Mother India: Transactions in the Construction of Pain (detail), five channel video play, 2005

The artist is a witness to a memory of loss. One has to renew oneself without nostalgia. How then to militate ones way from historical sites to contemporary episodes that run in repetitively compulsive cycles. Apart from the fact that the birth of India and Pakistan was the scene of unprecedented collective violence, one hundred thousand women from both sides of the border were forcibly abducted and raped. As Das says, “ The bodies of women were metaphors for the nation, they had to bear the signs of their possession by the enemy”.

Nalini Malani interviewed by Johan Pijnappel