical developments that approach diasporic identity, oftentimes cultural writers use the term in a way that flattens, reduces or creates an ‘othering’ of individual experience and identity. Through our investigation, we seek to avoid these generalities associated with diaspora studies, but rather hold together both the differences and similarities experienced by diverse diasporic communities.

As Sundus Abdul Hadi mentions: “armed with free and critical thinking, artists can craft new narratives and forge new connections outside of the spheres of national identity and official history.” Our curatorial approach recognises the differences that exist among diverse diasporic persons while also attempting to bridge certain similar social, cultural, and political lived experiences that emerge from geographical dislocation.

Curated by Bettina Pérez Martínez and Tyra Maria Trono

Holly Chang
Jin Heewoong
Kuh del Rosario
Laura Acosta and Santiago Tavera
Melissa Raymond and René Sandín 
My-Van Dam
Par Nair
Santiago Tamayo Soler

September 15 – October 02 2022
Projet Casa, Montreal
in collaboration with Pop Montreal and Art Volt


Photos by Mike Patten