Finding Aarti

‘‘when a person goes missing, they leave a small space – no bigger than twice the size of themselves – for everyone to gather and grieve inside’’

Radha Patel is a writer and artist whose work intersects across colonialism, nature, religion and the future. Following on from her text ‘notes from aarti’s diary’, which she developed during her time on g39’s UNITe programme (2019), she will tell the story of a young woman who goes to space to look for her missing sister…after an electrical fault caused her to become trapped inside a space vessel, sending her to live on the Planet Kelvin.

Over the past two months, she has been in conversation with Simisolaoluwa Akande (Ojumo Ti Mo) and Tina Pasotra (But Where Are You Really From? / I Choose) – two incredible artists / filmmakers who have explored grief, journeys, women’s agency and familial relationships in their work amongst other themes. Alongside these chats, Radha has also drawn inspiration from Alia Syed's 'Fatima's Letter', to create a moving-image that sees the protagonist travel through the galaxy, exploring the delicate magic of different planets and communicating everything back to her mother on Earth.

In a series of letters – written on three different planets – ‘Finding Aarti’ explores the relationships between mothers and daughters, the Earth and other planets to build a dialogue reflecting on reconciliation, forgiveness and above all curiosity that try to provide an answer to what it means to live on Earth…or at least guide to you own conclusion.