Each creative process rewards the artist with questions. For me, the artistic residency at Jiwar has kicked off with the question ‘Do I know my home?’ My Project ‘Performing Home’ includes the participation of displaced artists. It engages with artists that were persecuted back in their countries for political, ethnical, religious or sexual orientation reasons and that currently live in Barcelona. So far it has been difficult to locate these profiles within our urban social fabric.
It seems that artists use different ways to cope with displacement—especially those who have left their country but they are not in political asylum. The networks of support and affect are apparently diverse from the other immigrants. Obviously, each story has its particularities behind, but it is not hare-brained to think that artists might use alternative networks of support since they are naturally nomads. They often move and tend to explore various cultural and social scenarios in their own work. Thus, the aesthetic potential of the displaced nomad is revealed in this project, through the mediation of alternative paths, borders and networks that emerge as undiscovered.
This difficulty has made me question my likely misled vision of Barcelona, my city and my home. The creative process has already prompted an experience of foreignness and estrangement. It has reminded me that, even at home, we can all be foreigners to something, someone and somewhere. Thus, my preconceptions of how the dynamics of my city are constructed and unfolded have been already challenged.
Hence, this project it is not only about visible displaced voices but also about unexpected hidden ones that cannot be found.
Esther Belvis Pons