Definiciones (Definitions) is to try to find, understand, and create new perspectives around and connections between language and words that we use in our daily lives. Language is imbued with social, cultural, political biases, and I am interested in how the meaning of these words creates limits and ruptures in our ideas of, for example: “development”, “underdevelopment”, “capitalism”, “socialism” etc. Furthermore, language and definitions form our ways of thinking about life, social structures, race, culture, geography, politics, and art. As a Mexican artist working in a Canadian context, in this project, the idea is to present a series of definitions in English and Spanish to see how these definitions generate thought around human rights by questioning what a democracy means, or a society means and how we can reclaim language that is often inherently colonial. At the same time I am questioning how our actions can create or generate new discourses or definitions or at least expose some of the established ways of understanding power structures.
Photographs – Sarah Shamash