"The Settlement" was created during a residency in Rajasthan, in a city that looks like a ghost town. The multicolored houses contrast with the deserted streets, the closed doors and windows. They belong to members of the Bohra community, who came from Yemen, and now moved back to the Middle East for economic reasons.
A traditional cart is covered with sand and marble cubes painted in the colours and patterns of local architecture. Moved through the deserted streets, it slowly attracts children and curious adults and quickly turns into a playful construction site. At each new station, the participants collectively contribute to the development of a settlement. The inexorable collapse of wobbly constructions causes displacement to another place, and so on, metaphorically illustrating migratory movements and the thwarted but endlessly renewed desire to take root somewhere.
I repeated the performance in Mumbai, on the platform of one of the busiest train stations in the world. With each arrival of a train, thousands of people surge to continue their route. Some, however, have stopped, and started to build: around a simple rectangle of sand, a businessman is striving for the highest tower while a homeless man seems hypnotised by the colorful combinations of his imaginary house.
The value of this intervention lies as much for me in the sculpture formed by the cart and the cubes as in its capacity to gather singular stories around a simple space to form a collective story.