The Dissected Souvenir II

Paper Weave, scanned digital print of family photographs taken during and after partition and map collected from digital archives

Created during Piramal Art Residency, cycle 24, Visualizing the language, 2020

In the collection of Piramal Museum

14.5 x 14 inches each

My works are mostly inspired by my grandfather’s (who migrated from Srikail, Bangladesh to Odisha, India) stories and poems of partition and my experience of visiting our then home after 72 years. I am simultaneously looking at the text from a very personal archive as well as from digital archive sources like newspapers, internet, books, articles, and government-provided information’s on migration.

I believe personal is political. I cannot isolate my family album from the then socio-political situation my family had to face. Hence I began creating a parallel family album weaved with those political statements and divided borders which changed the living condition of many families like ours. For me weaving is not just a medium, it is a process that involves dissection of an image and weaving of texts through the dissected body which forms a surface where words and images play hide and seek both physically and conceptually. I see this language of weaving as a metaphor to speak for the forgotten and lost narratives.

Maps are used to locate places and identities, I explore maps to locate the history of my family’s shifted identities.

The Dissected Souvenir II Arpita Akhanda