Title Searching Madame Jeanette
Length Video 6:30 min
City of Production Atafona in collaboration with Atafona Residency,
Julia Naidin and Fernando Codeco
Julia Naidin and Fernando Codeco
Year of Production 2018
In the Performance in 2018 during the Echoes conference titled 'Fernanda Romero is searching for Madame Jeanette' is based on the name Madam Jeanette of a famous Brazilian prostitute inspired by a commonly consumed Caribbean chili with the same name.
In Salvador I spend several days in the city archives to find migration documents around the time of slavery up until the time of the start of indentured labour. Who where the women that migrated?
Could Madame Jeanette have been from Salvador and one of the women that escaped as a slave?
An imaginary story reappeared in my mind intermingled with my own family migration from India to Surinam.
The chili Madame Jeanette is consumed among the Indian community in Surinam and is popular in the Netherlands as well, a similar chili but slightly different in it's shape was picked from the gardens in Atafona.
The juice of the chili gives a feeling of burning on top of the skin, this element I combined with the idea of migratory past.
After migration of her ancestors in 1895 to Suriname and exported to the Netherlands, Madame Jeanette packet her suitcase in The Netherlands and went to grow in India where she believed the climate was more fruitful than in her country of birth. The video performance in Atafona is combined with a poetic text that I read during the performance of Echoes of the South Atlantic conference in Salvador.
Video Retracing El Alamein 2018
In collaboration with Lele Huang and monologue of Michael Lewis
The exhibition involves various video works that both use a night-club as a performative site. Constructed environments become psychological spaces where social interaction takes place. Within the work Friday by Helen Anna Flanagan, the nightclub represents a hallucinatory place of the night — an internal and intoxicating space where language deteriorates and where there is a temporary demand for togetherness and forms of collectivity.
Wah pahuchne ki dasha - That state of arrival
An Exhibition in response to Kahe Gaile Bidesia Gallery,
GB Pant Institute of Social Sciences, Allahabad
A reflecion on the question, Kahe Gaile Bides? forms the essence of this exhibition that mirrors the Bidesia gallery of the GBPSSI by responding and abstracting certain objects and archival photographs in its collection. The unstable ocean surface leads to a migration story constituted between a place of deport and a place of arrival. In between the fast movement of oceans a timeles exchange of cultures connects various geographical locations. The ocean takes its own course or time to do so. Waves and circular movements of the sea become a mirror through which our visions transforms, distorts and reshapes. On the Indian shore a bottle was found that once belonged to a migrant who travelled to Surinam. Someone said that it was trown in the sea, the sea brought back the bottle through the movements and its currents. It contained a cutlass to cut sugarcane, an old sari of a lonely woman, Khadau (footwear), a letter of a missing girl, photographs of an old family house in Bihar, a flying saw, a black cloth with a hole made by a surgical blade, a parrot that repeated the words from the letter of the missing migrant. The bottle resambled a surrealist shape, a transition of gathri once taken by a migrant during a three month boat journey.
This response is dedicated to a specific history of migration: the stories and journeys of the diaspora Bhojpuri community, and its focus on indentured labour migration to Surinam (1873 - 1917). The Bidesiya gallery part of Manav Vikas Sangrahalaya Museum is an exciting instance in museology history of India because of its focus on the labour migration in the colonial period while also giving the perspective from the women and families who were left behind in the villages, and the complex history of several generations of Bhojpuri diaspora connecting from Bihar to Surinam to Netherlands and vice versa. The gallery was developed through a collaborative research between three institutions: GB Pant Social Science Institute in Allahabad, India, the KIT Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and the Research Institute of the Anton de Kom University of Surinam (IMWO) in Paramaribo, Surinam.
Visualising a collective response that accesses, constitutes and interprets psychonanalytical readings of archives that reshapes the nature of knowledge. New relationships and meetings between people of multiple backgrounds was commonplace on the boat journeys that took place more than 100 years ago. This exhibition of contemporary art will be hosted in the foyer gallery of Manav Vikas Sangrahalaya and mirrors relationships and response of 8 artists from different backgrounds working collectively to produce new currents and potentions of reading the permanent collection of the Bidesiya Gallery and the history of indentured labour migration.
Artists that conceptualised the exhibition; Preeti Singh, Akansha Rastogi, Paribartana Mohanty, Sudheer Rajbar, Birender Yadav, Naresh Kumar, Ranjeeta Kumari.
Curated by Sarojini Lewis.
In Collaboration with Clark House.
Opening Speech by Sunil Gupta director of Allahabad Museum
Project initiated by Badri Narayan director of the GBPSSI
Allahabad Museum / That State of Arrival
GB Pant Social Science Institute Allahabad
That State of Arrival