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"D__ance: for the Disappeared" is an interdisciplinary collaboration between abstract painter Chantal Meza the Dance artists Catherine Guerin, Miriam Markl and Elisabeth Kaul and Composer John Psathas. In this event, framed by the melodic composition "Corybas" the dancers perform while the painter attempts to capture their movements on canvas in real time. The visual effects are then further intensified when, together with the painter, the dancers trace their own movements with paint, leaving traces of their otherwise fleeting motions on the canvas. These will later become part of the finished painting. The audience experiences LIVE, the process of creating an artwork.

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The historical and present condition continues to be marked by forms of violence that are defined by a devastating absence. Whether we are referring to single acts of abduction, the enforced disappearance of entire communities or systematic policies of annihilation, such violence often rips open a wound in time, offering no viable recovery and no meaningful justice. But what do we actually mean by disappearance? How should we understand and respond to the problem in the contemporary moment? And how can we make sense of a phenomena that takes us beyond all intelligibility? 

The State of Disappearance project is a collaborative response that ​brings together the arts, humanities, social sciences and wider advocacy groups to bring new attention to the multiple ways disappearance occurs. Instigating public debate, it asks what forced absence and total human denial means for societies and how we might better understand such violence in the 21st Century?



Art Against Oblivion

Our project began in 2017 with an artistic demand. It was inspired by the artwork of Chantal Meza, who like so many in Latin America confronted the reality of disapperance. This raised many critical questions for us, which in turn further inspired an entire collection of artworks dedicated to the project. 

These artworks have sought to bear witness to disappearance by attending to its apparitions, the obscure beasts that are brought into ones nightmares, the beginnings of such absence, the fragmented catastrophes they induce, the collapse of consciousness it provokes, along with creation of non-spaces of devastating habitation, we have elected to call the void. 

The Full Online Exhibition:



Click here for details of all our publications associated with the project, including The State of Disappearance book and associated media articles and interviews: 

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Public Exhibition
& Events 

Spring to Autumn 2023

Over the coming months, we are hosting with various partners a number of public events. These will include lectures, workshops, webinars and collaborative performances. 


The inaugural State of Disappearance Art exhibition will be held at CentreSpace Art Gallery in Bristol from October 27th to November 8th, 2023. Showcasing for the first time together, 75 dedicated works will be on show that deal with the brutality of disappearance, and how it leaves its mark upon those who must live with the consequences. 


Complimenting the exhibition, two weeks of events are planned which will include  a series of public lectures from internationally recognised speakers and leading authorities on different related issues from feminicide, ecology to slavery, dedicated panels exploring issues concerning memory & justice, student workshops and a remembrance for the disappeared. 


Film Medi
Lectures, Talks and Webinars

In this section you will find a digital library of filmed resources related to the State of Disappearance project. The archive includes recordings of keynote lectures, invited talks, public interviews, plenary discussions and webinars series. 



A collaboration between art & dance

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Project Directors

Chantal Meza is a renowned Mexican abstract artist and writer. She is currently based in the United Kingdom. 

Brad Evans is the founder & director of the Histories of Violence project. He is Professor of Political Violence & Aesthetics at the University of Bath

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“Disappearance is marked by a devastating absence. It constitutes a form of violence that rips open a wound in time. It offers no viable recovery and no meaningful justice. It provisions alibis to perpetrators, while denying the victims their very humanity. And for those who are left to live with its presence, the terror is unending". 

Chantal Meza & Brad Evans

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