GROW NOT BUILD is focused on strategies of resistance, centring healing knowledges and ‘what we need to heal’ in the context of ‘the new normal’ and our world in crisis. We would like to  see ourselves grow freely, in touch with the land and its peoples, rather than with the building that comes with corporations, institutions, prisons, colonial statues and gentrification. We are inspired by the history of artistic political-protest engravings from Mexico, healing plants and traditional print and dye techniques. We have used natural dyes derived from healing plants, water-based eco inks and recycled and ethically produced local cotton, which relates to our theme of thinking about our impact on land, its resources and the legacy of colonial extraction. 

We value the act of collaboration, energetic skill and knowledge sharing. We collected healing plants from community markets and from the streets, picking bourgainvillea around the city of Mexico. Raju had been taking muicle for their blood condition and brought some organic turmeric from India to add to some locally sourced curcuma. They had previously worked with textiles, print and dyes. Nads shared her tools and experience of engraving and print. We both learned alot about trees and plants, their properties but also their histories, indigenous and colonial, and their impacts. We experimented with natural dyes and tried to allow them to decide their shade instead of demanding a colour from them. This was a strategy against colonial demand for indigo and cochineal that has devasted local resources and economies. We reflected on decolonial asthetics in our process and outcomes.

NAD MA and RAJU RAGE, 2020

Originally commissioned for The New Normal Memorial, USURP 2020

Shared at D. E. Valuation, Montpellier France, 2021

This is a growing project Please follow our journey on: