In Conversation with Grace Aneiza Ali about Guyana and Migration: "Those Who Leave and Those Who Are Left"

Wednesday, Sep 6, 2017

Professor Grace Aneiza Ali and Contemporary And discuss Liminal Space, the exhibition curated by Ali at the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, which is run by Professor Marta Moreno Vega.

"Those Who Leave and Those Who Are Left"

Celeste Hamilton Dennis: Why the title Liminal Space?

Grace Aneiza Ali: I’m fascinated by the linguistics of “liminal” – it’s from the Latin word “limens,” which means “threshold,” a place of transition, waiting, and unknowing. It’s an entry point to venture into challenging conversations about both spectrums of the migration arc: those who leave and those who are left.

CHD: Why are artists of Guyanese heritage uniquely positioned to explore this global theme of migration?

GAA: Migration has been our norm for the past six decades. More people live outside of Guyana’s borders than within the country. Dominique Hunter, an artist who is based in Georgetown, Guyana, has said that the moment you understand what migration means as a child growing up in Guyana, you are told that your “… greatest aspiration should be to leave.” As an artist, she’s worked really hard to resist that. Migration swirls around Guyanese people. This is why I look to the voices of Guyanese artists to engage with migration as the defining movement of our time.