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If I could name you myself (I would hold you forever)

If I could name you myself (I would hold you forever) engages with notions of Black resistance and feminist ecologies through the lens of trauma, memory and the visual conceit of the cotton flower.

Cotton is a plant with connotations that far surpass it’s delicate white flowers, bringing to mind issues of enforced labour, of exploitation and of colonialism. Yet the very crop for which creole women were forced into labour, offered a form of herbal resistance: cotton root bark could be used as birth control. Herbal knowledge carefully gathered and held, was used amongst the women to defy a lineage of servitude. Beneath the inherent violence of the slave economic system, we find quiet resistance and moments of deep, loving rebellion. If I could name you myself (I would hold you forever) is in memoriam of this legacy.

Hope Strickland is a visual anthropologist from Manchester, UK. Her forthcoming projects are concerned with an experimental approach to exploring avenues for black agency within audio-visual media.

Jessica El Mal engages in a multidisciplinary practice through social interaction, critical and historical research, and speculative future imaginaries. Often centred around collaboration, co-curation and collective knowledge systems, her projects usually include research, workshops and artwork intended to have a lasting effect.

If I could name you myself (I would hold you forever) is a new Push 2021 commission from HOME.

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