• ‘In Transit: the Ambivalence of Travelling as an Artist-Tourist’

    Indian artist Sonam Chaturvedi shares with us the experiences of her first long trip abroad, a residency in the Greek island of Cyprus and travels around Europe, from Russia to Rome...


    A leisurely panoramic view from the residency.
    Drawing of the Troodos mountains, a view I daily savored from the residency.

    It was my first international residency and travel outside India. I went to Cyprus for the Kammari Residency.  (Kammari means ‘room’ in Finnish, and surprisingly Kamra means the same in Hindi). I spent a month there and later went on a two-week Europe trip to Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Hungary, Italy and Latvia.

    When I first landed in Moscow to catch a connecting flight to Cyprus, my 'Indianness' echoed in every eyes I met and my skin color reflected in them more than I had ever seen in a mirror. I never knew how Indian I was until I left my boundaries. The Indian identity is so fragmented. We live in a land of many countries, varying in nature, culture, skin, tongue, philosophies, lifestyle and landscape every few hundred kilometers.

    'Wall of Poetry" Initiated with my poem memory of light

    I was camouflaged among people who looked like me and talked in the same language of emotions; I had always tried to veil myself and refrain from standing out in the flood of Indian population.

    No hair color,

    no tattoo,

    no piercings,

    no bright colored clothes,

    no funky hairstyles or makeup,

    no sleeveless or short lengths,

    no talking loudly,

    no walking strangely,

    no overtaking,

    no honking,

    nothing extreme

    or anything at all that would catch attention.

    But suddenly I became the magnet for all western eyes. It was discomforting in the beginning but slowly I learned to look away.

    (Clockwise) Wall of Poetry | Response from one of the artist quoting another poet. | Another response from an Indian curator and writer who sent it via email

    My discomfort increased when I went from Cyprus to other European countries. In Cyprus I was living in a village with a small group of artists whom I instantly connected with. It felt like home. It was at Kammari in Treis Elies, a village in the Troodos mountains, where I met some very inspiring people - who made me look at the world from different eyes. It was a rich cultural exchange and made me introspect on various levels, mainly on what I lacked and what my fears were. This is where I realized how crucial it was for me to travel and explore as an artist. I made two works during the residency, one was an interactive Wall of Poetry, where people were invited to communicate through poetry, responding to each other and thus feeding the wall to grow over time.

    Stills from the film-essay 'Memory of light'

    This work had taken roots during another residency at What About Art? in Mumbai (India), where a wall of poetry organically emerged between myself and Gitanjali Dang, a resident writer, on her studio’s sliding door, where it hopefully still stands with all the poetical conversations.

    My main project was a film-essay - Memory of light. Treis Elies is a small mountain village isolated from the rest of the world; it has its own small community, sense of time and way of life. It is also called an eco-village because there are many young people who are moving there from the cities to do organic farming.

    I was intrigued by the everyday discussions at the residency: gatherings, dinners, playing music, watching films and reading together, among other things. I was also experiencing an inner silence magnified by the natural surroundings, the nature walks, camping and watching shooting stars and a lunar eclipse, listening to minute natural sounds and the pitch darkness of the mountains.

    It all came together and materialized in this film, that falls between a documentary and fiction: it is a poetic film-essay that encapsulates my time during the residency and how I was changing through constant dialogue with others.

    Still from the film-essay 'Memory of light'

    I took interviews of 12 local people and filmed the hands of each person; hands being as expressive as the face, reflecting each person’s distinct character without the direct confrontation served by the eyes.

    The title of the film is Memory of Light.  Because of my relation to the space and the people, when I was there I experienced time not through the linear clock but through the changing light. It didn’t matter if it was 3am or 6pm, Sunday or Wednesday, January or July, every memory was marked by the intensity of light, the sound, the smell pouring in on me at that precise moment. I left Cyprus as a changed person, with a smile etched with all the beautiful memories and relations.

    Bruges, Belgium     -      Left: 'Lanchals', the  iron sculpture                            Right: the Footbridge sculpture

    It is impossible for us as humans to operate without others, and I felt this very strongly while traveling alone in Europe after leaving Cyprus. Though alone, I always had the company of strangers. As an artist it becomes more important since I had the space not only to enjoy places and experiences as a tourist, but to also observe, reflect and introspect as an artist.

    Traveling alone is an exercise in truly facing the world, naked. There were silent moments where I felt one with the space - no longer a stranger in a foreign land. I felt it most strongly while doing things which I would also do at home, like acts of taking contemplative pauses, sitting at a bench in a corner barely touched by foreign eyes, and just staring into space, looking at the clouds crawling, the trees rustling and listening to their changing rhythms. I was there and that moment belonged to me, those clouds, trees and the time we spent together was mine.

    I recall an experience inside the Pantheon, in Rome, when I felt a oneness with the space. There were more than a hundred people, but I was alone while witnessing the most mundane yet magnificent phenomenon: the passing of clouds over the Pantheon.
    I was looking up and the clouds were peering down at me. During the encounter I was completely taken aback by this slow film playing above me, with the background music of the chattering crowd. It was a perfect metaphor for contemporary urban life. The cameras taking selfies, emitting light and sound in duet with their owners laughing, shouting and buzzing around like flies, while the clouds slowly, stealthily crawled above us, enjoying a view of this circus beneath through the circular screen provided by the Pantheon.

    (From left): Charlot, Sonam, Tatjana

    During my travels, I visited some friends who gave momentary company to my alone self. Last year  Building Bridges project, curated by Ushmita Sahu and organized by Emergent Art Space, facilitated and developed many long-term relations between the participating artists and organizers. One such relation evolved between myself and Tatjana Henderieckx, when she visited India for one of the exhibitions, and we organized a pop-up show together. She and another artist who also became  a friend, Charlot Van Geert, stayed with me. In no time we were laughing and sharing a beautiful relationship beyond boundaries which would then travel with me to Belgium. I made a stop in Belgium and spent three memorable days with them and their friends, thus building a web of bridges across nations, thanks to Emergent Art Space.

    Left: Mirror cube outside the Stedelijk Museum          Right: Parlement Francophone, Brussels, Belgium                         Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Top: Whale made from plastic by Studio KCA,  Bruges, Belgium                   Bottom: Philharmonic Concert Hall, an amphitheatre in Zaryadye Park, Moscow, Russia


    I think that for an artist, as much as learning from reading, the creativity food comes from traveling. The real-life experiences, encounters and obstacles give an artist’s thirsty and creative self more longing, a perpetually unsatisfied wish to pursue and capture what s/he observes.

