IABA 2018

Next week I’ll be presenting my work and research at IABA 2018, join us!

Hy-Brazil, 2014. Photograph, moon stone.
Hy-Brazil, 2014, Cork. Photograph, moon stone.

LEAVING TO BECOME: FROM THE MYTH OF NATIONAL IDENTITY TO THE RISE OF AN IMMIGRANT CONSCIOUSNESS

MANOELA DOS ANJOS AFONSO RODRIGUES (Universidade Federal de Goiás)
manoafonsorodrigues@gmail.com

Abstract

Hy-Brazil is a Celtic myth about a phantom island that is immersed in fog and appears for only one day every seven years. To deal with its multiple identities it is necessary to focus more on the combination and approximation of narratives than on seeking for historical and geographical certainties, since this island has many names and might be represented in different locations on old maps. Based on its oscillatory characteristics as well as on the supposed connections between the myth and the origins of Brazil’s name, I take Hy-Brazil as a metaphor for reflecting upon national identity and exile from a decolonial point of view. For this matter, I position myself not as a male sailor, merchant, fisherman or conqueror who wants to find the hidden island to explore or make it a base for conquest operations. Instead, I use autobiogeography as a decolonial methodology for investigating, creating and sharing life narratives from the place of a woman who voluntarily leaves the phantom island where she was born in order to launch herself into the sea of becoming. Based on Said’s notion of exile as a discontinuous state of being and a solitude experienced by those who leave the apparently bounded place of national identity, I look at the stories of visibility, erasure, voice, and silence told by a group of Brazilian women who left Brazil for London. Then, I observe how leaving the mythical place of national identity can become an act of liberation that opens space for the rise of an immigrant consciousness and, in this way, points out paths towards the decolonial self.


Biographical statement:
Manoela dos Anjos Afonso Rodrigues (Lic. Arts, MA, PhD) is Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Bachelor of Visual Arts course at the Visual Arts College (FAV) of the Federal University of Goiás (UFG), in Brazil. She is member of the National Association of Art Researchers (ANPAP) and the Brazilian Federation of Art Education (FAEB), and leads the practice-based research project “Autobiographical art practices: intersections between visual arts, life writing and decoloniality”, which aims the creation of places of enunciation for decolonial selves through interdisciplinary art practices and by using autobiogeography as a decolonial methodology.