Palm to Palm

Wed 25 May 2022, 10:30am - 12:00pm at International House

Landscape of Barus

(Photo credit: Landscapes of Barus, Aliansyah Caniago, 2019)

Aliansyah Caniago presents a new, Radar commissioned performance, which considers relationships to the land in his native Sumatra.

Reflecting on widespread deforestation initiated by colonial occupiers that cleared the way for the palm oil plantations which now dominate the landscape, Caniago will offer hand massages to audience members using a traditional healing balm derived from the camphor tree. Weaving together storytelling, personal and collective memory, he will reveal connections between migration, colonisation and ecology as he delivers each massage.

This performance is part of a wider project exploring the history of dryobalanops aromatica, a critically endangered species of Camphor tree once widespread in Sumatra. Caniago's research has led him to dryobalanops aromatica specimens from Indonesia at Kew Gardens archive and herbarium, where he held the leaves and seeds of this tree - which holds great significance in his community – for the first time.

Attendees are invited to join the artist at International House following the performance for refreshments and an informal discussion around the ideas explored in the work.


Booking is free but necessary. Please click here to book


The event is taking place in International House, Loughborough University. The building can be found here (google maps - please ignore incorrect label). 


This is an in-person event. The venue has step free access. If you have any specific access requirements or questions, please email Kieran Teasdale on

This performance has been commissioned by Radar and is being produced in collaboration with the Institute of Advanced Studies as part of their Transitions Festival. For more information about the Festival, and the complete programme, please click here. 


Aliansyah Caniago

Read more

Related Projects

Ecological Thinking

A programme of artist commissions and events exploring what creative and collaborative methodologies can bring to ecological study. Read more