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Obscured Horizon piece is inspired by African American writer James Baldwin’s essay “Stanger in the Village” that was published in his 1955 book Notes of A Native Son. In the essay, Baldwin recounts the times he returned to secluded village in Switzerland where is ontological precarity and the sociological racialized assumptions he was rendered through causes dissonances. His experiential interaction requires him to enact African American survival tact’s of being legible and likable to the gaze of whiteness. Obscured Horizon is a spatial computational essay about my experience as an Afro- Carribean American woman in Tenna Switzerland for 10 days. The essay relies on theorical allies to word-build. The theorist sharing space with me in the essay is Christina Sharpe and her book In The Wake: On Blackness and Being. Tiffany Lethabo King and her book Black Shoals: Offshore formations of Black and Native Studies. Frantz Fanon and his book Black Skin White Mask. W.E.B. Dubious and his book Souls of Black Folks. Michelle D Commandor and her Book Afro-Atlantic Flight Speculative Returns and the Black Fantastic. Fred Moten and Stephano Harney The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning. And Black Study.
The word “shoal” has a number of meanings. Geological sources define it as the area in which the sea or a body of water becomes shallow. As a process, it is the movement of the ocean from greater to shallower depths. It is not the shore; it is a formation before the shore or offshore. As a location and geological formation, it is often described as a sandbar or a coral reef. It is an accumulation of granular materials (sand, rock, and other) that through sedimentation create a bar or barrier that is difficult to pass and, in fact, a “danger to navigation.”7 As a geological unit, it is a physical place, a shallower place in the ocean before one arrives at the shore.
Tiffany Lethabo King – Black Shoals: Offshore Formations of Black and Native Studies