Lecture A Secret Visuality of Injustice

A Secret Visuality of Injustice © Namoos Bukhari

Mon, 13.04.2020


Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Kolkata

A project by Namoos Bukhari

Unlike the militarized landscapes where death by bullets, torture- both physical and psychological humiliation, disappearances and several other fiendish acts of indignation have occurred a thousand times before, the pellet shotgun injuries are a very new phenomenon. Perhaps the first in the history of the world.

The logic of injustice and by extension of that of an affliction is to anaesthetise the ‘other’. But in these cases, the logic seems to have been turned upside down. It has been defeated. The afflicted are experiencing a heightened sense and sensations. They see in peels of light and shadow i.e. a visual language that only they know about. A secret visual image of injustice. What is the point of reference in a state of total darkness? There is no point of reference but there is a sense about it. A sense of touch, of smell and of sound- an intolerable world of imagination. And if you will, of thoughts that can be thought.

The central conceit of this exploration revolves around the question of sensual solidarity. Provided the incoherence of our disjointed individual senses, is there a possibility of a sensual solidarity with the people affected with Pellet Shotgun? It is to whirl the participants into a state of time that they might not have known but which does exist as an ‘Unknown- known’. It is to habituate one to the realities which one might otherwise not inhabit, not because of predilection, but inspite of it. Can I be you without I being you?

By employing distinct peculiarities of the mediums of performance, photography, text and sound along with the tropes of embodiment/Disembodiment, Noor/Khaak, Light/Shadow, Darkness/Loneliness, Colour/Tactility, this exploration will try to discern the different shades of silence. Silence that has transmuted into a thesaurus of all possibilities. It is to recreate the atmosphere of silence afresh.

The project will be opened on 13 April 2020 at 7 pm, with the artist introducing the project followed by a lecture performance. The installation will be on view till 16 April 2020 from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm.

Namoos Bukhari was born and partly brought up in Srinagar, Kashmir. After pursuing his Masters in Media Governance from Centre for Culture Media and Governance-JMI in 2017, he has been working with the survivors of Pellet Shotgun injuries in Kashmir.