New Work in Progess: The Camouflage Act / by Torika Bolatagici

Back in Australia and I've uploaded some work that was produced during my residency in Barbados. It's called The Camouflage Act, which is a real thing in Barbados. It is an offence to wear any camouflage, and it's not uncommon for camouflage clothing to be confiscated at the airport. Here's the official Act:

188 CAP. 159 Defence L.R.O 1985 118

188. (1) A person is guilty of an offence who

(a) Wears in a public place, without authority, the uniform of the Barbados Defence Force, not being a member of the force, or any dress having the appearance or bearing any of the regimental or other distinctive marks of any such uniform;

(b) wears without authority

(i) any uniform or part thereof, or any article of clothing made from any of the disruptive pattern materials used for making the military uniform commonly called the “camouflage uniform” or from the any of other material so nearly resembling any of these materials as is likely to deceive, or

(ii) any uniform or part thereof worn by any military organization of any country, whether in being or disbanded

(c) has in his possession without authority

(i) any uniform or part thereof, article of clothing or material mentioned in sub-paragraph (i) or (ii) of paragraph (B) or

(ii) any military equipment prescribed by regulations made by the Defence Board.
— https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g147262-i230-k4875723-Camouflage_issue_put_to_rest_Official_Information-Barbados.html

I was particularly intrigued by this law and as I spent more time getting to know Barbadians and more about the history and culture, I started to think of the Camouflage Act as a metaphor for what is seen and what is concealed. So I was thinking about the Barbadian landscape as I moved between the sea, the rural area, the urban space and began to understand this idea that the fauna here has been explanted from elsewhere, and the presence of plantation history was just below the surface.

This notion of a space that has been inhabited via different histories, yet one has been constructed as the most visible, and other histories erased - was interesting to me... more to come. Here's the work in progress....

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. 

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.