SECURE (UN) SECURE
Bamboo, rubber scrap, seed, rubber tray, rice straw ash, paddy an pulses plantation on 40sq ft land.
The “Land is Marked” site-specific Collaborative Artist Residency took place in my village Rangutia, Tripura, from January 1 to 8, 2021. Where we have worked with artists from various parts of India. The majority of the people in this village are farmers and day laborer’s who live a very ordinary life, and there are major issues with the transportation and communication systems. We attempted to involve the villagers in this project. This programme provided a unique experience for me and the people around me.
I grew up in a neighborhood where the Bangladeshi border can be seen from my house and our property borders the neighboring country. The India-Bangladesh border fence has crossed our paddy fields. I remember there being no fence when I was younger. In that field, my brothers and I used to play and fly kites; occasionally, I would cross the border into Bangladesh and find a playmate there as well. I never thought it was another country because their language, food, manners, and culture are so similar to ours. Furthermore, my grandparents used to tell me that our ancestral home was in Bangladesh. They relocated to India after partition. Bangladesh-Tripura relations are long lasting; It is civilized, historical, linguistic and cultural. From time immemorial, the people of Tripura and neighboring Bangladesh have shared their problems and prosperity.
From the time of Tripura's reign, they encouraged the farmers of East Bengal to cultivate paddy and also exported forest products like wood and bamboo. The cropping pattern in Tripura is characterized by two distinct farming systems, settled cultivation in the plains and shifting cultivation in the hills. Paddy is the main crop of the state.
Through land, agriculture, time, and space, I depicted Tripura's current socio-political, geographical, and political landscape. In this work, I burned straw to draw the political map of Tripura on a large piece of land, and as part of this work, I built a bamboo bridge for the audiences to climb and see the drawing of the field. This bridge is typically used to cross rivers or canals. A bamboo bridge is a one-of-a-kind structure that is common in Bangladesh and the Northeast. I put scraps of rubber on the map and planted paddy trees on the outside and pulses and paddy on the inside.
Tea gardens and other crops are currently declining in the state, while rubber yield is increasing. Rubber is playing an important role in our society's development. Nowadays, the majority of people rely on rubber plants to supplement their income. However, rubber has an impact on our environment. Natural beauty is being destroyed, and human health is being jeopardized. Rubber chemicals enter the soil and nearby water sources as it decomposes. Many of these chemicals are harmful to plants, soil, and aquatic systems.
Essentially, I attempted to attribute my childhood memories and today's experience in this work, as well as to connect the people of the neighborhood and the village. I attempted to connect the ideas of two places where people can easily connect, involve, and interact with those bridges and plantations.