For the colonized, rumor is a double-edged sword, limited in its utility as the ambiguity or unverified truth of the rumor simultaneously causes both fear and restricted mobility. Nevertheless, it is the evasiveness of it that allows undocumented communities to organize, move, or stay put with some sense of authority over their bodies, bodies which themselves are often in a constant state of strategic evasiveness.

The world I inhabit is one that first existed in imagination. Even though Jim Crow policed their bodies and their lives, activists protested and endured violence so that in a sea of raised white hands in a classroom, I could raise my own. Perhaps arriving at black liberation isn’t the point. The project of liberation will always be an unfinished one, a symphony amid composition.

One essential task of writers accompanying movements for social change is to make visible that which is hidden. Counternarratives are a practice in that visibility. They acknowledge that abolishing structures of domination must go hand in hand with eliminating ideologies of harm. When this concert between analyses of structural and ideological conditions is achieved, new visions of freedom are possible.

The curators of “Material Intimacies” have successfully created an exhibition that “examines intimacy as an encounter shaped by colonialism’s globalizing force.” Each artist uses the materials commodified for the colonial project in order to create art that is elevated in a white wall gallery space while forging new relationships and bonds in the face of violence, exploitation, and displacement.

In seeing Varter Bogigian’s photo at Tsitsernakaberd that day, I recognized the universal link that unites all Armenians:our shared history. In that moment, I was reminded of the value of our words — of the stories of our grandmothers, of our grandfathers, of our mothers, of our fathers, of our sisters and our brothers.