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Across Oceans

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Dattatreyan’s ongoing work focuses on 20thand 21st century cultural and political connections that span Black Atlantic and Indian Ocean imaginaries.    His two installation pieces on display cling to the notion that biography and history seep into one and other in intimate narratives we tell about our families, our journeys, and ourselves.

In his first installation Dattatreyan utilizes his father’s photo archive as a trace of India’s postcolonial relationship with Ethiopia and a recollection of his father’s 20th century aspirations as a representative of a newly birthed Indian nation-state.  Embedded in these traces are Dattatreyan’s longing for Ethiopia, the land of his birth, and for Africa, whose cultural pulses he imbibed while growing up in New York City in the 1980s and 1990s amongst children of the African Diaspora. 

His second installation draws from over two years of ethnographic research and relationship building in Delhi’s pan-African enclaves.   Dattatreyan captures his Somali friends’ remembrances of home, all framed in their ongoing relationship with Delhi and the Indian imaginary they have carried with them across oceans. 

Dattatreyan would like to thank:

K.V. Dattatreyan

Nandukumar Dattatreyan

Young Hafes

Abdullah Idris

Abdul Sievo

Ola Jason

Tina Schouw

Malika Ndlovu