Ethno – Constitutionals: A collaboration was commissioned as part of The Arts Institute Covid-19 art fund, launched in June 2020, which invited artists to respond to the provocation ‘Everything has changed. Nothing has changed. Change is coming’. The series features five different art-forms and supports artists working in the South West, UK. Helen Snell and Monica-Shanta were selected to represent the Visual Arts category. as a split screen digital image experience that takes the viewer on ‘Ethno-Constitutional’ journeys along a river at low tide. The work explores a metaphorical ethno - space, using the process of walking to prearranged meeting points to explore themes of isolation, alienation, connection, difference, belonging, distance and proximity in order to address the dualities perpetuated by contemporary legacies of a colonial past.
Through a series of staged and recorded encounters, both real and virtual, including river bank meetings, Zoom conversations and virtual environments, the artists use object exchanges and physical/performed interactions with socially distanced protocols, to prompt visual conversations around concepts of ‘race’ and ‘identity’ that seek to address the legacy and potential of current and historical events.