I’m Not Who You Think I’m Not #30: 4 Waters-Deep Implicancy
Film premiere of 4 Waters-Deep Implicancy by Arjuna Neuman and Denise Ferreira da Silva, followed by conversation with the authors and artist Filipa Cesar, in English
“an earthquake is coming” – Jean-Jacques Desalines/C. L. R. James
What is often forgotten in the traditional retelling of the Haitian Revolution is the earthquake of 1784. This earthquake not only razed Port-au-Prince to the ground, but it also importantly shook down, if only temporarily, the entrenched social order of Colonial Hierarchy. Slaves, who had fled to the mountains for safety, began to collectively realize the power they held over their European masters. Amidst all the geo-chaos, liquefaction, and tectonic-shifts, Port-au-Prince and its plantations grounded to a halt; twenty years later the very same would happen—this time, by the slaves’ free will.
This earthquake marked an indigenous foretelling of Black Independence and the revolution to come (distinctly not of French or Enlightenment origination). At a cosmic level, it brought knowledge from the unmeasurable moment prior to separation, prior to bacterial-life, as the first metric of time—a moment or state we call “Deep Implicancy.”
4 Waters emerges from this deep-soft state, bringing with it a set of gathered and imagined knowledges that begin to image a pre-life cosmos. Our study with water moves towards this imaging, both as it phase-transitions with and into other matter including life and/as non-life, but also as it combines disparate geographies, bodies of/in water, and four historically and cosmically contentious islands within them— Lesvos, Marshall Islands, Haiti, Tiwi.
What we learn through water and its phasing is the possibility of transformation—that thing that makes us universally human in its spiritual-ethical and labor-value sense (Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and Karl Marx). But importantly, we also learn of the radical potential that comes from stripping transformation of time—an absence that makes us more-than-human in an elemental sense.
4 Waters asks what becomes of movement once stripped of development? What can a human be without the crutches of lifespan and measure? And, what then, becomes of our molten ethics when stripped of its value form?