A collaboration with Shivanjani Lal.
Rituals Over Landscape, 2020
single-channel video, 18.21 mins.
Conversation #5, 2020, dual-channel sound, 40 mins. Sound design: Isha Ram Das.
Echoes Over Oceans, 2020 , performance residue, stainless vessels, haldi, kum kum, namak, pani, khadi, woven mat.
Sancintya, 2020, left-channel, dual-channel projection on khadi, 3.50 mins.
Shivanjani, 2020, right-channel, dual-channel projection on khadi, 3.50 mins.
We are mirrors. You and me. Our stories are echoes from different oceans and different continents. Sharing a history both our own and both lost. We have locations somewhere in South India, where we might be from… it is possible we could even be from the same village. The same gaon. Our bodies reflect another time, another India. Our families traversed the Kala Pani [Black Waters] in opposite directions. Sancintya’s towards Africa, and Shivanjani’s towards the Pacific. New lines were created, old ideas where unmade. We worked on cane fields and dreamed of our home, our mother country, India. Prayer becomes the language that told us about our home and our exile. We lost language, but gained song. We gave our bodies to the cane fields, so we could feed the Empire sugar. We lost our bodies, we lost our sweetness, we lost our home, and we lost our place in history. Using this as a navigating point we meet in Bengaluru, South India to create gestures towards healing. We tell the stories of the women of indentured labour, our ancestors were coerced, tricked and chosen by colonial enterprise, and taken to far off lands to do the bidding of Empire. We hold space for each other, through shared histories. The stories of our mothers, grandmothers and our great- grandmothers. It is not about holding onto pain, although that it is there, it is about witnessing survival, and the strength of holding space for our own.