SESSION/relay: Alize Zorlutuna

14 February 2021 12pm

How to write for an imagined place

The word place can refer to a myriad of locales, both physical and psychic. Place is real earth beneath our feet as well as imagined: a relic of memory in the privacy of our thoughts; an historic construction; a fantasy of elsewhere; a felt sense; a longing. Place is a gathering of stories, mythologies, and hauntings. It can be a conjuring of responsibilities—a teacher. Place can have its own gravity, as in contested territories—Palestine, Kashmir, Kurdistan, and Turtle Island—that are at once historic, imagined, and lived present realities of enduring violence. Yet place can exist beneath words and above borders as speculative; as world-building. 

How to write for an imagined place proposes a collaborative writing process, distributed across distances and the imaginations of its participants. Inviting responses to a collection of prompts sent through the mail, this multi-directional exchange offers a series of encounters and reflections. As we continue to physically distance, this project conjures some place we might gather, if not face to face, then through the meeting of ideas and impressions[—Alize Zorlutuna] 

Beginning the week of 14 February 2021, this program will be facilitated through the postal service between February – April 2021. Participants in Canada will be provided with requisite materials and postage to partake in the project. Participants outside of Canada should contact the gallery to discuss arrangements. 

Registration for this program is now full. Thank you to everyone who RSVP’d!


Alize Zorlutuna is a queer interdisciplinary artist, writer and educator whose work explores relationships to land, culture and the more-than-human, while thinking through settler-colonialism, history, and solidarity. Having moved between Tkarón:to and Anatolia (present-day Turkey) both physically and culturally throughout her life has informed her practice—making her attentive to spaces of encounter. She enlists poetics and a sensitivity to materials in works that span video, installation, printed matter, performance and sculpture. The body and its sensorial capacities are central to her work which has been presented across Turtle Island and internationally. Alize is currently based in Tkarón:to where for the last five years she has been a sessional instructor OCAD University.  

SESSION is a project modelling itself after an incubator that invites cultural practitioners to engage with questions that emerge out of a given exhibition. /relay is a durational and distributed reframing of the project that untethers the incubator from a singular moment or site of gathering.   

SESSION is made possible with Leading Support from TD Bank Group.