BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    Creative portfolio: Diego Garcia

    Williams, Luke Creative portfolio: Diego Garcia. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

    Full text not available from this repository.


    Diego Garcia is an experimental novel. The first book (the output represented here) tells the story of writers Luke Williams and Natasha Soobramanien writing a novel about Diego Garcia. The second (future) book will be that novel. Williams and Soobramanien wrote jointly, sharing sentences, sections and editing. Chapters were published in different literary magazines; performed; and re-edited as one volume (forthcoming Fitzcarraldo and Semiotexte 2022). Multiform publication foregrounded process over product: each iteration fed into the next, shaped by editors, readers and listeners. The book is written in the first-person plural and third-person singular forms, formally encapsulating the co-authors’ collaboration and friendship. Yet there is no unified, synthesized voice. In performance a musician helped arrange the voices into an intelligible, polyphonic piece. Performing early chapters built performance possibilities into later chapters (e.g. columns in chapters 3-4). Influences included 1960s-70s conceptual art, which brought text into galleries; especially participatory art (e.g. Yoko Ono and John Cage), which decentres creators and authorises audiences. A framework of ideas on selfhood came from French structuralism and post-structuralism (e.g. Barthes) and black studies (e.g. Denise Ferreira Da Silva and Fred Moton) on relational forms, particularly in respect of racial identity and colonial legacies. Diego Garcia is characterised by absence: its inhabitants have been displaced to make room for a military base; as an atoll it literally features a hole. The ethics of its representation were researched through discussion between authors (Soobramanian is British Mauritian), Chagossian people and scholars at 2014 literary festival in Mauritius. This work comments on the problem of representing an absence by circling it, mapping it in the negotiations between collaborators. The dispersed and open nature of the work refuses unity and uniformity, creating a methodology which challenges existing modes of publication, readership and reception.


    Item Type: Other
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2020 15:28
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:49


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item