There's Something in the Water

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Contributed date

January 31, 2020 - 2:28pm

Critical Commentary

Tia-Simone Garder, a Black feminist scholar and a cross-disciplinary, mixed media artist asks, "what do histories and cartographies that trace and locate Black mobility along a river that moves between the Gulf of Mexico and Minnesota reveal about the lives and struggles of Black populations contemporarily in and between these spaces?" 

For the author, the Mississippi River cannot be read without placing black and indigenous bodies at the center of the histories of "metastatis and re-membering" that make the American South what it is. Just as land and water mix together to create the Southern landscape, violence to black and indigenous bodies are weaved with the currents of the Mississippi. I find this way of thinking powerful for at once unsettling power, grappling with toxic histories, and making place for solidarity. Tia-Simone composes a staccato of text, image, and map to give the reader a sense of being resolutely in a place, yet moving between time. 


A multimodal essay composed by Tia-Simone Gardner for Platypus, the CASTAC blog: 



Cite as

Tia-Simone Gardner, "There's Something in the Water", contributed by Prerna Srigyan, Center for Ethnography, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 31 January 2020, accessed 24 July 2024.