About Archipelago Archives

Essay / Talk / Website

Initiated in 2016 by Kiran Kumar, Archipelago Archives is a long term artistic research project that (re)imagines dances danced on an imaginary archipelago somewhere in the Indian Ocean. The project is really just an excuse to urgently throw open a trifold inquiry: a critical inquiry into asymmetries of knowledge production in a post-colonial world; a conceptual inquiry into non-Eurocentric understandings of the human body-mind; and an aesthetic inquiry into traditional embodied practices.

These inquires are made through a series of transdisciplinary Studies that are a distillation of my decade long practices of dance, writing and visual art, as dialogues between studio-work and field-work.

The outcomes are shared through a series of Exhibits that respond to artistic and scientific exhibition/publication strategies. The exhibits are conceived as a growing collection of interdisciplinary essays that take the form of writing, performance, installation and video works.

The cumulative archive of Studies and Exhibits is part reconstructive, part speculative, part archeological, part anthropological and part fantastical.


(Excerpts from letters to the Berlin Centre for Advanced Studies in Arts and Sciences)

SELECT PRESENTATIONS 2019 Postcolonial Oceans, University of Bremen
2017 Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin)

The project has been supported by:
2019 Robert Bosch Foundation (Germany)
2019 Literary Colloquium Berlin
2019 Ministry of Education and Culture (Indonesia)
2016-19 Volkswagen Foundation (Germany)
2016-18 Berlin Centre for Advanced Studies in Arts and Sciences
2016-18 Einstein Foundation (Germany)
2016 Dance Nucleus (Singapore)
2016 Centre42 (Singapore)