2024 Mordant Family BLAK C.O.R.E. Fellow announced: aqui Thami


We are delighted to announce the next Mordant Family BLAK C.O.R.E. Fellow, aqui Thami from February – March 2024.

aqui is a Thangmi woman of the Kiratimma first peoples of the Himalayas, she uses social exchanges and develops safe spaces to position art as a medium of healing in community. aqui’s interdisciplinary practice ranges across ceremonial interventions, performances, drawings, zine-making, fly posting, and public intervention, brought together by participant involvement; most of her work is self-funded and realised in collaboration. sister library founded by aqui is an evolving art work that engages in the in-depth reflection on the visual and reading culture of our times. It is also the first traveling, community owned and community run feminist library of South Asia. aqui also collaboratively runs Bombay Underground, an artist collective that hosted south asia’s first zine fest, Bombay Zine Fest, and is central to the underground publishing scene, and dharavi art room, a space for children and women in dharavi to explore creatively.

aqui’s artist statement

I came to art to find healing and in my practice i am drawn to the ways art serves as processes of intercultural mediation. i work with experiences of marginalisation and resilience, my own and the people i work in collaboration with. With an ethic of social engagement and inviting viewers to inhabit and activate my works i explore and find healing in community DIY (Do It Yourself), DIT (Do It Together), and sometimes DDI (Don’t Do It) are the principles as well as primary mediums of my practice. They provide for merging of my life and my art offering an active engagement in both the public and the personal.
Centered around the culture of self-publishing and guerrilla poster, i believe in creating art that is grounded in the act of ‘doing’ and addresses political/social issues.

The versatility of the language of the mediums i work with also allows me to bring all the layers of my experiences together. Colonialism, plantation slavery, poverty, armed violence, cultural genocide, the list goes on. It is through confronting these complexities of my identity i have been able to find healing and peace through vulnerability.

my artistic work is not bound only by the exhibition-making practices. i prioritise, in my work, the opportunity to engage and collaborate with peoples whose voices have historically and ongoing been marginalised, silenced, forgotten, erased etc. The experiences i have had to travel outside of my immediate surroundings have given me an opportunity to share and work with artists and makers that are grounded within different philosophies. This has been in order to net the distances between us, and work in solidarities across our contexts to envision structural change together. For me, art making is about change making, about imagining a different and possible world.