For Act One, I devised and materialised the contrived identity of a fake girl-band
named Witch Hunt Against Biryani. The name and concept for this band arose from a
Current Affairs workshop, where I sliced up and reconstituted existing headlines to
form various new, polemic phrases. The model of a band with a strong visual identity
but no music was inspired by Mingering Mike: a fictitious funk and soul recording artist
created in the late 1960s as the subject of works of album art by an outsider-artist
named Mike Stevens. Witch Hunt Against Biryani ultimately took shape in various
forms of physical media, such as CDs and Zines, as well as artifacts that could be
employed as costume - [head]scarves and jewellery.
I feel that via Witch Hunt Against Biryani, I have explored and interrogated [identity] as
a vehicle, separate from my initial intended interrogations of identity of [self] and
identity of [land]. I hope that by applying the process of [materializing identity] to a
seemingly irrelevant entity, I have abstracted some notions of how identity can take
shape for any given entity, and these notions can in turn be applied to other/any entities.
Thus, perhaps, I have (begun to) devise(d) a formula for identity.
I see Witch Hunt Against Biryani as at-once a standalone, 2-week journalistic project on
authenticity and identity, as well as a tool that I can use in the future if/when I wish to
employ a playful guise - or strong, recognizable visual identity - to tackle or give shape
to otherwise intangible, abstract ideas around identity, authenticity and ownership. This
could be a costume I wear for myself, or for others. In order to posit myself to be able
to employ this alternative identity as and when I wish to in the future, I shall initially
seek to refine, document and establish Witch Hunt Against Biryani by firstly
distributing its physical media (particularly zines) and other artefacts. I then hope to re-
focus my project on land and location. I plan to carry the methods and processes
derived from Act One into a phase of initiating contact with an organization that would
give my project a sense of location. At present, I [could] declare that this organization
will be P****** A*********** U********* - however, this is a non-committal
declaration and my project is subject to deviate from intention.