Akeroyd Collection


Imran Perretta, the destructors, 2019

the destructors is a two-channel video that explores the artist's personal experience as a young man of Bangladeshi heritage living in Britain. It delves into the complexities surrounding the coming of age of young Muslim men in the United Kingdom. The video centres on a group of young South Asian men with Muslim backgrounds gathered at a community centre in Tower Hamlets, East London. Drawing its title from a Graham Greene short story published in 1954, which portrays a gang of young individuals intent on destroying an elderly man's house, the destructors reflects Perretta's reflections on media portrayals of young, brown men following the events of September 11, 2001. He draws parallels between Greene's narrative and the stigmatization faced by individuals like himself during the War on Terror. The video features four young men situated in a dilapidated room with peeling paint, surrounded by old notice boards and upturned school chairs. The deteriorating state of the building symbolizes the erosion of civic space, with austerity measures exacerbating violence against marginalized communities. Against this backdrop, the men begin a slow, rhythmic clapping that creates an atmosphere akin to a funerary march. Their speech, delivered in a deliberate manner, accompanied by minimalistic sound effects, further emphasizes the ominous tone. Perretta's work is informed by his embodied perspective and personal experiences of structural violence, particularly Islamophobia, austerity, and state surveillance. While rooted in his own encounters, he uses these intimate narratives to explore broader socio-political issues affecting various communities in different contexts. the destructors sheds light on a generation of young men and their perceived potential for destruction in a society marked by inequality and material devastation. The close-cropping of each frame, that obscures the identity of those portrayed, is a critique of the homogenizing effects of the media portrayal of such marginalized groups. This anonymity reclaims the terms of opacity for these protagonists and in doing so highlights structural imbalances and the inequitable conditions we continue to find ourselves in.

Medium2-channel video
Duration23 minutes 35 seconds
Editionof 5 + 2 APs