White Circle









Arburo







Arburo


Arburo is an ongoing world-building collaboration with printmaker and designer Philippa Thomas. The research - based on Eigg, in Cambodia and various locations online - was funded by an artist’s bursary from Creative Scotland, and a work-in-progress performance was presented at St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh on New Year's Day 2016 as part of SCOT:LANDS.

Arburo is a small and fragile community on the edge of a major urban sprawl. Its ramshackle huts and houseboats are slowly crumbling into canal water, and its dwindling population is struggling to sustain itself. Here are a people caught between the forces of capitalism and tradition, torn between different understandings of place and of land, trapped between the earth and the sky.

In the early years of the 21st century, they make various attempts to save their home from dissolution, seeking out new ways to create work, seeking out new inhabitants, and fighting to defend their way of life. When their homes are finally threatened with clearance by government-backed property developers, they embark on an odyssey of protest, migration and self-discovery - an odyssey that leads to unexpected questions about our sense of home, our sense of place, and our sense of belonging…

Arburo is a fictional location, but a synthesis of real fragile communities and cases of community eviction from across time and across the globe. Although Arburo does not exist, when one of its inhabitants opens their mouth to tell their story, through narrative or through song, their words are those of a real person. Everything they say is drawn from a library of eyewitness accounts, interview content and archive material from the Highland Clearances, modern day Cambodia where I conducted some in-the-field research in 2014, Europe’s current immigration crisis, and studies of other kinds of community loss, such as the closing down of the online world EA Land. Arburo is a place we are trying to build from scratch before it is lost.







  Copyright 2020, Hector MacInnes. All Rights Reserved.