Issue Six: Aesthetics of Heterogeneity
Letter from the Editor
In several issues, the Comparative Media Arts Journal has aimed to explore the conditions of crisis and the ways in which artists, scholars, filmmakers and other thinkers and creators react and give expression to politics. In at least the last three years, we have witnessed something like an urgent call to action as we live through a rise in populism and neo-fascism, and although certain political events have called attention to acute trouble, in this issue, we aim to think through the lasting effects of longstanding political trauma by studying the diasporic arts and the aesthetics of exile and difference.
The writers and artists assembled in this issue reflect their experience of living in the scatter, and assert a dynamism to the visual language of diaspora by embracing a kind of affirmative politics that investigates what art can make possible in these circumstances. These writers, critics and artists work rhizomatically, testing the concept of rootedness without a totalitarian root, where ideas of identity and freedom are imaginatively extended beyond the limits of opposition to the colonizer (Glissant 1997/2010).
This issue was guest edited by Mohammed Zaki Rezwan and Siying Duan, embracing the heterogeneity of the arts as they attend to issues of dislocation, identity formation, and intercultural art practices. Our editorial team, Lea Hogan, Mallory Gemmel, Jennifer Anderson, and myself worked with the editors to develop the topic and I am excited to say that we are publishing an impressive variety of contributions with an international reach.
As always, we thank the School for the Contemporary Arts at SFU for giving us a home and making the journal possible, and the unfailing support of Dr. Laura U. Marks, our faculty advisor.
Glissant, Édouard. Poetics of Relation. Trans. Betsy Wing. (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press) 1997/2010.