    It was disappointing to see the continual efforts of contemporary artists and architects to make public art/architecture between the beautiful Renaissance, Baroque and classical European architecture, trying to create something equally beautiful. There was a sharp architectural absurdity where modern architecture or public art was inserted within the old architecture, which in most cases looked odd and stinging to the eyes. What I admired most in the architectures and public art was the recurring use of mirrors/reflective-glass which multiplied the experience of being within and surrounded by the centuries old architecture and magnified its beauty.


    (From left): Tree of Mirrors installation Riga, Latvia | Reichstag building, Berlin, Germany | A mirror inside the Church of St. Ignatius to look at the frescos on the ceiling, Rome, Italy



    Found this as a very surreal image, but... 'I want it', Galata, Cyprus  |  A memorial graffiti for a fruit-seller who used to sell at the same spot, Limassol, Cyprus.


    Latvia’s largest Sauer organ at Old St. Gertrude’s Church, Riga, Latvia  |  Spotted a sculpture with binoculars, Antwerp, Belgium


    A sculpture from a window shop imitating window shoppers, Bruges, Belgium     |     Statue of Hungarian poet Attila Jozsef looking over the Danube River; alongside a line from his poem 'By the Danube': ‘As if it flowed from my own heart in spate, Wise was the Danube, turbulent and great...’    |    I almost thought it was just a life-less mannequin and went close to it to photograph; suddenly the hand moved and I was taken aback! Outside Castel Sant’Angelo, Rome, Italy.



    Another struggling artist at work with all the tourists (including me) buzzing around her, Red square, Moscow, Russia.  |  Shoes on the Danube Bank Memorial


    Graffiti on a building, Riga, Latvia  | Almost an art-installation? It wasn't a very pleasant sight, but I was intrigued to see this practice in many places in Europe, couples fixing locks etched with their initials to gates and bridges. A bridge at the Centre of Riga, Latvia.


    Thank you, Sonam, for sharing these stories of your trips, the adventures, the excitement, the friendships, the solitude, the moments of realisation and understanding, both about 'the others' and about yourself...

  • ‘Exploring Japan: Embracing the Artist Within’

    With an artist lens, EAS writer Uji Venkat talks about her recent travels to Japan.  She gives a lively account of her adventures with two friends and her discoveries that range from culture to food, art, and architecture, along with a few must see tips.  


    Lights in downtown Tokyo as seen from the Tokyo sky tower at night

    What do you think of when you think of Japan? I used to answer this with sensory overload, anime, fresh seafood, and fancy cars. My two week trip proved me entirely wrong. These luxuries were ever present but it was also a culturally rich, yet innovative, atmosphere. My experience in Japan reminded me to suspend my own preconceived notions in order to learn in new and unexpected situations.

    My flight plan from San Francisco International to Narita, Japan

    This trip, which I booked the day after I was invited, was an impulsive escape from my full-time project management position. It was also a treat for the long-neglected artist within me. My traveling companions, Aleks and Brendan, are friends from San Francisco. They have spent copious amounts of time spontaneously traveling, trying all kinds of different food, and photographing everything along the way. Basically, two people that would be excellent at pushing me outside of my comfort zone and enthusiastic to discuss art and culture.

    We spent two weeks in mainland Japan, the island of Honshu. After flying into Narita International Airport, we spent the first few days in Yokohama--about an hour train ride from the Tokyo city center. Yokohama can be likened to a suburb. It has beautiful houses, flowers, and the most adorable tiny eateries.

    The crew on day 1 in Yokahama

    One of my favorite things about Japan is its lack of conformity with the Western world. I have travelled to various cities in Asia, Europe, and Australia and never have I seen a place so content with and immersed in its own language.

    The islands that make up Japan. Tokyo, Kyoto, Hakone, and Mt. Fuji are all on the largest island of Japan called Honshu

    For a place that is so tourist friendly, one might expect the extremely kind residents to speak more English, at least in the larger cities, but they don’t. Although this made our travels much more difficult, we also got to experience the honest to goodness reality that was this impeccably preserved island nation. It’s rather refreshing to see a whole country of well educated, technologically progressive people who decide to embrace their language, culture, and traditions above norms of business relations with the rest of the world.

    The Japanese are among the most polite, concerned people I have ever interacted with. Their culture is based on respect for strangers and all people, alike. Since I flew in later than my friends on the first day and was trying to find our airbnb, with only screenshots of the walking directions and no wifi, I stopped to ask some local construction workers. It took turning a five minute walk into a roundabout thirty minute journey for me to ask for help. And despite the language barrier, they tried drawings, gestures, and asking their construction worker friends to help me.

    The Royal Palace is a must see in Tokyo. Sights of the stone bridges, intricate Japanese style roofs, and a plethora of trees


    We started in Tokyo with dance nights out, arcade games, and delicious food. It wasn’t until Japan that I actually liked ramen. The noodles were buttery while the broth, meat, egg, mushrooms, and veggies provided for a one-of-a-kind savory treat. I never really liked seafood much, but fresh sashimi and sake toro (salmon belly) have rendered my preconceived notions mute.

    I had not expected the world’s largest city to offer beautiful architecture and greenery while also being the cleanest place I have ever been. We spent a day under the leafy canopies of Ueno park visiting gardens as well as a few of Tokyo’s national museums, but the amazing thing was that we didn’t have to go to the park to witness nature; it was integrated into the city, along streets and among (and sometimes on) high rise industrial buildings.

    The Kinkaku-ji Zen Buddhist Temple


    Home to the Japanese emperor and Japan’s original capital, Kyoto, is known for its temples. There are three must sees that I encountered: the Golden Pavilion, the Yasaka Shrine, and the Fushimi Inari Shrine. Plated in gold, seemingly suspended upon a lake, and surrounded by trees and vivid purple irises, the Kinkaku-ji Zen Buddhist temple is a tourist favorite. As we walked through the surrounding tea garden, we encountered a stack of smooth round stones in the midst of the trees. In Buddhism, stacked stones represent worship or wishes for good family fortune. Each stone represents one wish. Our visit ended with the Fudo Myoo statue in Fudo Hall commemorating the protector of Buddhism.

