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Individual Exhibition - State of Disappearance. 

CentreSpace Gallery, Bristol. UK. 

28th Oct / 8th Nov 2023.


This Project brings art into conversation with academics & advocacy groups to raise awareness and instigate public debate. Addressing themes of enforced disappearance, feminicide, slavery, genocide and indigenous persecution, it responds to the most pressing concerns facing our shared humanity.

Conversation of the State of Disappearance Project by Brad Evans & Chantal Meza
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This initial impetus project was conceived back in 2017 as a result of responding to the violence of enforced disappearance, which had become an everyday reality in Chantal's home country of Mexico. As she began her own witnessing to this through art, our subsequent discussions raised a number of crucial questions for us. Not least: - How can we do justice to a shattering absence? How could we bring our own grammatical tools to bare on a problem that took us beyond the threshold of intelligibility? What could political philosophy say when confronting the limits of language and what could art say when all presence is being denied?

Confronting these questions we understood demanded a collaborative response between the arts & philosophy. It also demanded a wider conversation with a community of intellectuals, who could allow us to reimagine the truly unimaginable. Recognising this, we began this journey noting that while disappearance is undoubtedly terrifying for its victims and families, there was a need to reimagine the term disappearance itself within a more considered and intimate frame. It was necessary to account for the terror which lives on in the minds of everybody it touches, not only to focus attention on the absence of bodies, but to also consider broader issues on the roles between perpetrators, victims and witnesses, onto the ways it forces a fundamental rupture in the logics of space and time. Indeed, we felt that it was only by addressing it on these terms that we might be able to ask serious questions about what role art and critical thinking have when confronting this devastating problem, which by its very definition, exceeds the limits of aesthetic and philosophical engagement on account of its very absence and denials.


28th October - 8th November 2023

The Inaugural State of Disappearance Art exhibition will be held at CentreSpace Art Gallery in Bristol from October 27th to November 8th, 2023. Showcasing for the first time together, 75 dedicated works will be presented dealing with the brutality of disappearance, and how it leaves its mark upon those who must live with the consequences. 


Complimenting the exhibition, two weeks of events are planned which will include  a series of public lectures from internationally recognised speakers and leading authorities on different related issues from feminicide, ecology to slavery, dedicated panels exploring issues concerning memory & justice, student workshops and a remembrance for the disappeared. 

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State of Disappearance brings together the power of artistic testimony and witnessing with critical voices to ask deeper questions about extreme violence, the normalisation of human vanishing, state and ideological complicity, and memorialisation, along with wider concerns about what it means to be human in the twenty-first century.

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"Disappearance is marked by a devastating absence. It constitutes a form of violence that rips open a wound in time. It offers no viable recovery and no meaningful justice. It provisions alibis to perpetrators, while denying the victims their very humanity. And for those who are left to live with its presence, the terror is unending".​


In this section you will find a digital library of filmed resources related to the State of Disappearance project.

The archive includes keynote lectures, invited talks, public interviews, plenary discussions and recorded webinars.