Collaborative Residency: Alaya Ang and Hussein Mitha

Market’s 2020 Studio Projects Collaborative Residency has been awarded to Alaya Ang and Hussein Mitha. Interested in the subject of ‘gardens’ as imperialist sites of botanical plundering, they will work together on a curatorial research project 'plotting (against) the garden'.

As a starting point, they will map the relationships between language, power, and the colonial traces of naming and cataloguing of plants that enabled the foundation of western race science and classification of people. By focusing on the botanical garden and methods of decolonisation, the artists will explore other systems of meaning such as activist practices of gardening, ways of unearthing indigenous plant knowledge and connections between botany and healing.

During the month of September their project will take shape in multiple strands of discussion as a rolling reading group, an educational resource and a blueprint for thinking about decolonial struggles in relation to nature, ecological crisis and design.

“The earth you think you’re on is not, it is someplace else. The only way you would know the place is from the flower.” - Maria Thereza Alves

Alaya Ang is a performance artist and arts organiser based in Glasgow. Their guiding principle in their work is in making expressions of kinship possible through collaborative projects, performative interventions and community organising. Alaya has engaged in curatorial research and new ways of imagining artistic practice that work towards a decolonised relationship with knowledge, communities and resources, They also run a programme for children and young people, K.I.D.S - Kreatively Imagining a Decolonial School.

Hussein Mitha is an artist and writer based in Glasgow. Their writing often focuses on the history of the Western Enlightenment through a decolonial and communist lens. Their art practice involves working with colour and text in tandem through the form of vinyl sign-writing, decal-making and mural-making. Their presiding interests are in Marxism, psychoanalysis, and colour theory.

Image credit: Hussein Mitha