    Inside Yasaka Shrine
    Yasaka Shrine view from outside

    The Yasaka shrine is at the end of Main Street in downtown Kyoto. Main Street is lined with shops, indulging both tourists and natives. At the end of the night, as stores start closing, the street is lined with paper lanterns that light up the bridge and river running perpendicular. When you reach the end of the cosmopolitan street, you are in for a surprise because you hit the grand orange gate that opens into the Yasaka shrine. Inside there are paper lanterns, pagodas, trees, and waterfalls much like one might expect from a Buddhist temple. If you look out from the Main Street gate, the view--bridging the old and the new, the spiritual and the industrial, the visitors and the residents--is breathtaking.

    Fushimi Inari Shrine

    Fushimi Inari is a temple based at 233 meters above sea level, but has multiple paths up to smaller shrines at peaks up to 4 km higher. Reaching the highest peak takes about two hours unless you are like me and get separated from your friends because of a whim to climb places you are not supposed to, in which case, at least an hour should be added to that estimation. Each of the hikes up is indicated by a series of traditional Japanese gates called torii and mark the transition into the sacred space. The harmony of spiritual, natural, and man-made is unmistakable. Each exists independently--beautiful and lively in contrast.

    Sashimi, the grill for steak, and the garlic butter sauce at the Yakiniku restaurant. The plum wine here is also fantastic!

    When you’ve had a full day of hiking you’ll be glad that the food in Kyoto is unbelievable. We dressed up (not necessary but the Japanese dress to impress--every businessman in a black or gray suit and every woman in a silk blouse and pencil skirt) and went out to Yakiniku Restaurant. It is a hibachi steak restaurant. I thought Japan was only famous for its seafood! A must try is the three second steak which is the most impossibly thin slice of steak that is grilled in front of you for, quite literally, three seconds. We also were able to grill some of our own steak, which ranged from cuts of the outside skirt to the tongue. However, the irreplaceable menu item was the melt-in-your-mouth garlic butter sauce that was smothered on each piece. After this experience, we were keen to find more hibachi steak and seafood during our visit.


    Hakone is home to some of the world’s most coveted hot springs or onsens. It is a prime example of humanity in unison with nature. My private room housed large rocks and a waterfall trickling down by frog statues and a stone floor.

    The Little Prince Museum with the beautiful surrounding garden and Mt. Hakone in the background

    We anticipated an hour-long appointment not being enough when we went one night, but I have never had my worries melt away quicker than that hour. How often do we sit with our own thoughts, alone? I grew up in the fast-paced tech stimulated culture of the Silicon Valley, California in the United States where you eat while walking and you are on the phone every moment. For reference, yoga stresses me out because they keep telling me to breathe on their cadence while also mastering unnatural contortions of the body. Japan is filled with the busy get-things-done attitude, but incorporates respect for a time and place. I didn’t see people on their bluetooth headsets. I didn’t even see public trash cans, in this country, that I can only describe as the cleanest place I have ever been. This is because people eat sitting down in one place, dispose of any packaging where they are, and then move on to the next thing. What a culture of respect for where you are and what you are doing! It is so holistic and a reminder to be where you are, completely, when you are there.

    Pola Museum [click here for photo credit]
    During the day, we visited the two museums. First, the Pola Museum, which sits raised in the middle of a grove clearing, trees and greenery enveloping the glass walls of the structure and only accessible by bridge. It is essentially a sleek modern structure harmonizing with the thickly preserved nature of its surroundings. This particular setting perfectly sums up my impression of Japan. The Japanese have spent years developing and refining their technology but have not wiped out the natural beauty that always existed in the nation. There is a marriage of the old and the new, old customs and innovation.

    Glass Sculptures inside Pola Museum

    Within the museum, we saw the special exhibit of Emile Galle comprised of his glass blown vases and prints, each meticulous studies of sea creatures and life. The basement exhibits included a historical Japanese artifact display as well as a collection of paintings spanning from Impressionism to Modern Art. Among masterpieces by Monet, Seurat, Renoir, and Cezanne, I also found Picasso’s 1902, Mother and Child, characterized by his emotional blue period aesthetic.

    Paul Signac with me at the Pola Museum

    I was also surprised to see the work of my favorite artist, Paul Signac, a pointillist mastermind. In his many depictions of the water, Signac amplifies natural light and color, departing from the more traditional art forms’ dependency on line to evoke sentiments that are not ordinarily associated with such vibrance. Staring at his 1902 piece, Le Pont Due Auxerre, I was confronted with nostalgia, recognition of exhaustion from labor, and an awakened melancholy for departure. My arsenal of Japanese words contained five basics, one of which was “sugoi” meaning wow. I began a whole conversation out of the word with two Japanese ladies based on Signac’s piece. Much like the experience of immersion into any work of art, museum, music, performance, or writing, I was transported to 20th century Europe within a glass building buried in a Japanese forest.

    Inside view of the Little Prince Museum

    The Little Prince Museum of Hakone, Kanagawa is the only Little Prince museum in existence. Picturesque views of Mt. Fuji, a rose garden, and French architecture make it seem like a place out of the pages of a storybook. The interior, a 100-year commemoration of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s life, walks the audience through the children’s fable following the little prince’s journey from his rose to his final resting place. Along the way he realizes the significance of his rose and her role in his life. He learns to cherish his love and relationship after he has left it, too little too late, but fights to go back, ending the tale on a bittersweet note. Once again, the moral of the story and the beautiful surroundings were deliberately intertwined and a portal that required a viewer’s presence and consciousness was created. There is a lot to be said for the relatability of an atmosphere; I am more comfortable opening myself up where I feel safer.

    Open air market in Tokyo lining the path from the entrance to the temple. The many markets all over the country are filled with authentic Japanese taste and culture. The food is especially fresh and delicious!

    Sayonara, Japan!

    On our last day, as we were heading out to the airport and back in Tokyo, we tried a highly recommended pancake bar. And I know it sounds uninspiring because you may have eaten pancakes every day as a kid. But let me just say this is no ordinary pancake. It stands about three inches tall, fluffy as a cloud, and in case that wasn’t enough to entice your taste buds, you drizzle it with a honey butter syrup.

    Aside from the food and views, this particular trip, more than others, taught me about respect and presence. The worries, exhaustion, and turmoil we may be experiencing does not have to be a constant weight on our backs. A beautiful place, a spiritual experience, a moment of bliss, each a space to appreciate, should not be overlooked in light of our day to day trials and tribulations. I was reminded to have a certain consciousness in life--that is, after all, the beauty that we see in art, isn’t it? A pause in a particular moment, a transition to another place, an escape from where we are and what we are doing.

