about remains

“Black feminist theory offers us a distinct epistemology of loss.” – Jennifer Nash, Slow Loss

“For the distinction between the past and the present founders on the interminable grief engendered by slavery and its aftermath. How might we understand mourning, when the event has yet to end?” – Saidiya Hartman, The Time of Slavery

“carrés noirs et autres pt. 3” by Kevin Ah-Sen (2023)

remains [n.], that which remains
remains [v.], a practice of refusal; an insistence on survival; to remain

Remains // An Archive (RAA or Remains for short) is a microlab led by DSL Solidarity Fellows Kevin Ah-Sen (McGill University) and Jessica Newby (Johns Hopkins University) under the fierce leadership of Dr. Jessica Marie Johnson (Johns Hopkins University). As a collective, RAA enacts interdisciplinary practices to explore and theorize archipelagos of real and conceptual grief which include digital storytelling/mapping and curation. Grounded in Black feminist thought RAA asks: How does grief work its way across archipelagic and diasporic thinking? What are spaces for refusing genocide, anonymity, and erasure in a death-dealing world? How to see in the discards of empire scrying practices for an elsewhere (or a not-here)? And what is required of us to be witnesses of such terror?

“To be a faithful witness means to align oneself with these stories, to be haunted by the remnants, to be stirred by the irreconcilable, and to keep those histories alive.” – Yomaira C. Figueroa-Vásquez, Decolonizing Diasporas: Radical Mappings of Afro-Atlantic Literature

RAA is part of the larger structure of the Diaspora Solidarities Lab directed by Dr. Yomaira C. Figueroa-Vásquez (PI, CUNY Hunter College & Center for Puerto Rican Studies CENTRO) and Dr. Jessica Marie Johnson (co-PI, Johns Hopkins University) generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.