I am reminded of Doris Salcedo’s Shibboleth. For the work Salcedo broke a hairline crack into the floor of the Tate Gallery’s Turbine Hall. Running the sheer length of the hall, the crack broadened out to a crevasse of some feet. You walked alongside and gaped in. The floor was later repaired the cracks remain. So Elif Sezen’s ‘we / rather remain silent / as if ripping off the tree roots from its soil’. The effects of these words are quieter. But there’s a rent in the language of our familiar utterance – shouldn’t it be ‘ripping up’? – all the same. We rip off when deceiving others of their rightful share. And we find ourselves ripping tree roots off the soil in lands where there’s little for our plantations to take hold of. It’s dusty and even inimical to those with little history there, the rip-off merchants who in the state of Victoria, for instance, pioneered for the future nation the forcible removal of indigenous children from their families. The example spread, but the city of Melbourne is particularly built on it.
|Number of pages||2|
|Journal||Cordite Poetry Review|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Feb 2017|