Installation on life
BHUBANESWAR: The Sovereign Forest deals with the impact of mining and other commercial activities on the landscape and people of Odisha. The art installation exhibition by documentary filmmaker Amar Kanwar in collaboration with Samadrusti, that has been organised as an effort to fuel an understanding to address the issues of social justice, has completed one year of its being. Kanwar was recently awarded with Leonore Annenberg Prize For Art And Social Change for this initiative.
An unmatched visual platform presenting an amalgamation of crime, polity, sovereignty and ecology to voice the concern towards a changing socio-economic structure, the exhibition, an institution in itself, is an archive with collected evidences from public trials as well as library.
The concept behind the project Sovereign Forest was inspired by the quest to understand life we are living amidst conflicts. An assemblage of moving images, sounds, poetry, seeds, artifacts, photographs, legal documents, leaflets, proceedings, the art installation is unique in its own way. It talks about the possible changes in the life of the land owners post their land acquisition by giants.
The exhibition installed on the campus of Samadrusti, a magazine, has manuscripts named Seven Counting Sisters made of banana leaves and sheaths depicting the story of seven women who had seen evacuation from a close proximity. The exhibition also has 266 varieties of rice which have been conserved without the use of pesticides or chemicals.
‘’Sovereign Forest is a unique concept which highlights what is happening around us. It makes us to think about the future of civilization and the whole madness which is happening in the name of development. All human beings have equal rights to live with dignity. This exhibition is just an effort to fuel the thought,’’ says, Sudhir Patnaik, Editor, Samadrusti.