Migrant Memory, Movement, and Misrecognition: Reactivating Diasporic Experience Toward an Anticolonial Politics of Place


  • Jimena Ortuzar School of Performance, X University


How might diasporic experiences of loss and displacement aid immigrants in responding to and acknowledging Indigenous lands and territories? Drawing from my own immigrant experience, I retrace and reinvent my movement in Tkaronto through walking practices that recover memories of migrancy as a newcomer to the land known as Canada. Such memories can be useful sources for immigrants to consider their relationship to settler colonialism. Reactivating them through movement might elicit a new responsiveness to the land as well as recognition of its caretakers and their struggles. I reflect on the possibilities that such a practice of walking and thinking through embodied memories can open up for undoing the coloniality of thought that underpins migrant aspirations for “a better-than-survival kind of living” (Berlant) and that so often results in assimilation to, and participation in, a settler colonial state.

Author Biography

Jimena Ortuzar, School of Performance, X University

Jimena Ortuzar is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at X University’s School of Performance. She recently completed a PhD at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies with a collaborative program at the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies. Her research contributions explore a wide range of social issues through the lens of performance, including transnational migration, affective labour, digital culture, urban activism, feminist art, visual studies, and Latinx theatre.