4 Dec 2014

Art News: Bhopal - A Silent Picture by Samar Jodha

Samar Jodha’s art installation is a grim reminder of the tragedy that continues to haunt Bhopal to this day.


December 2, 1984 is a date firmly etched in our minds. The Bhopal gas tragedy remains the largest industrial disaster in the world, when 42 tons of the deadly methyl isocyanate leaked from the Union Carbide plant poisoning more than half a million people and taking 30,000 lives.

Today, 30 years later the lethal gas continues to maim and kill, even as victims wait endlessly for justice and compensation. With the recent death of Warren M. Anderson, the chief executive officer of the UCC at the time, Bhopal disaster survivors are struggling to find any form of closure to the tragic event.
Art News: Bhopal - A Silent Picture by Samar Jodha, Art Scene India

Samar Jodha’s art installation is a grim reminder of the tragedy and a tribute to the innocent and faceless victims. An activist artist Jodha has been using photography and film for the past 20 years to address issues such as development, human rights and conservation.

"A striking document which will contribute to perpetuate the memory of an apocalyptic event," says Dominique Lapierre, the co-author of It Was Five Past Midnight in Bhopal about Jodha's project. Bhopal - A Silent Picture is a multimedia installation that simulates an environment with sound, light and temperature to recreate the sensory experience of the night of the disaster.
the project creates a simulated environment through sound, light and controlled temperature inside the container that takes the viewer through a proximate experience - See more at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/bhopal/bhopal-gas-tragedy-themed-art-installation-in-rome/article1-1292774.aspx#sthash.HlPsFiud.dpuf
the project creates a simulated environment through sound, light and controlled temperature inside the container that takes the viewer through a proximate experience - See more at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/bhopal/bhopal-gas-tragedy-themed-art-installation-in-rome/article1-1292774.aspx#sthash.HlPsFiud.dpuf
Art News: Bhopal - A Silent Picture by Samar Jodha, Art Scene India
The photographs in the multimedia installation have been shot at the Union Carbide plant, which has since been sealed. The leakage from that fateful night continues to poison the soil, air and water of its surrounding areas. 'The images portray an eerie emptiness – comparable to the Nazi gas chambers of Auschwitz. However, unlike Auschwitz, the perpetrators of this crime continue to walk free. The victims – largely poor people, continue to be denied fair compensation, adequate health care or legal redressal. Worse, they are forced behind a veil of indifference and enforced silence. This installation also hints at this state of affairs with a shroud bearing names and file numbers of some of the victims’ that envelops them in anonymity' elaborates Jodha's website. 

Jodha began working on the …Silent Picture project in 2004, when a UK-based TV channel asked him to take a few pictures of the site to mark 20 years of the tragedy. After completing his assignment for the channel, he began working independently there and has shown the resultant cargo container interactive art installation in the UK, US and Switzerland since 2009.
Jodha took his exhibit to London during the 2012 Olympics, as a mark of protest against Dow Chemical Company, the parent company of Union Carbide, acting as official partner of the Games.
- See more at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/bhopal/bhopal-gas-tragedy-themed-art-installation-in-rome/article1-1292774.aspx#sthash.HlPsFiud.dpuf
Jodha's art installation has traveled to Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. Over 85,000 people visited this project in Mumbai in a week alone, making it the largest ever-viewed public art project in India.

In association with Amnesty International Italy, Jodha’s installation is on display at the Piazza Della Repubblica in Rome till December 6, 2014.
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