The surveillance of our daily lives by on-street video cameras is (largely) an accepted part of modern life. We rarely use our freedom of information rights to access footage of ourselves; consequently, when we do see this footage it is most often in the context of crime and wrongdoing – cut out of context and usually without sound.
Chalta Hi Gaya is a two-screen film installation, capturing the daily domestic life of a British Asian family. As the camera focuses on the corners of rooms and close-up details of regular activities like cooking or sewing, the sound captures conversations taking place out of view. Amid this mundane daily chatter, personal stories of injustice and harassment are woven. Viewers who don’t share the family’s language are only given access to carefully chosen sections of conversation through subtitles.
The film inverts the dehumanising narrative and surveillance of the Muslim community by using the same methods employed by the media and government to instead bring focus to the prevalent violent rhetoric in today’s society, which is most easily exposed when presented in counterpoint to our domestic lives.
The work is approx 14 minutes long on a loop. Visit at any point during opening times.
During Whitstable Biennale, entry to Whitstable Community Museum and Gallery is free to all, but there is a suggested minimum donation of £3 per person to support this volunteer run organisation.