In this installation at Toronto’s Biennial of Art 2019, Ware imagines a world where racialized people have survived the “black death spectacle” writ large on the nightly news; survived the catastrophic impact of the Anthropocene; and survived the crushing effects of white supremacy. Drawing on the shared language of speculative fiction and political activism, Ware creates a portal that takes us to eleven characters in the summer of 2030, each with birthright citizenship to the only habitable place on earth: Antarctica. Their task? To begin terraforming for the new colony. The installation includes life-size portraits of the installation’s actors, created by Ware.
NOVEMBER 19, 2044,
Project Antarctica has begun. 11 Ships carrying the land borns and their supplies have departed and will have set up the first Antarctic colonies by late 2027.
Log 278. November 2025
How we fucking got here.
The treaty planned for a Cold War moment; for the perceived threats of 1959.
The treaty says nothing about the changing climate.
The powerful in 1959 didn’t predict the need for Antarctica, the need for the continent to be a livable space.
Now, in 2045, with its ice mostly melted, Antarctica is one of the few fertile land masses left on the Earth.
The powerful left questions about the process of colonizing the continent.
Leaving us to figure this shit out for ourselves. Leaving our powerful to make the decisions about our lives.
(she sighs). This is stupid. Why am I still doing my daily logs? Because Im hoping that somehow someone somewhere will hear these and know what happened to us? Hear the truth of what happened here?
Eleven of us had been born at that point on the Antarctic ice. One was born in the 70s, an accidental occurrence during a science expedition.
But all of the rest of us 10 were sent there to be born, to stake a future land claim through birthright. we were born in antarctic waters, our fates set for us from that moment forward.
White supremacy is everywhere here– everything on this damn continent is white. I mean every fucking thing here…is…white. Are you telling me you’re okay with this? This is what they want, an all white Antarctica – a space where only they survive. Us being here is incidental.
I mean, on the one hand of course not. How could I be okay with it all? I know the company is evil…
but what choice do we have really? It’s not like we have money or people or any of the things we’d need to try to take over this land – we are two people!
What youre proposing could work– with maybe 500 more people. Sabian– it’s just us. We dont really have a choice here. At least if we go along we’ll be guaranteed a space in the end, too.
Listen to yourself! you’re like an ad for neo liberalism right now!
No you listen! We wouldnt actually need to do much to fuck this shit up.
Think about it. All we have to do is shut off communication to the north – the rich will have no way of knowing what is happening down here.
and then we can take-over encampment by encampment, winning the others over to our cause. To the creation of a free Antarctica. or at least freeing ourselves from…this?
We can do this, I have organized more with less. Ok maybe not less.
It wont work
There’s one other option though…I mean it’s a long shot. But I read about it before I came here. Its Mary Byrd Land. The unclaimed territory in the south of the island. Who says we need to spend any time tearing down what they want us to build. What if we side step that altogether and built our own new world from the ground up – in the free territory?
I cant believe Im saying this but… tell me more
We could cut off communication with the north as I was saying…but then just leave. Move to Mary Byrd Land and then start a new community. a free space where people can come to live if they can make it here. A space for us and our people.
How would we get there? That land is across four time zones! That means 4 borders and Im not sure we’d ever get across 4 borders. FOUR borders? It’s impossible.
We could go by water– …around the shoreline.
We dont have accurate maps. The Pine Glacier has fallen away, it could be out there floating as smaller icebergs ready to rip our ships in half.
we’ll swim there. We can use our thermal regulators.
The regulators, they have a 5 hour charge… so we will have to take breaks, but well need them to rest.
we could do this. We could.
(whispers softly) Well Fuck!
We could… (he trails off in awe)
Could our regulators work for that long? Were talking many days in the water.
Im not sure I could swim for that long, I get tired…
So we bring extra battery packs and float them with us while we swim. And we can take breaks on the ice floes…
we could do this, Love. We could.
We could leave. We could fucking free ourselves from this confinement.
Hey. So Im thinking… we can’t leave jessica here. I know shit is hella complicated right now but I just couldnt leave her…here? (gestures around)
I mean, anyways, BIPOCs gotta stick together right? Especially in this place?
Ha! She’s a company fan! We’ll never get her to come, but go right ahead and try. I know you like wasting your time, energy, supplies…
Anyways, You know I love a challenge.
Are you telling me you’d be okay leaving her here… to snow, to whiteness to the eventually overrunning of this place by rich people?
What if she says “No,” but then know our plans? Like think about it tho…Can we trust her to keep this secret?
50, 51, 52, 53. Fuck. I need to get the next shipment like yesterday. But the next one isnt due until…
Fuck. 6 months. 6 months if the fires dont burn down the food stores before hand. If the government doesnt dissolve and leave us here alone.
No. No. The government will not disappoint us. They will send the rations. Im supposed to trust in the plan.
“We are the Antarcticans. We will find safety for the inhabitants of earth, we will build a new world for our chosen few to make a new world together”
Fuck, Sabian. What the fuck are you doing here?
Here to start a revolution?
Jessica. still carryin heat I see.
what do you wannnnt sabian? I’m busy. Actually planning for our survival here, instead of running around playing activist.
I am an activist. Im not playing– let me make myself perfectly clear.
And Im active trying to make a better life for us. I want something better for us than…this?
Jessica, You cant tell me that after everything thats happened, the lack of communication, the lack of provisions and supplies, the sheer and utter lack of help from our home countries– you cant tell me that you are still pro-company after all of this?
Why does everything have to be a fight with you? These are the ends of times. We are LUCKY to be here. We are going to survive. If you cant see that, I can’t help you.
But when is colonization ok? We ve never even been to the center of Antarctica– no one has. What if there are people living there? or other non human animals. This shit aint right.
…have you eaten?
Can we talk about what happened?
Sabian– it happened. it’s over. Let’s just say we were in need of each other and fulfilled that need. Im not here to find lovers. Im here to save the world. I have my mission, you have yours.
We’re going away.
What? Where? Who’s we?
To Mary Byrd Land. Me and Marcus, when the spring comes.
To Mary Byrd Land!? No one has ever been there– its far too treacherous to reach on land and ships cant pass that way– and theres no infrastructure there and theres no life and–
Jess– we’ve got a plan. We leave in four months when the weather is warmer.
Come with us.
You’re completely bananas! Im not going anywhere! How could you even ask me that? Im not risking my life to end up exactly where? On the wrong side of the continent cut off from everything– (laughing in disbelief) no way. No thank you.
That’s…what I thought you’d say I guess. Well, think about it.
I’ve got to finish my counting.