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"Patched by either side"

Hand stitched quilt

by - 

Gopa Roy & Victor Hazra

In collaboration with

Sabita Roy, Lipika Sarkar, Soma Sarkar, Priya Das, Shilpi Biswas, Shiuli Sarkar, Jamuna Biswas, Sapna Biswas, Doli Sarkar, Bulti Biswas, Sima Nama, Jayanti Biswas, Bakul Biswas, Barnali Biswas, Puja Biswas, Ratna Biswas, Mousumi Biswas, Ratna Chakraborty, Gita Biswas, Olipriya Roy

This work involved Gopa Roy and Victor Hazra working together, along with the women of Bamutia village, as part of a community collaborative project called "The Scars You Can’t See.“ where we ask every woman in the community to bring some small pieces of old cloth to sew the kantha. It is said that in the past, some women from the other side came here solely to sew kantha and later they migrated permanently. We were unable to find those families or individuals because no one currently has any information about them.

This village is located near the India-Bangladesh border and is very sparsely populated. Our main motives behind doing this work were mainly three. One, we wanted to at least celebrate, if not reintroduce, the ancient craft of Kantha sewing, which is no longer used in everyday life. Two, by bringing all the people of the village together in the midst of their daily activities to be part of this collective effort. Three, talk to everyone to hear their stories and experiences from the other side that will be written in this kantha.

We listened to everyone's stories and engaged in extensive conversation before identifying two or three persons who migrated five or six years ago but whose memories are still recent. Their stories are primarily documented through sewing and audio-video recordings of words and songs they shared. Finally, the work is displayed in such a way that the border is partially noticeable alongside the work. When reading the writings, one can imagine the existence of these stories and also the unknown words hidden by the barbed wire.

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