Gandhi Ashram to Vatva: A Journey
This film is a recent iteration of a set of 135 photographs, shot in 2005 in Ahmedabad. It maps a recognizable route that might be familiar to many, while taking note of the re-shaping of the city along the lines of a new imaginary. The original photo-essay was a collaborative exercise undertaken with an activist, Zaid Ahmed Shaikh. Part of an extensive project that was begun in 2002, soon after the communal carnage that year, the Himmat Workshops involved working with a community from Naroda Patiya, one of the worst hit areas in the early months of 2002. The outcome of the project takes different forms – paintings, drawings, prints, posters, photographs and film – depending on the possibilities that were on hand. Their content is inter-textual, and usually presented as an installation that sets up a conversation between different bodies of work, through strong links and motifs that recur and thereby bind the diversity into a coherent whole. An online presentation, or one operating within a set of constraints creates a need to embed these references within a single aspect of the various strands that would normally intersect and together create a web of meaning. The film is an attempt to find a language suited to this necessity as much as it is about traversing the city; something that carries as much weight and ethic as the message that it conveys – indeed the two are inextricably intertwined.