Saturday, January 1, 2011


I was there for five days. It was sunny and calm, occasionally it drizzled. I spent the time reading a books on maps which involved the questions of the past, but more importantly,what digitalisation does to the making and reading of maps. The spaces of the earth are read by sattelites, what happens to communities and their opinions on this mutual sharing. Is there a private or enclosed space left? I spoke to some of the craftspeople who make a living in  Tiruvannamalai. Selling their wares in a tourist and pilgrim town, they spoke of the networks and links of production. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, the map of India has been linked by the trade in cloth, jewels and ritual artifacts. What is happening in Kashmir? we need only look up websites such as Protests in Kashmir to know. 80,000 soldiers map a part of India, where for 21 years the Kashmiri has been made to feel a victim of the Indian state. Between corruption of the army and the politicians, and the threats of the terrorists they eke out miserable life. Every day brings them new sorrows. How can we as citizens ask for greater visibility on the presence of the military in Kashmir or Manipur? In Tiruvannamalai, where the peacefulness is still so great, the caste debates are vivid in every day life, yet in mutual consent, people make a living.

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