Eliana Otta

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

Taking as a departure point my experience working with war survivors in Peru, this project investigates how art can enable the collectivization of mourning. I connected my interest in the act of mourning human losses with my experiences living in Athens, Greece, where I encountered depression as a common diagnosis on both the individual and collective levels. If being depressed relates to unresolved mourning processes, what are the objects of loss caused by economic crisis and political disillusion? How can art help us to mourn an abstract loss, such as a political project, a certain sense of dignity, a particular relation with time and nature, or a fixed role in the familial structure? How could mourning be shared to allow communities to reframe and re-signify those objects of loss, towards transforming our relation to the economic and political?

Lost and Shared creates dialogue between theory and affective labour, through collective experiences that connect emotions, critical thinking, body and space. The intuitions and questions brought by conversations with Greek activists and artists are the core of the project. Later on, facing the impossibility of working as planned due to the pandemic, Lost and Shared was adapted to the new socializing conditions and to acknowledge how crisis and mourning had become a global concern. Thus, the project ends up proposing the idea of “fertilizing mourning” as a concept in the making – an open invitation to collectively create practices that help us reconsidering the entanglements between life, death, and regeneration. Urgent practices we need today in order to contest the increasing, global processes of loss caused by capitalism.

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.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.