Eme and Soo-Min Shim
Thursday 5 September
Usapan Sa La Mesa is a decolonizing process and gathering of Filipinx/Filipinos/Pinays on stolen Gadigal land, organised by the interdisciplinary artist Eme and Running Dog contributor Soo-Min Shim. It involves practicing Kapwa (shared identity), the sharing of experiences, knowledge and unpacking together in the hopes of achieving communal solidarity within the diaspora – Bayanihan! Usapan Sa La Mesa originated from the ongoing conversations we have around the table with family we’ve made over the years. By bringing this community and family ethic of love and care to the gallery we hope to interrogate institutional power.
Activists, artists, poets Jennifer Estellore, Bridget Harilou, A’isyiyah, Carielyn Tunion, RJ Dela Rosa, Eunice Andrada and Peter Murphy will be sharing their individual stories on diasporic decolonisation. They will be provoking a number of questions: What is community? How can we create safe spaces? What does it mean to be displaced, only to be complicit in settler-colonialism here? How can diaspora decolonise? Where does activism and art meet?
With food provided from Filipinx-run businesses, the sharing of food will be the catalyst for the sharing of love and knowledge. This event is an open conversation to open up more dialogue around the diaspora and decolonisation.
Join us for Merienda (snacks and desserts) at night!
Eme is an interdisciplinary, Filipinx artist based in Warrang/Sydney, Australia – unceded Gadigal land of the Eora nation. Their practice explores reflections drawn from personal lived experiences and layers of oneself that is marginalised by society. This queer, trans non-binary artist works with a decolonial framework based on research and bayanihan (communal solidarity). It is often expressed through community connectivity, representation and action by transforming stories of subjugation into strength. They showcase the communal experience to celebrate the nuances of being – utilising art as a tool for expression and survival. Their works experiments with photography, print-media, ceramics, sound, video, events and installation. Eme completed their Bachelor of Visual Arts Honours (First Class) at Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney University and now works with activists and organisations to continue the anti-colonial resistance in support to fight all forms of oppression.
Soo-Min Shim is an arts writer and arts worker living on stolen Gadigal land. She received her Bachelor of Art History and Theory (First Class Honours) from the University of Sydney and is currently a Director at Firstdraft Gallery 2019-2020. She is currently a studio resident at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art Creative Studios. She has written for several Australian and international publications including Art & The Public Sphere, ArtAsiaPacific, The Artling, Art + Australia, Art Almanac, Artist Profile, Runway Conversations, un Extended, and Running Dog.