    [photo credits: Aleksandar Gyorev]
    View from Tokyo Skytower at sunset
  • An Artist Abroad: Sampurna Pal, Part 2 | The Hague, Netherlands

    Join the EAS team in conversation with Sampurna Pal who talks about her Study Abroad experiences in the Netherlands in 2016. Here she discusses the vast knowledge she gained from being in an international country away from home and speaks on the challenges she faced and overcame with the help of others!


    Rotterdam, Netherlands

    What was your biggest challenge?

    The weather... When I reached the Netherlands in January, it was so cold and windy. As a person from a Tropical region, it literally gave me brain-freezes. Two days within my arrival to The Hague, I needed to go to Rotterdam to pick up my Dutch Residence permit; a cute powder-pink card, with a raging bull embalmed in the top-left corner!

    It was drizzling lightly since the morning, and by the time I reached Rotterdam the raindrops had turned into mild snowflakes. It took me some time to find the administrative building from where I was to pick up the document; for I was a complete stranger to Dutch language, and apparently, the locals were not familiar with the English term I learned for its substitute.

    Then, to put the icing on the cake, I was wearing a pair of canvas shoes that I carried along with me and knew, so far, to be comfortable to wear during winter. But by the time I finished with the procedures, I arrived at a different realization; the snow had melted on my shoes, and made a cold-sagged lump out of them. I couldn't feel my feet. By the time I reached the place I rented for my stay, I was completely numb, shivering miserably and when I removed the dreadful pair of damp rags, my toes had started losing colour, and the tips had turned blue! I was having cold-feet, literally!

    Grassroots' Graze (Thankful for the warmth between my toes.)

    Thankfully, my housemate Valentina, a charming girl from Croatia, knew a thing or two about what could help. She made me a hot cup of tea, increased my room heater to the top notch, and gave me an extra umbrella and rain cover as a housewarming gift. The next day I talked to the Student Administrator in school, and she suggested  where I could find some more suitable pairs of boots and jumpers. Thanks to the eternal warmth of the people around me, I survived the Dutch winter alive and in one piece!

    What did you learn?

    Where shall I start? From the school to the streets, to the restaurants, I was soaking up information like a sponge! I learned that the Netherlands has a number of bikes, two-and-a-half times more than its net population. They come in all shapes and sizes, and you can find an array of bike-accessories to customize it according to your need and preference. I learned about various kinds of cheeses and alcoholic beverages.

    Miss Mesmerized Mirroring Mischief (Exploration with child-like curiosity)

    I learned the sheer fun of touring around town with my all-girls-gang at 3:00 am in the morning, without the compulsion of feeling the pressure to be accompanied by a masculine counterpart. I learned to manage my budget, do my grocery shopping and cook my meals. I even went so far as to dare to make some Indian sweet dish on a friend's birthday, flavored with inexperience and cinnamon.

    But perhaps the most important lessons I learned were in my school from my IST Photography guide Ruurd and during my midterm presentation from a member of the assessing-body, Tatjana Macic. Ruurd taught me to be unapologetic about my opinion, along with tricks and techniques in photography. Under his enthusiastic suggestion, I worked in one of the Black Studios to learn to use its state-of-the-art equipment facilities. Tatjana approached me with her fiercely honest criticism about my presentation and critical practice, and introduced me to the challenge of seeing them in a new light. From then to my final presentation, my work changed rapidly, though keeping the authenticity of my ideas intact. I became bold, ambitious, more meticulous about my analytic process, and perhaps a bit more mature in my execution of the presentation than I ever was before.

    At MICC World 2016

    What was your favorite experience being abroad?

    As "Anne Frank's Diary" has always been a staple for nurturing my faith in the goodwill of humanity, I corresponded with the Anne Frank House Museum in Amsterdam, and in association with them, participated in MICC World (Model International Criminal Court), on behalf of a Dutch team, organized in Krzyzowa, Poland. The program widened my perception even further about cultural diversity and the unification of mankind. We learned about various manifestations of Law and Order and how they are imposed in international scenarios to uphold human rights, as well as various technical aspects of law-enforcement, during our sessions with trainers and mentors.

    It is what I learned outside of the classroom through--engaging in informal conversations with friends and acquaintances from over 11 different countries around the globe--where I gained the most perspective about the diverse cultural spectrum.

    Because the World Is a Millipede that Inches Forward in Millions of Conversations...

    It is as varied as one can imagine and at the same time reconfirms my faith in our ability to build a better world from the one built by the generations before us. I conceive the firm belief that our generation is well in order to take the baton forward through its collective conscience, because it is always possible to be united by our ideas instead of divided by our differences of caste, creed, color and custom, which prove to be invaluable. These conversations re-established my faith in the fact that the perception of differences can be broken down when people start recognising their own experience in one another, and strengthened my belief on the fact that this is why art is often a powerful tool in building socio-cultural bridges. Through art people recognise for the first time their own reflection in others.

    What works did you produce and why are they meaningful to you?

    At KABK one is free to pursue whatever interests them as a topic of research and development, and they can be as varied as football or memories. On the first day, our Course Coordinator duly informed us that it can be as amusing as pizza, if we are seriously and sincerely interested in the topic. (Later, on a school trip to Ghent, we came to know that he himself authored a thesis on the ‘Origin and Difference between Belgian and Dutch Potato-fries’; apparently intriguing!)

    Giglioteque (My friend Malou from Denmark)

    So I took three ISTs or Individual Study Tracks, as they call them, instead of one, partly because I was much too excited, and partly because I thought it was a good idea--in case I fail in one, the other two might come to my rescue.

    One of them was the Drawing Lab; with a grandmother-like lady with childlike enthusiasm, Cecile. At her atelier we produced a series of quickly-scribbled concept-drawings from a book of clichés. The purpose of this class was to develop our visual reflex and image-making capabilities. I had Photography with Ruurd, Sessions with our IST Coach Pim, and weekly reports to our course tutor Ewoud, besides the theory classes and workshops. Speaking of workshops, KABK possesses an amazing  facility for silkscreen and Digital printing, and a well-equipped metal and wood workshop. I knew It was impractical for me to think of bringing my productions back, all the way to India, but nonetheless, the greed to try them all was adequately over-exceeding.

    Making Myself at Home in the World!

