Rathin Barman

Archival and Museum Fellowships

Grant Period: Over one year

Rathin Barman is a visual artist based in Kolkota. Rathin’s proposal for this research fellowship is in continuation with his practice as a visual artist where he investigates ‘landscape’ as an idea not just in the physicality of its presence, but the space that it occupies in the mind and in the memory of the Bangladeshi migrants in Kolkota. He also explores in his work the idea of ’home’ which takes on new meanings for displaced people. Based on his conversations with them, which are part fictive and part true and the inconsistencies that mark the process of remembering, Rathin recreates in sculpture and drawings, their domiciles and the surrounding architecture from landscapes and homes that have been abandoned.

For this fellowship, Rathin proposes to encounter a people and their histories through artifacts of everyday ordinary life. By working with displaced people for whom the traditional way of life is no longer a possibility, (where as Abeer says, there is a severance of cultural continuities) Rathin will try to explore the relationship that an ethnographic object can have with a community in such circumstances. If it does act as a bridge between time and space for the displaced community, what images does it evoke? Rathin will translate these images into drawings and sculptures. These artworks will be interspersed with objects from the museum to tell a different narratives. The outcome of Rathin’s research will be an exhibition. The deliverables will be images of the exhibition.

There are several overlaps between Abeer and Rathin’s proposals, so we do hope that the resultant exhibitions will bring together different perspectives on the same subject of narratives of people displaced through voluntary or forced migrations.

This grant was made possible with support from the Tata Trusts.