Inner Geography

Inner Geography was presented on February 18th, 2007—the Lunar New Year. In it 108 representations of the outcast and its opposite were exhibited with dance, poetry, music, video and sculpture. A PDF monograph of these images is available for download ($12). Inner Geography may be easily replicated as a workshop especially in art therapy contexts. For information on Inner Geography workshops, please contact us.

Visit the Inner Geography Gallery.

Background and History

Inner Geography began as an exploration of the stigma of AIDS—how people living with HIV lose their jobs, husbands or wives, children, homes, medical care, and friends around the globe. Erving Goffman, the sociologist, called the outcast state “a spoiled identity.” It is a familiar, though difficult region within each of us. Inner Geography later became a more general exploration of how we divide ourselves, how the outcast and its opposite, its tensions and its direction of resolution, expresses something universal yet completely unique in each individual.

Each of the 108 volunteers was asked to embody the outcast and take that position on a long piece of brown paper. The outline was traced. Then each took the opposite position on top of the first outline. Staying in touch with these opposite states, each expressed them freely with pastels, crayons, acrylics, and collage. The images were photographed, reduced to 15 inches in length, and printed on watercolor paper.