Now You Belong Here: Small Island ̶D̶i̶s̶a̶p̶p̶e̶a̶r̶i̶n̶g̶ States
Exhibition: The 17th Architectural Exhibition at 2021 Venice Biennale, Korean Pavilion
Publication: forthcoming, 2023, Actar
|Research, Design, Exhibition, Publication|
Now You Belong Here / Small Island ̶D̶i̶s̶a̶p̶p̶e̶a̶r̶i̶n̶g̶ States engages complex geographies of precarity and perseverance borne on the selected small island nations, whose habitable territories and their physical, political, economic, and cultural grounds are critically threatened by sea-level rise and other phenomena of climate change. Situated at the vulnerable crux of environmental injustice, colonial and enslaved pasts, and ongoing resource and territorial struggles among global powers, a significant number of the inhabitants of SIDS (Small Island Developing States, a United Nations designation) are at the risk of losing the physical foundation of their long-guarded culture, identities, and self-determination, and may join the population of climate refugees produced by anthropogenic causes, projected to reach 200 million by 2050.
Investigating the critical intersections of environmental precarity, post and neo-colonial statehood, diaspora, and territorial mobility, Now You Belong Here brings forward the plural realities and entanglements of the island territories through the articulation of selected, highly specific, manifestations. Foregrounding the epistemologies and agencies of islands’ peoples, the dialogs with and the contributions by individuals from the islands and various diaspora communities, including artists, activists, and scholars, challenge the monolithic portraitures of victimhood and present a more complex view of the crises in the context of the unique histories and cultures of each locale.
Engaging the individual islands intimately, while examining the continuities and disjunctures across and beyond the global archipelago, the project aims to render the spaces of the climate crisis as a shared planetary realm. Aiming to provoke conversations around the sustained asymmetry, and the socio-political, human, and ecological consequences of climate change and the legacy of mechanisms of dispossessions in the milieu, the project investigates the slow yet persisting violence towards erasures and the persevering fights against them, while exploring the shifting relationship between land (and sea), people, and belonging.