Ishita Chakraborty

Saris in various colours run through the garden, forming a border that is not rigid, but remains soft and mobile. With the installation The Songs of Resistance, Ishita Chakraborty refers to the Sundarbans region, which is located on a delta in eastern India. There, the clothing is also used as a fence, to protect a planted bed from animals, for example.

Ishita Chakraborty grew up in Kolkata and has spent time in the Sundarbans in recent years. In the course of her research, she spoke to many women from the region about the multiple burdens they carry: They take care of household chores, work in the fields and plant new mangroves to protect the land from further erosion. However, the climate is changing and the sea level continues to rise, which is why their livelihoods are visibly dwindling. For financial reasons, their respective partners are forced to work as seasonal workers on construction sites in other, often touristy and fast-growing regions.

The importance of not considering social and ecological separate issues is also expressed in the sound installation A Vessel Full of Hope. The sound comes from so-called handis, pots that are used in rural households to cook or store grain, fish or rice. The sound of the sea, the blowing wind, rumbling boat engines, women talking to each other can be heard. In this polyphonic installation, the voice of Abhra Chanda (School of Oceanographic Studies, Kolkata) can be heard, or that of the artist: in one passage, she reads from the book Ecofeminism by Maria Mies and Vandana Shiva. In it, the German sociologist and the Indian activist and theorist point to the fact that limitless growth results in violence against nature, against women and people of the global South. They write: "An ecofeminist perspective, on the other hand, propagates the need for a new cosmology and a new anthropology that recognizes that life in nature (including humans) is preserved through cooperation and mutual love and care". (Maria Mies und Vandana Shiva, Ökofeminismus. Beiträge zur Praxis und Theorie. Zürich: Rotpunktverlag 1995, p. 13.)

The Songs of Resistance, 2023, handi, wood, fabric
A Vessel Full of Hope,
2023, audio, stereo