Part II: Performative Drawing #KARENOVERBILLOR?

12-15 th July 2019

Rahaa’s line of work is examining critically aspects of migration, intersections between tradition and post-modern lifestyles between West and East, politics of difference and relationships between space and identity. She is interested in forms of sharing collective memories/remembrance through the act of listening, (co-)writing, drawing, creating resignifications of such moving universes into materiality.

For her short visit, she developed together with Lam Toro an abstract mapping through performative drawing on video where they re-signify “ghetto” from different standpoints, those from the residents and from their own critique to how the media portrays Gellerup as being one. The map contained Karen Blixen Boulevard as a space with all the different main buildings and spaces, and phrases too that gave voice to one of the resident’s statements retrieved form the media regarding how she felt about “ghettoization” in Gellerup. They have also included the paragraph from Blixen’s “Out of Africa” mentioned above as the instance demonstrates poetically and simply this relation between space and bodies.

“It is impossible that a town will not play a part in your life, it does not even make much difference whether you have more good or bad things to say of it, it draws your mind to it, by a mental law of gravitation”.

This dual joint representation of power, the presence of Blixen representing wealth, power, and influence over Billor representing otherness, marginalization, cultural diversity and heritage, creates their own materialization of our observations. Yet here, they also create an interrelationship between these two elements not appraising Karen over Billor, rather acknowledging the harsh reality of the situation that (white) capitalism generates.

The mapping arose from all the time they have spent walking the boulevard, sitting, observing, discussing, drawing and writing in situ inspired by everything they could see, hear and feel in the presence of how the residents and non-residents interacted with the place. Moreover, they have also filmed and recorded their walks and interactions with the surroundings and the people.