    As I am interested in the Holocaust, I was studying about it more deeply; coupled with contemporary accounts of genocide and mob-lynchings, and was trying to find the pattern of history repeating itself to express them into visual articulations. It was ten days to my final presentation, I left for the MICC in Poland. I was neck deep in my work pressure as the submission was approaching, so I carried some of my work to finish on the way. The week forward was one of the most engaging educative experiences of my life, and it added a significant point of perspective to my project so far. I felt the need to redesign my presentation.

    Upon returning, I revised the layout and went through it all over again. There were only two days left until the presentation, and I wanted to make a couple of major changes, which added a lot of work to finish within time. I lived on espresso and eggs for two and a half days, built my site-specific Installation, curated a verse out of my research material in order to create a narrative, and made my decision to be bodily present in the installation space to recite the text and embody the role of an insider from the experience I have gained and feel so strongly about.

    Saturday Diet!

    By the time things were finally wrapped in a decent manner, I was feeling like a walking zombie. It was the sheer nervousness that kept me awake for the presentation.  My head was feeling hollow and I couldn't eat a bite, as I was completely nauseous and was afraid of throwing up. But, the submission went well. In the afternoon assessment meeting the teachers gave me suggestions on how I could move the work forward. Of course they had their critical opinions, but they thoroughly appreciated the passion and self-drive, and complemented me for its simplicity. I was finally relieved and had my lunch with a large bucket of Ben n' Jerry.

    (Images provided by Sampurna Pal)


    Thank you for sharing a little piece of your expanded perspective with us Sampurna. It is great to see how impactful exploring the world can be and how much inspiration you can gain from following your aspirations in lands that are different from your own. We look forward to learning more about you and hope that other artists will be inspired to share their stories with the EAS community as well!

  • An Artist Abroad: Sampurna Pal, Part 1 | The Hague, Netherlands

    "Standing in the Intersection" is a culmination of expressions, with experiences and academic research by Indian artist Sampurna Pal during her stay in the Netherlands. She learned to a great extent about “misery and beauty and how they interplay in the vast theater of the everyday and mundane called LIFE.”


    'Standing in the Intersection' snapshot

    Part 1 of 2: Here Sampurna presents her final school project / video, followed by an interview with EAS artist
    and staff member Victoria Ayala about her inspirations for studying in the Netherlands
    and her intellectual adventures upon arriving...

    Artist statement

    I am interested in expression, not just as an act, but rather how it responds in relation to its circumstances--the psychology and mostly the subtle almost-imperceptive factors that work as a coordinator.

    I was working on the repression-resistance relationship in context to the recent political situation in India regarding caste-politics, minority issues, institutionalization of media and academia among others, but also trying to find a trans-historical pattern in which expression has been threatened in an apparent or subtler manner.

    'Standing in the Intersection' snapshot

    Talking about politics and psychology, I am interested in using a checkerboard pattern while taking measures towards distortion, such as crumpled papers and creases; namely to be quite literal about the psycho-emotional situations of the inhibitors. I am interested in layers, as there are, evidently in the way facts are curated and distributed. The video continues as a pleading to pay attention to the slow build up.

    As part of my research, I have taken part in MICC (Model International Criminal Court) World which is a workshop for international criminal law; fragments of which will also be present. I wrote down things I have read and watched, as the process of writing for me works as processing the information like a filter, making sure that every single word has its share of attention. And finally a text is read, trying to tie the whole thing into comprehension.


    Click here to see entire video



    Was your trip to the Netherlands a study abroad opportunity or an internship of some kind?

    I was on an International Academic Exchange Programme representing my home university from India, Kala Bhavana, Visva Bharati at the Royal Academy of Art (KABK), The Hague, Netherlands from January to July 2016.

    What was your experience abroad like?

    It was a genuinely rewarding experience and widened my horizons in terms of both technique and expression. This was my first time experiencing international exposure in terms of real-time manifestation and it introduced me to the rich cosmopolitan Dutch culture. From the carefully and eloquently curated museums to the bold and rebellious graffiti, to the well-organised auditoriums, to the bands of street-performers, it was a feast of the senses which nourished and enriched me in many ways that words feel insufficient to articulate in comprehension.

    Roadside Rhapsody (street performer in The Hague)

    What caught your attention about this particular country?

    The opportunity of going on an exchange program is always rewarding, but the privilege of experiencing the academic environment of the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) was, to me, unique for various reasons.

    Royal Academy of Art (KABK), The Hague, Netherlands

    First, the establishment of the academy goes all the way back to the seventeenth century (1682), making it the oldest in Netherlands and one of the oldest in the world. It seems an event of unique importance because I, coming from a university more than a century old, have known for a fact that the assets of this kind of academic institution are not just its equipment, study materials, technical support or various other material aspects, but instead, its very ambience, which often carries an underlying air featuring a unique character of its own.

    Dutch culture is not something I was entirely unfamiliar with. I think I was first introduced to it in geography classes, when I came to know about the term 'Polder'; followed by a story about a young boy (called Frank or Hanse) who, one day, while returning from school discovered a hole in a wall built to keep the ocean at-bay. He fastened his fist into it and stayed there all night until the morning broke; when adults finally came looking for him, they realized he had saved the village from flooding .

    In later years, I was gradually introduced to a number of Dutch artists; notable among them are  Rembrandt, Vermeer, and of course, Vincent Van Gogh; each of them having their unique ways to appeal to your eyes.

    Rembrandt, with his mysterious light and shadow, especially in the works of his later days, gives you an almost spiritual experience. Vermeer, with his use of the Camera Obscura  and his refined colour palette.

    'Starry Night' by Vincent van Gogh

     Finally, Van Gogh, who does not wait for anyone’s permission, he just breaks into your consciousness and while you are tending to get a little more attentive, he says words like :               

    '...Looking at the stars always makes me dream, as simply as I dream over the black dots representing towns and villages on a map. Why, I ask myself, shouldn't the shining dots of the sky be as accessible as the black dots on the map of France? Just as we take the train to go to Tarascon or Ronen, we take death to reach a star.'


    His paintings explode with colors and turbulent brush strokes, threatening, attacking, electrifying and extravagant. No wonder he was a misfit.

    Another old associate was Anne Frank, perhaps the dearest of them all. I can recall reading her journal for the first time and being silenced. I sobbed. I recognized her at once--her developing self-awareness, the problems of growing up, the frustration felt when grownups don’t understand and treat you like you are too young, the craving for expression and acknowledgement, hopes, ambitions and the desire to become something more than she is--the dream 'to go on living' even after death.

