Border/Arte's mission is to explore the relationship between art and politics. We asked each of our collective members to share the ways their artistic and/or cultural work grapples with social issues. This week we talked to Kate Saunders, now living in Mexico City, about these issues.
What are the themes of your artistic practices and why?
The principle themes in my artistic practices are feminine identity, queer identity, home, border politics, and the desert. To me they are all connected and I especially find rich metaphor in the desert for almost every aspect of my storytelling. These themes are what I graze against or smash into in my everyday life. They are the politics that build my body and the walls around me, so I find that by unearthing them through creative work and cultural partnership we are able to learn (or unlearn) more deeply and fully about important aspects of our lives. I find that by moving through these themes we are more able to connect to memory and through sharing these stories we are able move ideas into models that better serve us.
What is the role of art in shifting political awareness and creating a more equitable society?
I believe that the role of art is to seek new ways of understanding; to share infinite histories, memory and perspectives; and to provide space for reflection and discussion, which I believe are all necessary actions for shifting ideas, political awareness, and fostering a more equitable society.
How do you understand your work in the context of Border/Arte’s core values and mission?
I am from Arizona and currently working away from home, [the distance] has made it more important for me to understand where I come from and how that is represented in my work. What are the stories we are telling about home? What does it mean to be from the borderlands? What politics have we inherited and what are the politics we embody? These are some of the questions I am exploring in my work and artistic/cultural partnerships.