Single-channel video, 1’ 5”

Courtesy of the artist and Experimenter in Kolkata

Youthfulness and gestures of play are central to Aziz Hazara’s practice, using this as a lens to give pause to the behaviours of children – the next generation – as foreboding re fections of the enduring and all-pervasive e fects of con fict and war. In this video, the artist captures two young boys imitating the guttural rattling of an automatic ri fe, play shooting in the feld in front of them, and swivelling as if to suggest the gun is mounted. Their expressions are focused and deadpan, one taking aim and the other acting as the faithful machinery. They are both weapon and wielder. While this form of play is not unique to Afghanistan or other war-torn nations, the eerie accuracy of the motions the boys make point to learned behaviour, experience and witness, questioning the innocence of their gestures. What are they waiting for or as the title asks, what are they rehearsing for?

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