    Book cover of "The Diary of Ann Frank'

    The words she wrote growing up between the ages of thirteen to fifteen, I got them in an absolute way because I was fifteen, too. And she was just like me, including the habit of keeping a journal, except for one thing; she lived under extraordinary conditions, with the threat of death hanging over her and yet, she was just like me.

    Even today, after re-reading it quite a few times, it still aches. What if they could sustain a few more days? What if the betrayer could consider that a person, any person, is worth a lot more than five gulden? What if she just lived?

    It never fails to make me wonder how life has a way of choosing things. Consider this: on one hand you have the shrewd, fanatical Fuhrer, with his guns, Gestapo, gas-chambers and his obscene dictatorial dreams; and, on the other hand, you have Anne, warm and intelligent, resourceful in her inner life, imprisoned by all possible means. Even forbidden to use the toilet when she needed; hardly a match. Half a century later, the Fuhrer and his imperial dreams exist only in the pages of history books; while Anne, who wanted to become a writer,  did become one. And she still continues to live, not just in the pages of the book she wrote, but also in the hearts of the millions who read it. She went on living even after her death. She lived up to her dreams. Her voice lived, outlasting the 'shouts of murderers' and rumble of gunfire; not because it was loud, but because it had the tranquility of truth, the innocence and wonder of adolescence and, most importantly, in the most desolate of times, she dared to dream.

    People who could not fulfill their dreams, or perhaps don't have them, might often try to convince you that dreams are impractical. But this is my  good reason to make peace with them. This is not a story: stories can hardly bear the strain involved here. This is a diary, an account of a life, lived. And it was surely an honor to visit a land that homed a girl like her.

    Conference snapshot

    Finally to conclude, the Netherlands is known to be a country tolerant and liberal--legalizing really sensitive issues like abortion, euthanasia and prostitution. Being the first country to legalize same-sex marriage, combined with a history of providing refuge for the persecuted, it keeps an accordance with its repute to be modern and human.

    When it comes to the art and artists, it always seemed  to me that there are two kinds of them: artists who create artistically about their lives, and artists who live artistically and create about it. I aspire to belong to the second kind. I imagine how the experience of visiting a culture different from my own could be really useful for gaining a broader understanding about people and life.

    (Snapshots provided by Sampurna Pal)


    To be continued... Join us soon for Part 2 of Sampurna’s Interview where she shares more about her personal experiences and growth as an artist in the Netherlands... 


  • ‘Actions and Urgencies in Different Contexts’, Part 3

    Emergent Art Space artist Asmaa Youssef Elmongi, attended the March Meeting of the Sharjah Art Foundation, in Sharjah, UAE. Her report in three parts highlights talks and projects presented at the meeting from artists and curators around the world.  


    What follows is Part 3 of Asmaa's report.  Click here to see Part One and Two.

    March Meeting 2018: 'Active Forms' (Part 3)

    'Speaking Walls', interactive installation; photograph presented by Shilpa Gupta.

    Shilpa Gupta, Visual Artist - India

    Shilpa Gupta is a Contemporary Indian artist who grew up in the city of Mumbai, where she studied art at Sir J. J. School of Fine Arts, at the main city center. Her work concerns the idea of countries' borders in the political context.

    For her project "100 Hand Drawn Maps of My Country", which began in 2008 and finished in 2014, she traveled to Cuenca, Mexico; Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Israel;  Montreal, Canada; and different parts of Italy,  to ask ordinary people to draw by memory a map of their home country.

    Another art project, which was produced in 2009-2010, was called “Speaking Walls”. It shows that the performer’s identity, which represents artificial political borders, is meaningless, as long as the borders are defined by nature. In this interactive piece, the viewer stands on a line of bricks that face a wall, puts on a headset, listens to the instructions, and reads what is written on an LCD screen on the wall.

    The full project on site: http://shilpagupta.com/pages/2010/10speakingwall.htm


    One of the four aerial photos of 'Nahr El Bared' refugee camp, presented by Sabba Innab.

    Saba Innab, Architect & Artist
    Palenstine / Jordan

    Back to architectural practice, Saba Innab is a Palestinian-Jordanian architect and artist, based between Amman and Beirut. She is interested in the problematic of the architectural practice itself. “The invisible gap between dwelling and architecture or building, is a gap that I think was magnified by modernity. This is on a very general level, but on a very specific level, I am interested in permanent temporariness", said Innab.

    She was one of the participants who worked on the reconstruction of Nahr El Bared refugee camp in the North of Lebanon. Saba explained that the camp was completely destroyed in 2007 after an army conflict between the Lebanese army and the Islam’s fundamental school of “Fatah Al Islam”. It is the first Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon to be destroyed and reconstructed within the original frameworks.

    Plans and an aerial view of 'Nahr El Bared' refugee camp; photographs presented by Saba Innab.

    The place was secured by the army. This transformed the question from: How do you rebuild the camp? into: How do you live and how to build without a land?

    The latter question became the title of the ongoing project, composed of several elements dealing with this idea of the possibility of dwelling in the temporary.

    An exhibition of the reconstruction process of 'Nahr El Bared' refugee camp; photograph presented by Saba Innab.

    Saba continued that the camp has no spatial documentation except for four aerial photos taken at different times for different purposes; one photograph was taken in 1950, one year after the establishment of the camp; another photograph in 1968-1969, a couple of years after receiving the second group of refugees; the third one was taken in 1994, a few years after the end of the Lebanese civil war; and the last one in 2007, a very comprehensive photo of the camp taken by the army during the battle with Fatah, before the destruction of the camp. A 2013 Google Maps photo shows the camp after the conflict ended.

    An adaptation of the same process of reclamation, “Rahhala” or “The Traveler”, is another project that shows processes of collecting spaces and architecture typologies. Those spaces are materialized, becoming more typographic or archaeological sites, maybe between a point in the past and the present typology of contemporary architecture.

    Drawings and models as part of the project 'Rahhala Project'; photographs presented by Saba Innab.
    Models as a part of the 'Rahhala Project' ; photograph presented by Saba Innab.

    In the 1980s it was reclaimed as a residential building in Kuwait, as a point of departure that unfolds into other spaces and other forms of migration and exile. A visual memory of the space is deconstructed into angles, materials, and shadows. This space becomes not only an extension of the Palestinian refugee, but also part of the de-territorialization of working class and migrant workers in the region. The major tool of this process was the construction of models and drawing.

    Innab explained that "the model here is not something to be built. On the contrary, it is an abstraction of a moment in time. It becomes the space and also the material - new or from a demolished site." 

