Art finds a common thread in ‘Coriolis Effect’, an international exhibition featuring works of artists from India and Africa. The exhibition in the capital, seeks to boost the social, economic and cultural relationship and historical exchange between them.
The result of a month-long residency, Coriolis Effect uses the present context of 21st century migrations, and various moments of exchange through history between the two entities.
According to Sitara Chowfla, the programme Manager at Khoj, Coriolis Effect is in response to the conflict between residents and immigrants at Khirkee Village Extension, the NGO&’s immediate neighborhood.
“Khirkee Village has been home to immigrants from within the Indian subcontinent, as well as migrants from many countries leading to cultural differences and racial violence. This project has grown out of a series of encounters and conversations which took place in and around Khoj through 2014,” Chowfla said.
In the show, photography has been explored by Philadelphia-based visual anthropologist Ethiraj Gabriel Dattatreyan. His film, "Cry Out Loud" explores the lives of several men and women from the African community who reside in Khirkee Village Extension. “My work focuses on 20th and 21st century cultural and political connections that span Black Atlantic and Indian Ocean imaginaries,” Dattatreyan said.
Juan Orrantio (b. Bogota, Colombia) uses photography as a critical form of documentary. He juxtaposes two sets of photographs -10 images of venues, buildings and spaces reminiscent of the Nehruvian era and another set of 40 images of African families in areas like Khirkee Extension and Chattarpur. “The idea is to reflect on how the Nehruvian period was the time of transformation, modernism and Afro-Asian solidarity through the Non-Alignment Movement,” Orrantio said.
Ghanian Bernard Akoi-Jackson presents a “triptych installation” divided into three parts. The first is a set of 30 flag-like pieces in cloth, where one cannot recognize any nationality while the second is a video of the Indian national flag billowing in the wind at the Rajiv Chowk Central Park. The third is a tapestry of multi-coloured cloth pieces taken from diverse sources.
“It is meant to dissolve the differences of identity as you can never know which cloth belonged to which person of which religion and nationality,” Akoi-Jackson said.
Insurrections Ensmble, is a collection of poets and musicians from India and South Africa. The participants Tina Schow (singer, songwriter, guitarist and author) and Malika Ndlovu (dramatist, playwright, performer and poet) are the artists from South Africa while Priya Sen (artist and filmmaker) and Sumangala Damodaran (composer and economist) are from India. They have created pop up-recording studio inside the Khoj premises where interactions with the public are recorded, a video features their experiences of a multi-cultural journey in a train and a third video captures conversations and moments around them.
Coriolis Effect: Currents Across India and Africa is on at Khoj Studios, S-17, Khirkee Extension, New Delhi till August 31.