Trauma is a Time Machine: Art and Healing in Troubled Times
Trauma collapses past and present. It suspends the passage of time. Not only does trauma alter the experience of the past: it steals the capacity to imagine a future. Since the logic of trauma asserts that the worst already has happened, life seems over; impossible to plan, dream, and believe in wild possibilities, in change. The literature on trauma calls this "a foreshortened sense of the future." To tempt the mind into unruly speculation, Iyapo Repository, a project in residence at Macalester College's Law Warschaw Gallery in St. Paul, asks for participation in creating an archive of the future. Envisioned by two New York-based artists, Ayodamola Okunseinde and Salome Asega, Iyapo Repository pays homage to Afrofuturism's Octavia Butler and the heroine of her Xenogenesis trilogy, Lilith Iyapo, but charts its own path into a complex not-yet: an archive of what might come to be that holds the imaginary residue of an even more distant future.