The Dissected Souvenir III

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

This series was developed during Piramal Art Residency, 2020

16 x 11.5 inches each

Set of five

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.

 India map before partition weaved with grandfather’s first available portrait was taken when he

visited Kolkata for further studies, 1941.

Migrated city no.1. Bangladesh map weaved with last available family photograph clicked while leaving Srikail (grandfather’s hometown) now

in Bangladesh.

Migrated city no: 4. Map of Puri weaved with the photograph of grandfather’s mother and mother in law taken during the stay in that city.

 

Migrated city no: 5. Map of Cuttack weaved with family photograph was taken during stay in that city.

 

Migrated city no : 2. Map of Bengal and UP weaved

with photograph of grandfather and his brother taken during living in Benaras.

 

 

Exhibitions :

  • Piramal Art Residency Open Day, 2020.       

         Installation view-

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Press:

 

Freeing the Book: A Group Show:

https://indiaartfair.in/programme/freeing-the-book-a-group-show

Piramal Art Residency | Cycle 24 | Visualising Language | Artist's Take - Arpita Akhanda: https://youtu.be/Hks_2NkENso