Lost & Shared: A laboratory for collective mourning, towards affective and transformative politics – Eliana Otta

This project aims to investigate the ways in which art can enable the collectivization of mourning, taking us a departure point my experiences living in Athens, where depression is a common diagnosis in both an individual and a collective level. If being depressed has to do with unresolved processes of mourning, what would be the object(s) of loss in a period of economic crisis and political disillusion? How can art be a vehicle to mourn abstract losses, such as a political project, a certain sense of dignity, a particular relation with time or a fixed role in the familiar structure? How could mourning be shared to allow communities reframe and resignify those objects of loss, towards a transformation of our relation to the economic and political?
Lost and Shared aims to create dialogues between theory and affective labor, through collective experiments that connect emotions, critical thinking, body and space. The intuitions and questions that arise from conversations with Greek activists and artists, will be the base for this laboratory, responding to the urgency of renovating political subjectivities through the making and unmaking of ourselves with others.
The core of the research will be the collective practices that I will propose in Athens, in alliance with grassroots organizations and artists run spaces. I will draw upon my own experience growing up in a post-colonial country, deeply affected by economic and political crisis and my current experience as an adult living and developing affective bonds in Greece. In this sense, I include myself as participant in a potentially transformative process, deep-rooted in the conviction that if we want to contest the obliquus jaws of neoliberalism, accumulating through dispossession and the privatization of every dimension of life, radical politics need to be renewed from and with affect.
Eliana Otta (Lima, 1981) inquiries about our relations with precarious labor and nature in neoliberal, extractivist economies, and also gender inequality, intersecting feminism, poetry and politics. How to build up ties in unjust, individualistic societies? How do these ties relate to other possible futures? She addresses these questions through collective projects that involve curatorial and editorial work, the creation of spaces for debate, experimentation and the explosion of corky, wild dances, fostered by her eternally amateur dj facet (aka dj Flaquita).
She is an artist with a Master in Cultural Studies. She coordinated the curatorial team of the Lugar de la Memoria in Peru (www.lum.cultura.pe), has taught at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú and co-founded the artist-run space Bisagra (www.bisagra.org). www.eliana-otta.com.
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