Lois Klassen and Deanne Achong are excited to announce that they have begun work on phase three of Reading the Migration Library (RML). This phase will result in publications produced collaboratively together with artists Leah Decter, Peter Morin, Sarah Shamash, Candie Tanaka, Tania Willard, and Clare Yow. As with all of the artist books in this long-range project, the third phase will focus on artistic representations of human migration, displacement, and diaspora. Klassen and Achong expect the new work to offer creative responses to issues such as displacement, diaspora, arrivals and failed arrivals, arrivant colonialism, travel over sovereign territory, migration and statehood, and more.
Klassen and Achong bring to this phase their past experiences with previous RML publications and events. While Lois Klassen is the founding artist-editor of RML with a hand in creating many of the previous publications and events, Deanne Achong is the web designer behind the project’s design and development, and the artist / creator of the 2017 RML artist book Workin’ for the Yankee Dollar.
Communities and Connections, the first RML phase, took place in the years 2016 to 2018 (and one title in 2023), in partnership with organizations in New Westminster (BC), Santa Fe (NM), Vancouver (BC) and Kingston, (ON). The publications that were produced included simple folded pamphlets made in community workshops as well as elaborate chapbooks using innovative binding and printing by writers from SFU’s The Writing Studio. Titles in phase one are:
Poetics and Actions, the second RML phase (2020-2021) featured a unifying design by book designer Victoria Lum. A group of commissioned artists and writers produced the following artist books in partnership with Library of Africa and the African Diaspora (Accra, Ghana) and with funding from the BC Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts:
Klassen and Achong are grateful for funding and support for RML phase three that has been committed from BC Arts Council (Individual Arts Award); Canada Council for the Arts (Research Creation, Explore and Create grant); SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship at Critical Media Art Studio, School of Interactive Art and Technology, SFU; Centre for Inter-Media Arts and Decolonial Expression (CiMADE), NSCAD; SITE/ation Studio, UBCO; and, Light Factory Publications.