Not This Future facilitates a pseudo shamanic ritual as a political device by holding the grief as a site of solidarity and communal care directed to the victims of hostile environments policy, brutal border control and neo-colonial operation.
It commemorates and critically revisits the Essex 39 incident where thirty-nine Vietnamese were found dead in the back of a lorry abandoned by a people smuggler in 2019. As a core part of the commemoration, this spiritual performance accommodates 39 offerings from different parts of the world, gathered through the exclusive call out for those whose creative practice and research weigh on migrant justice and challenge the idea of borders.
Not This Future is part of Youngsook Choi’s ongoing exploration of political spirituality which experiments upon intimate aesthetics of community actions and alternative protests.
Watch Not This Future in full here between 1st and 31st March
Please note that Not This Future includes content which deals with death, state violence and racism. Watching this performance will be an emotionally challenging experience for those whose lived experiences are in/directly related to the Essex 39. If you are struggling, please take a pause and come back when you get better, and please reach out to support organisations if you need to, we have compiled a short list below.
Cruse Bereavement Care https://www.cruse.org.uk/get-help/helpline
Shout: text 85258 The UK’s first text support for anyone in crisis, anywhere, anytime.
Samaritans: 116123 A safe place for you to talk anytime (24h, free).
Offerings contributed from:
Adriel Luis, curator and activist
Amal Khalaf, curator and artist @amalandaplan
Amit Rai, educator and activist
Annie Jael Kwan, curator @alikati
Anouar Kassim, community organiser @wearemkiac
Ayelet Zohar, artist and art historian
Bao Vuong, artist @baobaoartworks
Burong Zang, artist and researcher @burongz
Caro Gervay, artist @carogervay
Cecilia Wee, curator and cultural agitator @cecilialmwee
Cian Dayrit, artist and activist
Cuóng Pham, curator and activist @phambinho
David Sebastian Lopez Restrepo, artist
Erene Kaptani, theatre practitioner and researcher @erenekaptani
Farzana Khan, artist and community healer @healingjusticeldn
Georgina Quach, journalist and archivist
Hai Nguyen, researcher
Hina Khan, artist
Hsiao Hung Pai, writer and journalist
Ibrahim Abdella, refugee
Ido Zohar, musician
Jabez Lam, community organiser and activist @hackneychinese
Joon Lynn Goh, cultural organiser and producer @joonlynngoh
June Lam, artist and activist @assignedfagatbirth
Kay Stephens, writer and activist @remember.resist
Mariko Hayashi, community organiser and researcher
Mihye Lee, artist and chef
Nia Fekri, artist and writer @nia.fekri
Nine Yamamoto-Masson, artist and researcher
Rajinder Singh, artist and researcher @woundbloom
Richard Streitmatter-Tran, artist and researcher
Sajan Mani, artist @sajan_mani
Sarnt Utamachote, film maker @unthaitled
Shzr Ee Tan, ethnomusicologist and musician
Subhas Nair, musician and activist
Sungmee Bae, artist
Taey Iohe, artist @taeyiohe
Tamsin Barber, sociologist
Tomasz Madajczak, artist
Vanessa Scully, artist
Vijay Patel, artist @portomeerkat
Vukasin Nedeljkovic, artist and activist
Weng San Sit, artist
Yoonah Han, film producer
Not This Future was commissioned by Asia-Art-Activism, supported by Bagri Foundation, Arts Council England and Heart of Glass. It was first exhibited in the online group show Till We Meet Agin IRL (2020, Bagri Foundation).