Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Center for Contemporary South Asia

South Asian Seminar with Alana Hunt

Friday, November 9, 2018

2:00pm – 4:00pm

McKinney Conference Room

Alana Hunt lives on Miriwoong country in the north-west of Australia. She makes contemporary art, writes, and produces culture through a variety of media across public, gallery and online spaces. Her work is grounded in the capacity of art and ideas to shape the social space between people and the public sphere. The politics of nation making and the colonial past and present of Australia and South Asia run in quiet yet consistent ways throughout her practice. Her work distills complex and controversial issues into personal encounters that are challenging and poetic, at once absurd and meaningful.

Since 2009 Alana has orchestrated participatory art and publishing projects that have activated different media forms in the public sphere to shed light on the charged narratives of Kashmir. Paper txt msgs from Kashmir (2009-2011) is a tactical media intervention that responded to a state wide ban on pre-paid mobile phones in Jammu and Kashmir. This work prompted media in India & Pakistan to speak about issues they had previously been silent on and won the Fauvette Laureiro Artists Scholarship (2011). The participatory memorial Cups of nun chai (2010-2017) emerged from the summer of 2010 when over 118 people died in pro-freedom protests and unfolded over two years of tea, conversation and blogging. From mid-2016 Cups of nun chai circulated as an eleven-month newspaper serial in Kashmir reaching tens of thousands of people on a weekly basis during a period of civilian uprising & state oppression. This work won the 2017 Incinerator Art Award, was nominated for an Infinity Award with the International Centre for Photography, and highly commended in The Blake Prize. Alana’s essay, A mere drop in the sea of what is, published by 4A Papers, explored the art circulating on the ‘streets of social media’ in Kashmir, excerpts of which made it into the Hansard Report of the Australian Parliament.

South Asia Seminar