Sunday, 13 January 2019

Art is a powerful medium for personal development

Humankind has not still recovered fully from the tentacles of shock, bitterness, and dejection associated with slavery and the slave trade that happened in some parts of the world in the past centuries. When we speak about slavery, the focus suddenly shifts to the African continents; the cruelty, oppression, and suppression encountered by the people over there were unimaginable. However, it is a well-known fact that slavery and slave trade flourished in the shadows of colonization, invasion, and trade deals carried out by the British, Dutch, and others in other parts of the world as well. The horrifying and the most unfortunate aspect of such atrocities was the lack of proper records about this shady trade, the people who controlled it, and the profile of the most unfortunate souls who suddenly found their voices unheard of by anyone.

Human beings were captured, treated cruelly and sold like cheap commodities. Just like animals for slaughter they were chained and carried away to other continents for sale. No one cared for their names, nationality, or ethnicity. They were assigned names by their handlers and, they were supposed to obey their masters whatever the orders might be. They must stop behaving like a fellow human being, instead become an obedient slave following their master unconditionally observing silence.
Just do it!
 Just obey! 
Don't utter a word! 
Ironically, in case they get sold to someone, they must obey the new master. 

Sue Williamson, a very talented and famous artist based at Cape Town in South Africa, through this huge installation is telling us the sad story of such poor souls and the acts of cruelty these humans suffered at the hands of their own fellow men. If you go through the unspeakable acts of savagery and brutality during the period of the slave trade it will make you horrified. The installation is made using wood, fishnets, glass bottles, metal, and water. She has inscribed the names of the slaves obtained from the archives from Cape Town on these soil infused bottles trapped inside fishnets through which water gets circulated throughout. The whole bunch is hung from the ceiling and the water flows into the tank built in the ground. These tanks are lined with wooden panels on which the details of the slave trade ships’ itinerary are inscribed. 

This wonderful artwork is titled 'message from the Atlantic passages'. You can view this work at the Aspinwall House in Fort Kochi, which is the primary venue of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2018 - 2019. Much has been written about this amazing installation that explains the popularity of this artwork and the unique theme it conveys. Oppression, suppression, and slavery in any form are evil which drains the life out of humans making people barbarians. This work subtly radiates the fact that slavery in all forms is bad and it includes modern-day slavery as well.
  • The important aspects of a successful personality are free will, free thinking, and an independent state of existence. Modern-day slavery that is prevalent in many forms will restrict personal development and one must be vigilant not to succumb to it.

She has exhibited one more art here. Please check this post - 

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Sherry Ellis said...

Slavery was a horrible thing. That's a nice work of art to remember those who were affected by it.

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed, I have to admit. Seldom do I come across a blog that's equally educative and interesting,
and let me tell you, you've hit the nail on the head.
The issue is something that too few folks are speaking
intelligently about. I'm very happy that I found this
during my search for something regarding this.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate your efforts and
I am waiting for your further write ups thank you once again.

Rajiv Sankarapillai said...

Thank you, Sherry.