To welcome back Burrard Marina Field House Studio resident Keg de Souza the CAG presented a screening and Q&A with the artist. Completed this past fall while in residence in Indonesia, If There’s Something Strange In Your Neighbourhood… explores the gentrification of a squatter settlement built in the 1970s on a graveyard alongside the Indonesian city of Yogyakarta’s main river, Kali Code. In 2013 the local mayor announced plans to develop the area and the displacement of local residents has already begun. The layers of lived histories are evident in the community, tombstones are still visible in the walls of the kampung (neighbourhood) and ghost activity is abundant. For years people in the area have relied heavily on the local ghost buster to move the ghosts out of their houses, but these paranormal evictions are now becoming an uncanny parallel for their own evictions in the living world.
De Souza investigates the politics of space informed through a formal training in architecture combined with her experiences such as squatting in Redfern, Sydney. Her work emphasises participation and reciprocity, and often involves the process of learning new skills and fostering relationships to create site and situation-specific projects. For over ten years she has self-published her hand-bound books and ‘zines under the name All Thumbs Press.
This project was first presented in Kampung Ratmakan in October 2014 as an inflatable ghost house, Rumah Hantu, with an embroidered interior that was created from drawings by the local kids of their ghost stories and the film.