Stupid Bananas is a new film commission by Hetain Patel, made in collaboration with ‘the Collective’, a group of young people in Lincoln. Stupid Bananas is made for YouTube and tackles the issue of ageism in society in a playful, non-confrontational way.
‘I think it’s really important that the films Stupid Bananas and Racist Apples are made primarily for YouTube, for the internet. It’s the way that we can reach the biggest audiences, the way that we can reach the widest demographic audience and working with young people it’s also a medium they engage with so much.’
Hetain’s work explores ideas about identity formation through the use of language and physical movement. He is interested in connecting marginalised identities with the mainstream in an effort to destabilise notions of authenticity and promote personal freedom. He makes videos, photographs, sculptures and live performances, usually for galleries and theatres. With an autobiographical starting point, he uses humour and references from popular culture to highlight familiarity within the exotic, recognition within the unknown. His work often involves exploring fantasy through a DIY, domestic lens and he regularly works collaboratively with artists across different disciplines or with family members or non-professionals.
Working in Lincoln had a particular resonance for Hetain, as he explains:
‘I lived and worked in the East Midlands for over 10 years so it was great to go and work in Lincoln with young people there to go and explore some of these issues. I think every city has its own identity and its own makeup of people, so in Lincoln it was interesting to get a sense of who these young people are and how we might not just connect to each other but connect to people outside of the city, outside of the country – how we might make communication wider.’
Hetain’s other film, Racist Apples, is also online now.