Cassandra Troyan

Artist in Residence, 2016

Artist Statement

My writing develops out of a deep curiosity for uncovering situations of traumatic disturbance in the everyday. I attempt to demarcate spaces for experience through the exploration of myths, normative (gender) roles, radical genealogies, and cultural influence as a means to re-organizing agency in the fields of politics, society and culture.

To reveal the supposedly hidden structures of our desires by rendering visible how we find ourselves in relation to others, specifically within the experience of being female (or gender non-conforming) in a hyper media-conscious and image-driven society. How do the engagements we make with others get entangled or complicated through the pressures put on the body, gender, race, and class amidst the ever-present threat of violence?

While At Headlands

While at Headlands I will be working on the continuation of HATRED OF WOMEN, a chapbook I’m currently expanding into a full-length manuscript of poetry and prose. The US military invaded Afghanistan on October 7, 2001. I was 15 years old. The war formulated and fractured my connection to the present, or the possibility of living in a desirable world not constructed out of terror, violence, and fear post-9/11.

THE BULLET IN OUR HEAD is an attempt to reconstruct my relationship to a past torn open by the military industrial complex and state violence, through a process of re-engaging attachments closed off by the presence of war. To go back through war—not into a nostalgic past—but to pass to the other side by discovering intimacies within the field of shared trauma, queerness, and fragility. What has (the Iraq) war destroyed, what can be salvaged? What kind of world seems possible now? What kind of world would we want to live in?

Banner image: We Are Healers: (The Arm Collector), photo and mixed media collage by TRAUMA DOG (Cassandra Troyan & Rachel Ellison), 2015.

Selected Works:

Freedom & Prostitution, published by The Elephants, September 2020.