Dear Nina,

We have much in common! I too have stitched together the missing pieces of my family history. Forced across oceans and nations and generations by greed and hate and war. I too use archival footage to fill in the gaps. Gaps that DNA tests and oral histories and heirlooms and scars and the unspoken cannot fill. My grandmother is 96, lives near where she was born. The wooden house her mother built on a grassy Virginia hill on Valley Street was recently torn down. The birthplace of five generations. . .vanished. Identity is fluid, a construct. Burn your ID card. We are the sum of an exponential number of ancestors. I am every nation. You are the world. We are.

From an infinitesimal moment in time,


Tags: war, refugee, immigration, repatriation, slavery, family history, grandmother, granddaughter, oral history, archival footage, archival photos, time travel, 120 words, postcards from an artist, travel

DISLOCATE: Postcards from an Artist

Holla back, call and response, talking to the screen. April pens a series of postcards, poetic open letters, to the people, places and objects in a selection of this year’s films. These films have inhabited her dreams, salted her tears, stoked a hopeful anger. Art imitates life inspires art in this uninvited collaboration with the filmmakers, an exquisite corpse from film to word. Share on Facebook • Share on Twitter • Share on Google 

In response to FATIMA

ABOut the artist

April Banks is a conceptual artist, intentional inbetweener and border crosser. Driven by immersive observation and questioning, her obsession with research usually dissolves into happy accidents that shape shift between photography, installation, writing, and collaborative experiments.

Currently, April is melting her nostalgia for postcards into a multimedia digital project. The beauty of the postcard is how it travels simultaneously with the traveler, perhaps in the opposite direction, across borders where the traveler may not even be permitted to go. Everyone travels everyday, as much in (day) dreams, a walk to an ethnic food store, a book, a news article, a film, a song, as with a passport and a plane. She pairs her international peregrinations with time travel, traipsing through historical archives and memories, questioning what we think we know of the past and how it informs our cultural positioning systems.

Equally addicted as confused, she experiences travel as an existential conundrum, yet can’t seem to say no.

View more of April Banks' work here.