with/holding is a collection of genre-blurring poems that examines the representation and reproduction of Blackness across communication media and popular culture. Together, text and image call up a nightmarish and seemingly insatiable buzzing-clicking-scrolling-sharing appetite for a daily diet of Black suffering.
In this follow-up to her award-winning debut collection How She Read (2019), Gibson gives a sombre voice to nostalgia, “the signifying ache in search of its signified.” This collection draws on the language of brand marketing, news and social media, DIY culture and graphic design— ”the tyranny of copy and paste”—to confront the role of the new colonial machinery in the relentless consumption and commodification of Black bodies.
Drawing on icons past and present, this collection imagines Black voices moving freely across time and space. In the journey from longing to belonging, with/holding disrupts the fetishizing algorithms that continue to reproduce Black pain, promote anti-Black racism, and reinforce white supremacy. As an act of protest, this collection imagines how to survive the unspeakable present. As an act of reclamation, it seeks to build a meaningful connection to the past through transcending acts of resistance.
Show More Chantal Gibson is an artist-educator living in Vancouver with ancestral roots in Nova Scotia.
Chantal Gibson is an artist-educator living in Vancouver with ancestral roots in Nova Scotia.