Black bodies are perceived as threatening. Disabled bodies are perceived as noncomplying.
I work my body against the presence of the police and the military.
What if you received an order you can’t execute? What if you said something? What if you were in danger? What if you tried to do what you were told? What if you needed time? What if it hurt? What if you just couldn’t? What if they broke you? What if that moment was watched, recorded, shared? What if you were ignored, mocked, rejected in public? How would it feel?
I am not able to put my left hand behind my back, which is a well-known order coming from the police. I can be in danger simply for being black and disabled. I applied contact and pressure between my body and the Canadian Armed Forces’ building to get to that dangerous and painful position and present my reshaped body to the building of the police. The transformation of the buildings is invisible and symbolic, the transformation of my body is visible and concrete. I used that moment to evoke what some basic state violence can do to me.
Exposed to the gaze, in public space, my body is not only the medium but also the performance itself. It can attract human and technological lenses and raise questions such as “What happened to you?”, “What are you doing?”, “Why is it happening here?”. Or not. I used that moment to evoke what police violence can do to me and how it would feel to be exposed to people’s stares or indifference.
Force et Forme – Partie II
video, performance, sound
֎ 2022.09.02 | Forum While Black in Montreal, Montreal, Canada (RSVP)
֍ Po B. K. Lomami
֍ Camera assistants: Emily Enhorning, Diva Kitoko, Claire Obscure, Marie Alexandra Stow
2022 – The Concordian