Evoking a site of memory: An Afrofuturist Sonic Walk that Maps Historic Toronto's Black Geographies
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Drawing on the work of historians, geographers, writers and other Black Canadian Studies scholars I argue that Blackness has been systematically ‘disappeared’ from the Canadian nation. I explore various mechanisms through which this disappearance has been achieved, ranging from historical omissions to social exclusion as well as literally burying evidence of Canada’s Black past. Numerous theorists agree that the absence of Blackness defines the Canadian landscape and although their ideas about how to redress this absence vary, their work demonstrates that this absence is highly generative for Black artists and scholars. I apply this insight to my work as a digital artist creating HUSH HARBOUR, a sonic walk that utilizes digital media and performance to reimagine the past from the perspective of the present and future and to remap Blackness onto the Canadian landscape in embodied and sonic ways. Embracing elements of African Diasporic sonic, fantastic and spiritual traditions, I evoke a site of memory and desire within which participants recreate, reveal and transform the space that currently hides the Black presence.