Indigenous Species by Khairani Barokka
A young girl is abducted and smuggled aboard a boat bound upstream on an Indonesian river, through a landscape scarred by ecological destruction and historical greed. As her captors take her ever deeper into the jungle, her uncertain fate is compounded by the sense of her environment as a place of violence, destruction and jeopardy. But it is also a place from which she herself is indigenous, and if she can root herself back into its landscape and languages, she may yet save herself.
Khairani Barokka addresses issues of pollution, consumerism, and habitat destruction with a poet's sensibility, and her frenetic neon artwork, inspired by contemporary glitch artists while also incorporating traditional motifs, aims to overturn our ideas of the jungle as a place of threatening darkness.
Khairani Barokka is a writer and artist from Jakarta, whose work has been presented in 16 countries. Her work centres disability justice as anti-colonial praxis. She is currently Researcher-in-Residence and Research Fellow at UAL's Decolonising Arts Institute, and Associate Artist at the National Centre for Writing (UK). Among her honours, she has been Modern Poetry in Translation's Inaugural Poet-in-Residence, a UNFPA Indonesian Young Leader Driving Social Change, an Artforum Must-See, and an NYU Tisch Departmental Fellow. Her books are Rope (Nine Arches) and Indigenous Species (Tilted Axis), and she is co-editor of Stairs and Whispers: D/deaf and Disabled Poets Write Back (Nine Arches). Her next book is poetry collection Ultimatum Orangutan (Nine Arches, March 2021).