Vanessa Godden is a queer Indo-Trinidadian and Euro-Canadian artist and academic based in Toronto, Canada. Vanessa has a PhD from the Victorian College of the Arts (2020), supported through the Melbourne International Research Scholarship and Melbourne International Fee Remission Scholarship. They received their MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (2014) and BFA from the University of Houston (2012). Their artistic practice uses performative gestures to explore how personal histories of sexual assault, cultural heritage, and the body in relation to geographic space can be conveyed through material engagements with the body.
Trudging Congealed Seas (Pilot), brings together research familial history/lived experience of the Indo-Caribbean diaspora. As a result of a fire at the records hall in Trinidad and Tobago 1903, Godden’s maternal family, the Majaralis and Khans, lost access to information about their lineages prior to being transported to Trinidad to work the cane fields. Much of the information about their ancestry can only be traced back to the mid-1800s and is shared via a complex web of oral telling. Trudging Congealed Seas (Pilot) will give audiences an understanding of Godden’s experience as a person of the Indo-Caribbean diaspora and the historical and socio-political impacts of European colonization of the Caribbean. This film is part of a larger web-based project, currently in development. As part of the larger project, the footage from Godden’s personal archive of audio/visual material from Trinidad and tobago will be integrated into a net-art inspired ‘choose your own adventure’ style game.