"On this day, as I walked to find a spot to sit and do nothing, I thought it strange that above me, within an otherwise entirely blue sky, was one solitary grey cloud. Having found no isolated shower forecast in my weather app, I traced the shape of this ominous cloud to a cliff of dunes, where I stood and realized that this raincloud was actually a plume of smoke emanating from the parched mountains behind me. In the morning, I didn’t see anyone else looking at this cloud as intently as I was. By the afternoon, a single-file row of spectators stood atop the dune peering at the forest fire. It flamed into the night, when the proprietor of the vacation rental woke me up from my sleep, yelling my name through my open bedroom window. She was standing in the street, looking up at the red glow—closer than she had expected to see it—considering whether to evacuate and take me with her."
We are delighted to present the final part of our expanded digital programme for 'From the Ground Up: The Gathering': an essay by Taylor Le Melle responding to the themes of 'From The Ground Up' through a conversation with the work of Otobong Nkanga.
Taylor Le Melle, born in 1988 (USA), currently lives and works in the Netherlands. In 2021 they edited and published Orion J. Facey’s science-fantasy novel The Virosexuals (PSS) and completed a three-year term as co-director of not/nowhere, an artists’ workers cooperative based in East London. Le Melle is currently a Research Fellow in the Design Department at Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam.