En Masse, 2016
Every year or so, towards the end of the wet season, these grasshoppers arrive en masse. They move in swarms and within days the grass has lost the height it grew amidst the rains. This video is an ode to the distinct power of small things en masse
37 Gertrude St, Fitzroy
6PM - 12AM
They were showered with accusations of being “anti-national” after organising a poetry reading as a tribute to a Kashmiri man who had been executed by the Indian state. A media trial ensued, and what began as a small cohort of individuals attending a poetry reading grew into a widespread movement whose political and educational ramifications are still being felt in India today through forms of resistance and repression, including the continuing incarceration of pro-democracy activists, human rights advocates, and journalists. And so, this video remains an ode to the distinct power of small things en masse
This work is being presented as part of GSPF 2023 on-site in partnership with Artbank.
This work was made on Gija Country in the remote north-west of Australia. While the grasshoppers en masse were an awe inspiring sensation in their own right, they also brought to my mind events occurring in India at the same time. In early 2016 a number of students were arrested from Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi where I had completed my masters.
@ Bunjil Place
+ Fed Square
Paper txt msgs from Kashmir 2009-2011
Paper txt msgs from Kashmir began in December 2009 as a low-tech participatory intervention initiated by Alana Hunt as a kind of tongue-in-cheek response to the Indian government’s ban on all pre-paid mobile phone services in Indian controlled Kashmir on the basis of “security”. Virtually overnight hundreds of thousands of mobile phone users – people conducting business, college students, families, distanced lovers were left without means of telecommunication. There was little more than a whisper from the media; it was not an isolated incident. At this time around one thousand “paper txt msgs” were distributed throughout the Kashmir valley, inviting dejected pre-paid subscribers to write a “paper txt msg” about anything they would like to write in a txt msg but were suddenly unable to do so.
The monitoring, blocking and banning of phone services is just one of the many ways in which India’s military occupation attempts to break the rhythms of daily life in Kashmir. Today, almost fifteen years later, reports state that more than a fifth of the world’s internet and telecommunications blackouts take place in Kashmir. These paper txt msgs are still as urgent as event.
Bunjil Place, Narre Warren
Between 4.30 - 7:00PM
Alana Hunt makes art and writes and tries to find the most affective ways for this material to move in the world. In 2020 her decade long evolving memorial Cups of nun chai was published in book form by New Delhi based Yaarbal Books after being serialised in the newspaper Kashmir Reader between 2016-17. In recent years, as part of SPACED Rural Utopias program, she has been an artist in residence with the Kimberley Land Council, materialising work about the WA Aboriginal Heritage Act into video, photography, printed matter, and public events. Alana is currently working on a super 8mm film that examines contemporary colonial life in the north-west of Australia. This will premiere at the Northern Centre for Contemporary Art in late 2023. She is currently a finalist in the Ramsay Art Prize (Art Gallery of South Australia) and has recently exhibited with PhotoKTM (Photo Circle, Kathmandu), Growing Like a Tree: Sent a Letter (Sunaparanta, Goa), and Every Inch: The Bureaucratic Affect in Colonisation (Cross Arts, Sydney).