Alana Hunt’s practice defies singular definition. Gentle, though challenging in nature, her art making, writing and curating blur disciplinary boundaries by engaging with discourses conventionally understood as distinct from the arts. Much of her work unfolds in the social space between people and makes use of language, imagery, video and publications. The dual (post)colonial worlds of South Asia and remote Australia continually teach Alana about the contemporary legacies of colonization, the ambivalent nature of modernity and the fabric of community; themes that inform her practice in quiet yet consistent ways.
Alana’s most comprehensive bodies of work have come about through long conversations – listening to and speaking – with the sounds and currents that emanate from Indian occupied Kashmir. This includes the lo-fi tactical media intervention Paper txt msgs from Kashmir (2009-2011), which responded to a ban on all pre-paid phones in the region. And the participatory memorial Cups of nun chai (2010-2016) that emerged from Kashmir’s Summer of 2010 when more than 100 people were killed by the state in pro-freedom protests. In these works Alana engaged with journalists, teachers, former militants, mothers, army officers, religious scholars, authors, filmmakers, students, historians and activists.
Between 2011 and 2015 Alana worked at Warmun Art Centre; she is the longest standing non-Gija employee in the history of the organisation. Led by renowned Gija artists her work here has been practically and conceptually diverse and moved between facilitating exhibitions and artistic processes, writing and bi-lingual publishing, community media production, public programming, promotion, activism, education and supporting local Aboriginal governance and employment. She has also supported Aboriginal people whose linguistic backgrounds are largely oral, to write about their own culture in their own words and insert their voices into the discourses of contemporary art.
Alana is currently subeditor of un Magazine. In 2016 her work has been a finalist in the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize at the South Australian Museum and at the National Photographic Prize at MAMA. In June 2016 Alana launched the final iteration of Cups of nun chai as a serialised media intervention with pieces appearing in every Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday in the newspaper Kashmir Reader throughout 2016 and 2017. She is also a participant in the Curator’s Intensive at 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney.
Alana lives in the remote East Kimberley region of Western Australia on Miriwoong Country.