Imagine the world’s entire migration library as a vast archive that, like its subject, refuses to be confined within a single location. Reading the Migration Library is an art project that provides opportunities for people to make books; and to read and discuss the contents of this library in public settings. The project, hosted and coordinated by Vancouver-based artist Lois Klassen, is comprised of workshops, one-on-one interviews, exhibitions, readings and performances. Collaborating artists, authors and contributors are invited to make books (during interviews or workshops), and join reading or exhibition events. RML books are free for copying, recopying and easy circulation through mail art exchanges. All RML books are small: a 1/4 of a letter-sized sheet (4.25×5.5″). This is so that they are easily reproduced and distributed. Many of them have print files available. A template design for easy participation in the project is coming soon. Outside of the 1/4-sheet format, the project invites participants to join the project through the mail art exchange. There are no design restrictions for the mail art exchange.
Reading the Migration Library has appeared in many territories but most of its production takes place on land that is now known as Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, but is, in fact, the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
RML has been hosted by The Reach Gallery Museum (Abbotsford, BC), Federation of BC Writers, Stitch-In, Union Gallery, Queen’s University (Kingston, ON), Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Sala-Manca, Poetic Justice / Poetry New West, Anvil Centre Artist-in-Residence Program (New Westminster), BRUNA Press + Archive, YACTAC, Santa Fe Art Institute Immigration/Emigration Residency and Santa Fe Radio Cafe.
RML would not have been possible without financial and in-kind support from Santa Fe Art Institute, Canada Graduate Scholarships – Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada), The Graduate Dean’s Travel Grant (Queen’s University), Graduate Research-Creation/Community-Based Research and Action Fund (Queen’s University) and the British Columbia Arts Council.