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Soul Breath Wind

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A video project in process, Soul Breath Wind is based on Navjot Altaf’s research on the political situation, agenda of development and anthropogenic environmental change in Chhattisgarh.  

The loss and destruction of fertile land and soil, forests and biodiversity have had severe impact on the day to day existence and identity of indigenous communities living there for centuries and their rights to decision making…This has led to massive forced and undesired displacements of local habitants, resulting in marginalization of indigenous way of life, their oral tradition of knowledge, cultural environment  in which both human, other species and  nature could prosper and  cultural dynamics are not destroyed, tacit knowledge which is not always known explicitly. Oral cultures encourage the participatory life of the senses, and are linked to the concept of relationship with more than the human terrain and its potential to create experience at several conscious and subconscious levels. Their relationship to land, forest or water which is rooted in very different conceptual frameworks, offers insight into ourselves and the belief in interconnectedness, interdependence. This has been part of the wisdom of people for centuries, which has been transmitted orally across generations. The video addresses the impact of imposed segregation from their live-world in north-central part of Chhattisgarh and dealing with the conflicts between the communities and the Police force, police force and the ultra-left forces in South Bastar District …And what is being lost in the process.

Navjot Altaf is an artist working in and outside Mumbai, India since mid 1970s. Altaf has created an oeuvre which constitutes an ever-growing flow of video, sculptures, installations and site-specific works that negotiate various disciplinary boundaries. Navjot continues to work with Indian and international creative people from different disciplines and  simultaneously since 1997 has been engaged with  ongoing site oriented art projects in public spaces ‘Nalpar’/hand pump sites and ‘Pilla Gudi’/ temples for children in co-operation and collaboration with Adivasi artists/communities from Bastar, Central India. The process has helped her address and realize the significance of transdisciplinary work “whose nature is not merely to cross disciplinary boundaries but to rearrange mental landscape”.

Some of her recent participations include, Kochi Biennale (2014) ‘Is it what you think?’ at  Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi, India( 2014), ‘Forms of Activism’ at Rabindra Bhavan, New Delhi, India, (2014)  ‘Rewriting the landscape: India and China: Contemporary Art from China and India’ at MMCA Korea (2013). ‘Water’, Europalia India Liege at Belgium, Germany, (2013) ‘Women In Between: Asian Women Artists’ (1984-2012.) at Japan (2013).

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