    An archival image from UNRWA archive of 'Baqa'a' refugee camp; photograph presented by Saba Innab.

    She presented an archival image from the UNRWA archive of Baqa’a refugee camp in North of Amman in 1970s. It documents exact moments when tents were transforming into modular walls.


    Other Works

    In addition to intensive talks and initiatives during the  Meeting, there were exhibitions, performances, as well as film screenings.

    The Arabic version of the performance “Song of Roland” directed by the Alexandrian artist Wael Shawky was held in the Calligraphy Square. It is based on the French epic poem “La Chanson De Roland” that tells the story of the battle between Christians and Saracens. The background of the performance consisted of a hundred small pieces that represent the city of Aleppo, Baghdad, and Istanbul. A group of traditional Arab musicians and singers sing this epic tale in the style of Fidjeri.

    Last but not least “A Flood in Baath Country” a Syrian documentary film directed by the Syrian film director and prominent civil society activist Omar Amiralay, focused on the construction of the impressive Euphrates Dam and other efforts to modernize Syria in the 1970s.


    Hope you have enjoyed reading about the 2018 March Meeting in Sharjah, UAE. This article concludes the series.  


  • ‘Actions and Urgencies in Different Contexts’, Part 2 | United Arab Emirates

    Emergent Art Space artist, Asmaa Youssef Elmongi, attended the March Meeting of the Sharjah Art Foundationin Sharjah, UAE. Her report in three parts highlights talks and projects presented at the meeting from artists and curators around the world.  

    What follows is Part 2 of Asmaa's report.  To see Part 1 click here.


    March Meeting 2018: 'Active Forms' (Part 2)

    The exhibition “Oxytocin”,  photograph presented by Alper Turan.

    'DAS Art Project' - Alper Turan. (Turkey)

    Alper Turan, is the co-founder and curator of an independent art initiative based in Turkey, the DAS Art Project. The project consists of three undergraduate students who form a curatorial team that works with independent artists. DAS concerns itself mainly with transforming iconic and historical buildings into art spaces, through the creation of  art exhibitions that adjust to the atmosphere of these places.

    The exhibition “Decadence”, photograph presented by Alper Turan.

    We are not commercial art professionals, which is something that makes me feel honored” said Turan.

    Their first project “Oxytocin” opened in October, 2016, in a famous building that was designed to be a guest house. Turan explained that it was hard to get permission to have an exhibition of 26 artists in this building. It was for only one day, which emphasizes the character of the exhibition as they are considered as guests for one day.

    Their second exhibition “Decadence” was held in a building opposite to the first one. It was a hotel in the style of Turkish Orientalism. The organisers drew a parallel with the history of the hotel throughout two days, using some references of the hotel’s history and to some famous visitors, like Agatha Christie who stayed in the hotel in the past. (1)


    “Lugar a Dudas”, the main exhibition space, photograph presented by Sally Mizrachi.

    'Lugar a Dudas' - Sally Mizrachi, Co-Founder (South America)

    The next talk takes us to the north of South America, in Colombia. Lugar a Dudas, which means “A Place to Doubt” opened in 2005 with an attempt to respond to the needs of the Santiago de Cali art scene. It is an active local art hub, establishing networks, creative partnership, and achieving great impact. The place was initiated by Óscar Muñoz. Sally Mizrachi, one of he founders, mentioned that the art space has a particular emphasis on changing constitutional structures and producing a context for art that fosters exchanges of ideas. Their programs respond to specific needs of artists and public in the city, inviting groups and communities that are excluded from the institutional system to participate.

    “Lugar a Dudas”, the rehearsal room, photograph presented by Sally Mizrachi.

    Through Lugar a Dudas, we invited people to experience and use the spaces as a meeting point to discuss, reflect, or just to learn", said Mizrachi.

    The space includes a documentation center, which is one of the largest in the country, exhibition rooms, a residence program with projections every week and workshops. The documentation center includes photocopies, publications curated on diverse subjects, and archiving materials Sally presented a picture that shows the main exhibition space. It is exposed to the street, and this is essential for everyday connection between the city and the artistic production. Another part of Lugar a Dudas is the rehearsal room, which is a platform for artists, collectives, photography materials, publications and initiatives. (2)

    One of the emergent challenges we face as an institution, is the implementation of international school of political thinking and its disciplinary processes”, said Mizrachi.


    “Samar” magazine, photograph presented by Naeem Mohaiemen.

    Naeem Mohaiemen, Visual Artist (Bangladesh)

    Naeem Mohaiemen, a writer and a visual artist from Bangladesh, leads the talk back to art in the South of Asia. He considers museums  platforms for history.

    Naeem moved from Dhaka to New York in 1994, where he joined the magazine, Samar  (South Asian Magazine for Action and Reflection), which was launched in 1992, two years before he arrived, as a magazine of political and cultural debate with a South Asian focus. It aimed to foster debate and discussion within the South Asian community in the US. Samar was last printed in 2002, as people started questioning the value of a printed magazine. Therefore, some of the magazine went online. (3)

    The poster of the film “Mutiny: Asian Storm British Music”, photograph presented by Naeem Mohaiemen

    Naeem also presented and discussed the film “Mutiny: Asian Storm British Music”, directed by Vivek Bald. The film explores the Asian Underground movement in English rock in the 90s, which created music that integrated reggae and hip hop with Indian traditional and popular music, and discusses as well the experience of anti-Asian racism in Britain.

    Naeem participated in the renown exhibition “Fatal Love”, at the Queens Museum in New York, which made visible the works of many South-Asian artists working in the United States.



    (1) Full description of the project is published in Turkish on “art fulliving” http://www.artfulliving.com.tr/sanat/yozlasan-bir-pera-palas-dekadans-i-11216
    (2) Find out more details and information about the rehearsal room on the website of “Lugar a Dudas” http://www.lugaradudas.org/#/educacion-sin-escuela/educacion-home An explanation of “Lugar a Dudas” initiative by Óscar Muñoz in a video published on the website of “SFMOMA” https://www.sfmoma.org/oscar-munoz-created-an-art-space-that-thrives-on-uncertainty/
    (3)  Full description of the magazine is published on “Samar Magazine” http://www.samarmagazine.org/about


    Hope you have enjoyed reading about the 2018 March Meeting in Sharjah. Stay tuned next week for the conclusion of this series.   

