Illustration / Charcoal drawing / Film
The Memory Lab at the Srishti School of Art Design and Technology, provided a platform for me to explore the function of personal and collective memories while exploring the tensions of history. Documenting the 1984 Sikh Massacre, that occurred in the wake of the assassination of Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. The atrocities against the Sikh community existed only as a statistic in my mind, which drove me to collect narratives concerning incidents that took place on one particular day in February 1984, when terrorists entered the town of Lopoke, Punjab. As people recollected for me the stories that have deeply impacted their lives, I learnt that memory and its recollection provides a home for our experience. It has the ability to act as a source of learning and can challenge the impermanent and singular nature of experience, in order to facilitate empathy.
It is the year 1984. In Preetnagar, a village on the border of India and
Pakistan, Darbara Singh reads about the death of his son in the newspaper.
An uneducated youth had unknowingly joined the fight for an
independent Sikh state. Darbara’s son was considered a terrorist.
Does that mean that he should not mourn him?
Sketchbook illustrations, on the search for Keemti, the village postmaster.
Charcoal on paper. 22 x 16 in.
22nd February 1984. Multi-screen projection. Ghosts of Image/in/nation, Bangalore.