Name pronunciation: Pruh–kah-sh
Statement of positionality: I am a first-generation Tamizhan-Canadian arrivant1 from Malaysia born and raised in Dish With One Spoon territory, the traditional territory of Anishinaabe, Mississaugas, and Haudenosaunee [Tkaronto/Toronto] who currently lives and works on unceded Lands stolen from Kanienkehá:ka Nation and the Anishinaabe [Tiohtiá:ke/Mooniyang/Montréal].
Bio: Prakash Krishnan (he/him) is an artist-researcher and cultural worker exploring questions around accessibility, contemporary art, and education. He holds a MA in Media Studies and a Graduate Diploma in Communication Studies from Concordia University. He has published widely on feminist archives, contemporary art, and 2SLBGTQ+ organizing in the form of reviews, interviews, zines, and essays in addition to peer-reviewed, scholarly articles. His writing appears in PUBLIC, Plot(s) Journal of Design Studies, Canadian Journal of Communication, Design and Political Dissent: Spaces, Visuals, Materiality (ed. Traganou), and Cigale among others.
Prakash is a research associate at AIM, working closely with lab members on various initiatives relating to access and media. Concurrently, he is the manager of cultural mediation at the artist-run centre, Centre d’art et de diffusion CLARK as well as an educator and project manager at the PHI Foundation for Contemporary Art. He was a 2021 artist-in-residence at CLEAR Lab and the inaugural Fresh Pages Guest Curator at the Quebec Writers’ Federation in 2020. Prakash currently sits on the board of directors of Project 10 and he co-produces and hosts the anti-colonial, Canadian media criticism podcast, Do The Kids Know? He is also the archival director of the Things+Time project at the Cyber Love Hotel.
1 Anti-colonial Chickasaw scholar Jodi Byrd expands on Barbadian poet Kamau Brathwaite’s conception of the arrivant to describe those who outside a strict Indigenous/settler binary. In the introduction of their book, The Transit of Empire: Indigenous Critiques of Colonialism, Byrd utilises the term arrogant to “signify those people forced into the Americas through the violence of European and Anglo-American colonialism and imperialism around the globe” (p. xix).
I use the term here to describe my social position as a person who has become twice diasporic due largely to Anglo-imperial interventions within South and Southeast Asia. I offer this justification of my presence on these Lands not as what Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang (2012) call “settler moves to innocence”, but rather to invoke the complex relationships to territory that I and many in the diaspora experience when trying to build a new life in a (differently) but still hostile world. Nevertheless, I am endlessly thankful for the various First Nations who have, since time immemorial, maintained sacred relationships with the Lands and Waters on which I have been able to make a life here in so-called Canada.
Byrd, Jodi A. The Transit of Empire: Indigenous Critiques of Colonialism. NED-New edition, University of Minnesota Press, 2011.
Tuck, Eve, and K. Wayne.” Decolonization Is Not a Metaphor.” Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society 1.1 (2012): 1-40.