(text and artwork)

Canadian Theatre Review winter 2019 cover photo featuring Minah Lee with Milton Lim's video
Radical Hospitalities
Cover photo: Minah Lee’s performance with a flash card featured in Milton Lim‘s video, CAMINOS 2017, Toronto.
Photo by Brian Batchelor

Canadians often say to me, “You must be a Canadian or Permanent Resident, if you have been living here for more than a decade.” I tend to lose my words. Both my mother tongue and broken English don’t seem sufficient to explain. Where should I begin to give a sense of an immigration system written by the logic of a neo-liberal nation-state? I would rather be a body of 미친년, a degraded fallen woman, so please don’t take me seriously until I call you out and madly make out with you. I fell in love with her body free from legitimate bodies’ acceptance, a deceptive notion of consent. She utters fearlessly, not because her language is correct and direct, but because her language is doomed to be corrected and redirected. She dares to speak in front of you—the Indigenous peoples of this land, in the face of you—the settlers in this land, and in the midst of you—the migrants on this land. She picks up random words and spits them out. Dildos. Drones. Missiles. Canada’s Comprehensive Ranking System … She calls them out without grasping them. I gave her my desires, memories, and traumas that are seemingly lost because they barely reach the surface of her consciousness. Maybe she is a broken language floating on the surface of the water where your ‘Ophelia’ is perpetually drowning.