2019, two-channel projection, sound, 6.54 mins.
Sound design: Isha Ram Das.

I read a woman was taken
From your village
And put on a ship

Without knowing
Without wanting

I imagine her cries
I think of you
Was this you?

Bare feet moved from land,
Onto vessels where bodies were slotted
Like coins into machines, touching,
Counted, numbered and then diseased
They were plantation bodies
Destined for sugared lands,
Thumbs pushed against paper
Grimits they called them, to abide
By rules of law, turning kuli to coolies
Not a churning of the ocean, but
One hundred and fifty-two thousand bodies
Enroute to an internment without return
As they crossed the kalapani,
And those waves hit wooden vessels
And rocks against Durban’s shores
From Calcutta,
From Madras,
And they spoke Bhojpuri, Tamil, Telegu and more
On those voyages across dark waters
Where girls and women were preyed
And they delivered prayer
As they were tied, whipped, beat
And force fed, sugared dreams
Upon slaveries unpaid debt