  • ‘Actions and Urgencies in Different Contexts’ | United Arab Emirates

    Emergent Art Space artist Asmaa Youssef Elmongi, attended the March Meeting of the Sharjah Art Foundationin Sharjah, UAE. Her report highlights talks and projects presented at the meeting from artists and curators from around the world. We will publish it here in three parts over the next few weeks.      

    March Meeting 2018: 'Active Forms' (Part 1)

    Courtesy of the Sharjah Art Foundation


    One of the leading contemporary art and cultural foundations in United Arab Emirates, Sharjah Art Foundation held the 11th edition of its March Meeting program, providing the opportunity to collectively examine actions and urgencies in different contexts through practices in art, writing, film, music, performance, and architecture.


    'Public Work' - Beirut
    Abir Saksouk, Co-Founder 

    Abir Saksouk is one of the co-founders of 'Public Work', a studio of multidisciplinary design and research of public issues in Beirut. It began in 2012, when they started a collective of architects, designers, and urbanists. Saksouk explained that one of their main aims was to enable particular ways of "looking at the city" and urban processes, tackling urban inequalities, and examining how their professional practice could be merged with active engagement as individuals or as a collective.

    They started their research and design interventions within three social spaces; the first is the disciplinary space of the studio or the office where they make drawings and designs; the second is the site of the intervention itself, could be the city, the neighborhood or the street; and the third is the space of the self - the designer’s position and positionality - for creating spaces of differentiation and inclusion.

    Map of the city of Beirut, Lebanon

    Saksouk presented a project that is concerned with a new rent law in Lebanon, which led to the eviction of most of the tenants in the neighborhood. The law was issued without being based on any data, and was merely a political tool serving the interests of private estates and a very specific class of politicians and development investors.

    They worked on a research project that looked at six neighborhoods in Beirut, and conducted workshops with tenants and students to produce data that emerge out of neighborhoods and give actual numbers and statistics about what it means to live and to be a tenant in Beirut. The findings that came out were multilayered, showing actual statistics, the number of tenants, how people access housing, and the challenges.

    An important part of the investigation was also looking at transferred ownership, which referred to the future of the city that is being drawn and traced by real estate companies that are using incentives offered by the state to buy up properties in the city.

    They were also tracing stories and narratives, as a large number of Beirut's residents were consistently evicted. Saksouk indicated that most of the projects, which started as research, carried through to a dissemination phase that was presented in Arabic, relevant to the local context. The presentations were in different forms: articles, videos, and/or neighborhood meetings. "We organized ideas of what we can demand for the neighborhood and discussed future policy changes and political demands", said the architect.

    Mar Elias neighbourhood, Beirut

    While the previous project was tackling housing in Beirut, another project tackled public space, and how to look at the rights everyone has to the space. This project, called 'Play at The City: Communal Making of Informal Football Fields', was started in 2014, with a very simple question: Where do children and young people play in Beirut?

    On an aerial photo of the city, dated back to 2004, they started spotting empty fields  made out of sand. When they visited ten of these fields, they discovered that almost 85% of them - communal outdoor play spaces - had been replaced by parking lots, new buildings, or demolition sites. They drew up a narrative timeline for each of them, investigating the history of their emergence, and how neighborhood youth organized, collected money, and put their own efforts into returning these sites into their own play spaces.

    They decided to work on one of these fields with the neighborhood youth in order to affirm their claims and also rehabilitate them and preserve them from being lost. The project, in the Mar Elias Palestinian Camp in Beirut, was called  “اللعب في المخيم “, or 'Play in the Camp'.

    Organizing is one of the most important outcomes of the network that we do, so these interventions - whether in the form of neighborhood meetings, or creating local community representatives that are able to manage specific ways of everyday life in the camp - are the most important outcomes of our research, design, and the city", said Saksouk.


    Sharmini Pereira during her presentation at the Sharjaj March Meeting, UAE, 2018

    'Raking Leaves' - Sri Lanka

    Sharmini Pereira, Founder 

    Moving from Western Asia to its South, where 'Raking Leaves' - a nonprofit independent publishing organization – is based in Sri Lanka. Sharmini Pereira is an independent curator, publisher, and the director of 'Raking Leaves', which she founded back in 2008, when Sharmini wanted to find a way to present contemporary art that did not require a gallery, museum, or a space.

    Sharmini presented a photo for the National Art Gallery in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where she curated her first exhibition, 'New Approaches in Contemporary Sri Lankan Art'.  Sharmini is quite interested in the idea of reaching out to people, and to make it possible for those who are living in other countries to communicate with art practices from Sri Lanka. “Publishing was a way of reaching an audience,” said Pereira. She believes that there is a distinct relationship between books and public. She cited a quotation by Stephen Bury, a well-known writer:

    'The One Year Drawing Project' presented by Pereira. Preparation of the project exhibition at Art Dubai, UAE

    “Artists books are books or book-like objects, the final appearance of which an artist has a high degree of control; where the book is intended as a work of art in itself”

    'Raking Leaves' commissions artists who are making work in the form of a book. Sharmini mentioned the 1960s and 1970s when artist books began to take part in social-political activism in antiwar demonstrations by Fluxus. However, her objectives for artist books are different from those that were produced by Fluxus.

    "All the projects that are produced by 'Raking Leaves' are mass produced" she said, "using a  standard process that never costs more than 35 dollars."

    Images of artists' books from 'The One Year Drawing Project'

    The 'One Year Drawing Project' is a project begun by four artists in an attempt to understand the relationship between time, practice, collaboration, and dialogue within the context of contract. In 2005, the artists started to take part in an experiment that took them back to the idea of the exchange, which lasted up to 72 weeks and involved 52 exchanges of drawings. It took 18 months to be finish as they decided to correspond once a week. In 2008, the installation of the project was shown at Art Dubai, in the UAE.

    To get the book to the UAE, we had to get through the censorship channels that required not having any nudity, so, we blacked out all the areas that carry nudity.” said Pereira.

    Another project, by Pakistani artist Bani Abidi, is 'The Speech Writer', done in 2012. The work consisted of ten small flipbooks.

    'The Speech Writer' project by Bani Abidi, presented by Sharmini Pereira

    The text in the book is a little transcript that interviews a man in an old region who is involved in a daily activity which has him sitting everyday in front of a microphone speaking to it. “It is a kind of silence cinema” said Pereira.

    The full description of the project is published on the website of “Asia Art Archive in America”, through an interview that was held by Jane DeBevoise and transcribed by Hilary Chassé, titled “We Do What We Do: A Conversation between Bani Abidi and Sharmini Pereira”.


    To be continued. Stay tuned!