Hotel Dissent, 2018
Hotel Decent is a mainstay of Indian popular culture, popularised in films and comics - a seedy place for unmarried couples to disappear into for the night, a shabby haven of no questions and no lies.
Hotel Dissent is a series that satirises the current Indian government's push for rampant development, investment and industrialisation, propagated via flashy hyperbolic full-page ads in Indian newspapers. These ads form a direct contrast to the reporting of current affairs in the country, which is often impeded by the clampdown on the press and civil-society organisations--as the recent nation-wide arrests of human-rights activists, lawyers and journalists indicates.
Evoking the feel of public reading boards in spaces of transit in India, which display the day's newspapers and are regularly added to and/or vandalised, the piece is meant to be an exploration of censorship, surveillance, meaning-making and propaganda in a country grappling with rampant misinformation.