Sunday, 15 February 2015

Welcome to the Lightning Testimonies Blog - some background

8 Channel Video Installation
Synchronized, Colour and b/w, Sound,
32 minutes and 31 seconds, Loop

Amar Kanwar's THE LIGHTNING TESTIMONIES (2007) is a multi-channel video installation that reflects upon a history of conflict in the Indian subcontinent through experiences of sexual violence. In this exploration, multiple submerged narratives are revealed, sometimes in people, images and memories, and at other times in objects from nature and everyday life that stand as silent but surviving witnesses. In all the narratives, the body is central - as a site for honour, hatred and humiliation and also for dignity and protest.

The Lightning Testimonies creates an experience that emerges from a
constellation of eight synchronized choreographed projections with sound tracks that lead to disparate narratives that then converge into a single projection. As the stories unfold, women from different times and regions come forward. The multiple projections speak to them directly, in an effort to understand how such violence is resisted, remembered and recorded by individuals and communities. Submerged narratives appear, disappear and are then reborn in another vocabulary at another time. Using a range of visual vocabularies, The Lightning Testimonies transports us beyond the realm of suffering into a space of quiet contemplation, where resilience creates the potential for transformation.

The research, recording, and reflection that went into this work will serve as the starting point for this blog.  However, its aim is to more broadly serve as an online resource on the question of sexual violence in the public sphere.  It will function as a platform for collecting media reports, studies, legal opinions, and academic writing on sexual violence in the public sphere.  This is an evolving project, and envisioned as a participatory space to share resources between an engaged and politicized public.

We invite you to visit the installation, read more about the issues it addresses, and engage with us on this blog as well as on our Facebook page to spread the word.

Friday, 13 February 2015

The Lightning Testimonies in Assam

Opening on Saturday, 28th February 2015 at 12.00 noon 
On view till: 31st May 2015

All are welcome

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Updated Closing Date of the Installation at the KNMA

Important Update

The Lightning Testimonies installation in the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art will now be closing on September 26th, 2014 instead of the 30th.  If you have not been able to make a visit yet, we invite you to please do so in the next few weeks.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Public Event at the KNMA

Artist Talk by Amar Kanwar

Date: Friday, August 8th

Location: Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, DLF South Court Mall, Saket New Delhi
Time: 6:30PM

Please join us for a talk by Amar Kanwar on the work outside the installation site.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Public Lecture: Ayesha Kidwai speaks on Re-Viewing Partition

Please join us on Tuesday, July 8th at 6:00pm
at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art

A lecture by:
Prof. Ayesha Kidwai, JNU
Re-Viewing Partition, Re-Claiming Lost Ground:
A Critical Recovery of the Recovery Operation 

In the context of:
The Lightning Testimonies by Amar Kanwar
An eight projection video installation that brings together the testimonies of sexual violence against women during times of conflict, spanning multiple sites, eras and voices.

As a part of the exhibition:
“Is It What You Think” 
[Ruminations on Time, Memory & Site] 
curated by Roobina Karode

In this talk, the speaker argues for a re-examination of the by-now standard conclusion that Mridula Sarabhai and her social workers' efforts and intentions in the recovery of women abducted under the Abducted Persons (Recovery and Rehabilitation) Ordinances and Act, in force till 1957, were in consonance with those of the patriarchal State. Using the newspaper archive from the period, the speaker shall contend that the perception that the 'recovery' operation signaled, in the words of Das (1995: p.73) "an alliance between the state and social work as a profession, which silences the voice of victims by an application of the ‘best interest' doctrine" to be a reading that occludes the complexities of the past, and the internal history of the close to decade long recovery operation, in which Sarabhai and her ‘social workers' were headed on a collision course with social mores, the political class, police and administration. 

Prof. Ayesha Kidwai teaches linguistics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. This interest in the popular history of Partition stems from her other life as a translator of Anis Kidwai's memoir of the period (In Freedom's Shade, 2011), and her involvement with the contemporary women's movement.

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