- the exhibition -
single-screen video work by Aidan Jolly in collaboration with current and former asylum seekers and their allies
Fear, terror and persecution in the aftermath of September 11th: a short multimedia video exploration which asks why western governments are exploiting the attack on the World Trade Centre to demonise asylum seekers and refugees, in which political analysis collides with real-life testimony through a redefinition of surveillance, fear and portraiture.
The methodology of collaboration by negotiation evolved in order to create work influenced by a range of those voices who, for practical reasons, would struggle to engage with more intense organisational methods. Original assumptions were that this would yield a work which described a broad narrative reflectively depicting some kind of commonality between forced or coerced migrants such as those who currently seek asylum. However, the occurrence of September 11th before the project began changed everything, and became the central subject of pertinence for the people involved in the project.
Dust Rising has been developed out of interviews and discussions with asylum seekers, refugees and supporters. It addresses their concerns in the aftermath of September 11th 2001. It is an experiment in finding appropriate ways of involving them in the creative process, at a time in each person's life when they are also facing fundamental questions and fears, for their own personal safety and livelihood, and for that of their families; or, if they have successfully concluded a campaign, in asking them to relive traumatic experiences. The viewer is continually placed in the position of viewing the entire scenario within a framework of surveillance as the watcher, suggesting the role of the screens we learn everything from as being the absolute instruments of fear culture.