Gul-e-Curfew: An Index of the Strange and Inconsistent Phantoms from Everywhere

Artist Book, Inject Print on Archival Paper, Text written in Collaboration with Hafsa Sayeed



Gul-e-Curfew: An Index of Strange and inconsistent phantoms from everywhere speculates how ecology as an organism responds and adapts to territorial conflicts and their environmental impact. The work indexes various biological beings, ranging from flowers to abstract organisms supposedly emanating within the sub terrains of contested ecologies and territories. The collection of such beings is presented in the form of a book consisting of images and text. The text, presented in an indexical format, provides information about the beings, such as their names, classifications, life spans, and ecological becoming. With its lexiconic design, the book acts as a metaphor that seeks to challenge the taxonomical arrangement of ecologies by regimes of power in contested sites. It aims to depart from anthropocentric narratives of colonisation and the subsequent decolonial struggles. Furthermore, it aims to re-imagine ecologies as militant processes thus moving away from the colonial representation of ecologies as passive pastoral objects. For example, Bir Banta ko Lagid, proliferates in silence underneath the clothes of strip-searched people. It transforms the fabric in the same metal, out of which Don Quixote’s armour was made. It is found in various places, for example, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, inside the factories run by children and in Srinagar, on the doors of small, congested rooms of handicraft workers. Its aroma evokes rebellion and fractures the loops of violence that workers are subjected to, eating away the contracts that bind them to slavery.