Grant Period: Over five months
The output generated by the Himmat workshops with the women survivors of the Gujarat violence in 2002 has been shown piecemeal at venues across the country. However, the artworks that resulted from the collaboration between Vasudha Thozur, Tahera Pathan, Rabia Shaikh, Taslim Qureshi, Farzana Shaikh, Rehana Shaikh and Shah Jehan Shaikh have not been exhibited in their entirety. This grant enables Vasudha Thozhur to mount exhibitions within the context of her own practice, in mainstream galleries in Mumbai and Delhi.
This project originally involved working with six adolescent girls who lost several members of their families in the carnage at Naroda Patiya, Ahmedabad, on February 28, 2002. The project examined the role that art practices play in dealing with collective trauma. A residency at Khoj, New Delhi, in 2006, supported the compilation of the output, and the editing of six pieces of video footage shot by the girls. This helped Vasudha to put together some of the works as a trial exhibit at Khoj, and look at ways of presenting process-based artworks through an experimental rather than a documentary perspective.
This grant enables Vasudha to finish her own artworks that were inspired by the collaborative process. These include the printing and framing of six photo essays of 250 photographs each; the printing, digital composition and framing of two full-length paintings; and the production of diaries and documentation books.
While presenting the project, the ethics of representation have been uppermost in Vasudha’s mind. It is hoped that some of those questions will be addressed through the process of exhibiting her artworks alongside that of the girls. Simultaneous to preparing for the exhibition, Vasudha will begin fabricating a travelling exhibition module for showing the artworks at multiple other venues across the country.