Abstract: Singing the Body Visible - Moira Williams

Abstract: Moira Williams

Is an intervention examining Harriet Tubman's invisible group 'walks' along the Underground Railroad, a fugitive trail that tended to erase itself, making it unlikely for us to ever walk on it.

We will explore what is revealed by attempting to retrace Tubmanʼs routes following the land and its' seasonal cycles. Our exploration will be framed through an eco-feminist lens asking: How is it possible to write Tubman's deep ecological knowledge without marginalizing her as a person through her inability to read or write materially? How do we walk in her spirit and the spirit of the Underground Railroad while stepping into the everyday structure of colonialist metaphors present in the brutalities of the landscape that are also carried into female bodies? We will attempt to make these metaphors visible through group walking and vocal exercises to find ways to open an accessible dialogue that questions how we relate to them.


Moira Williams creates participatory works that bring people together and make explicit the complexity of their community and the environment. She is a founding member of the walking cooperative Walk Exchange, has spoken at Elastic City Walks Festival, Dorsky Curatorial Programs, Open Engagement Conference for Art and Social Practice, Alice Yard in Trinidad and has been interviewed by C Magazine in Canada. Her work has been seen in Adrienne Outlawʼs FLEX IT! MY Body. My Temple, Jennifer Monsonʼs iLAND, Thomas Hirschhorn's Gramsci House, Walk 21 Munich, Issue Project Room NY, No Longer Empty's This Side of Paradise NY, DUMBO Arts Festival, The Kitchen, MoMA PS1, Acoustic Ecology Festival, NY and and the Ghetto Biennial Haiti.

She was a 2012 Laundromat project fellow, recently awarded an Emergency Grant from the Contemporary Arts Foundation in NY and has been selected as On Our Radar Artist by Creative Capital.

Moira is currently an artist in residence at 601 Tully House in Syracuse, NY. She will be an artist in residence this summer at The Luminary and co-artist for FLOAT. Both are in St. Louis, Mo. She holds a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in NY, a Graduate Certificate in Spatial Politics, and an MFA from Stony Brook University, NY.