womb as wound
Dilara Begum Jolly’s Amorar Akkhyan
The sites of remembrance are always a source of emotional trauma, and Dalim Bhaban in Chittagong, in particular, notorious as it was for being a makeshift torture house for the collaborators of the Pakistan junta, namely Razakar and Al-Badr forces, during the nine-month-long Liberation War, becomes the context for commemoration by the multimedia artist Dilara Begum Jolly. She translates the gruesome and the unspeakable into a sensorial language of recall where a sense of regeneration is also evoked. Jolly accomplishes this by conjugating the photographic images of the inner chambers of the building with a layer of performative actions leading to perforations of the surface of each image. If the empty rooms are haunted by the memories of inhuman torture, her re-inscriptions performs a transformation – the collective trauma as well as neurosis born out of the stigma we habitually attach to those women who came out alive is translated into sensory data having healing properties.
The series entitled Amorar Akkhyan (story of the womb), showcased here originally formed a part of her recent solo exhibition of the same title at Daily Star-Bengal Precinct, which approximates the traumatized female body forming a subtext which, in turn, recurrently reads as a feminist take on the tortured bodies eliciting a testimonial of the wombs – those that were subjected to male aggression. In an unusually non-declarative mode, yet commiserating, Jolly revisits both the sites of torture – the place where the women were held captive during the war and the site of nurturing and birthing, the womb, which remains a universal signifier of rebirth, in each captive bodies, during the liberation war of 1971, was turned into an object of inhuman exploitation.
– DEPART DESK
Image courtesy: Daily Star-Bengal Precinct.