HELMET TO HELMET

“HELMET TO HELMET” (working title)

Astria Suparak and Caroline Washington
Collage
2021
Commissioned by Seen journal from BlackStar Festival

Collage of the Philippine salakót (roughly translates from Tagalog to “native helmet”); how it was worn by Filipinos and Spaniards serving in the occupying Spanish army, then adapted into the pith helmet; and “So prolifically deployed by every white colonial power, the Asian-descended pith helmet became a symbol of colonialism itself” (Suparak).

Source imagery from historical illustrations, photographs, prints, and artifacts from the early 1700s to the 20th century.

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This collage was made to accompany Suparak’s essay “SEEDY SPACE PORTS AND COLONY PLANETS: Asian Conical Hats in Cinematic Dystopias,” and is part of her ongoing research project, Asian futures, without Asians. The project, which draws from the histories of art, architecture, design, fashion, film, food, and weaponry, will be unveiled throughout 2021 in various forms, including digital projects, illustrated presentations, and visual essays, presented by contemporary art institutions, a science-fiction festival, a film journal, and other organizations.

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