Phantom Ground


As the world shifts into further extremes of power polarizations, with radical right wingers dominating the results of many democratic elections, countries already at the mercy of these empires continue to fall deeper into the trap of self-interest. The politics of privatization and colonial divisions of land, the systems set in place that disrupt the flow of our everyday and the urgency of addressing economic injustices, all stretch our tethers to the point of exhaustion. Physical land, the earth, the dirt is tethered to the body. Like an appendage or extension, the body once detached still feels the phantom granules of soil left behind. They follow us everywhere, like a shadow or a magnet. These detrimental exoduses have restructured, not only the demographics, but even the visual topography of the landscape and architecture. When we live on the land that birthed us, it is demystified. The problems of our daily lives are commanding and blinding. Distance, through chosen or forced migration, suddenly elevates our homeland into a space of romance. It untangles the mind from reality. The detachment of the body from the land incites a psychological yearning that solidifies the connection to that same land. It overcomes us. It fuels us. Like gravity, that tether is present with us during every step we take on this earth.