Daryn Radford


Memories of ASLAN

Memories of ASLAN

Highly commended

2020
video 8:02 mins
digital print
53 x 94 cm

Artist statement

Memories of ASLAN consists of two pieces – a video, and a print featuring Operation ASLAN, the Australian Defence Force contribution to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

Most of the Australian contingent lived in Australia House in downtown Juba. This required a daily commute to either UN House or Tomping (internally displaced person camp) for contingent members. The video represents the urgency we felt to get the job done, while the audio commentary emphasises the dangers and roadblocks. During the commute home, the commentary changes to highlight the positive impact the UN and non-government organisations have had, in supporting the people of South Sudan. The hand-drawn style of footage external to UN installations acknowledges the fact that photography was discouraged by the government.

The video concludes with an outgoing contingent’s medal parade. All three services are represented, as well as civilians who supported the mission. The print is a single point in time that encapsulates and honours those who have served through the awarding of both UN and Australian service medals. Hidden within the print are the fading memories of serving members; and although it signifies the end of this deployment and return to Australia, for others the mission continues.