Auto-ethnographic field note from the subject's Earth Mission, illustrating pressures endured by IA#73545, due to the lack of intergalactic connectivity on Earth.


was gonna hear


My report would

include a


to whomever

had planned this

Earth Mission

Who could possibly
     have thought this

human identity

would be

a good idea?



Two characters meet at a crossroads in time and space — an intergalactic anthropologist (Janai) on an officially sanctioned research mission to Earth, and the head of an activist-turned-terrorist group (Auden), who has been hiding out on Earth since the collapse of his planet. Unaware of Auden's true identity, Janai makes him the focus of her research — documenting conversations, movements and his thought process. Unbeknownst to her, the surveillance of her mission becomes part of a broader intergalactic intelligence file which begins to take on a life of its own.

loyalty, betrayal, truth, justice, community

surveillance, migration, protectionism, news media, espionage


Taking the form of an intelligence dossier, the app tells the official story of how the Earth Mission of an intergalactic anthropologist was revealed to be a ruse. Forming a layered metaphor, the story explores ways of being/ feeling alien, mirroring systemic oppressions of a current geopolitical zeitgeist. Users swipe left and right through auto-ethnographic field notes, audio surveillance, intelligence memos, media reports, digital poetry and psychiatric assessments. Using audio as a dominant thread, the narrative becomes a meditation on being voiceless in our media saturated society.


The app is intended to resonate with a user base who feels disillusioned with the establishment in all its forms. They feel an urgency around issues of climate change, gender equity and diversity when faced with a world that is beyond transparently lacking in equilibrium in all these areas. As the manuscript has been assessed as accessible at a 16-18 year old reading level, however, the core audience will likely hover around early twenty-something young women.


Through a variety of documents, media forms and perspectives, the narrative entices the user to discern who these characters are in a similar manner to assembling a puzzle. The systemic viewpoint of an intelligence dossier obscures some of the realities of the characters, while the dossier format contributes to the puzzle experience. As currently envisioned, the entire manuscript could be navigated through voice commands, and the user could toggle back and forth between the multimedia version and the audio version, giving the user agency over the order and the media form in which they consume the content.

interaction flowself-help menucharacters



The narrative encompasses layered illustrations of the law of unintended consequences (both systemic and individual), forcing the characters to do things they would not otherwise do to survive systemic oppressions, which result in their respective personal moral transformations.


As a layered metaphor, the story explores various definitions of being and feeling alien — mirroring systemic oppressions of a recent geopolitical zeitgeist. The two characters have contrasting vantage points on the issue (one of a intergalactic foreigner, one of a terrorist in exile), each confronting their own inherited legacy of systemic oppressions. 


The protagonist was envisioned as a hybrid South Asian-Western demeanour, with origins of an obscure minority group with a little known history. Despite being the central figure of the dossier, her voice is conveyed through the lens of others, contrasting viewpoints on her as a subject to analyze, not an individual to understand — an existence many visible minorities can relate to.


The story world highlights post-indenture land ownership in the former British colonies (specifically Trinidad) where, similar to former slaves, indentured workers could earn a wage and own land. However, as non-Christian marriages were not legally recognized, lands were commonly repossessed upon death (rather than passed on to spouse or child) until as late as post-WWII, depending on the religion. Every generation uprooted, having to begin again, limited the progress of these communities for well over a century post-emancipation.