Yasmin Jahan Nupur
'Who will walk the distant place?'
For this project, I researched the culture and history of old Dhaka. When I started the project I got inspiration from the community I found. The project was designed by involving the community and completed through involving the local residents as it was all about their memories and oral history. I had been excited about getting involved in a vibrant exchange connected to thoughts and ideas around having people involved with both the internal and external artwork circumstances.
I chose two old buildings which were around 200 years old, with many changes of hands over the years and different owners and landlords. I set up interviews and met some of these individuals, whether those who owned the houses or those who had lived there or nearby. This was to learn about their own experiences and what life was like before. Exactly what did buildings and households look? How were they enjoyed by children? How many rooms were in the house and how many people lived there etc.?
All the questions were about the building and their lives and how they remembered the past moments and which memories they held onto. The people often described firstly the architectural views of the buildings, they all shared how great they felt their neighbourhood had been and what had changed. The interviews were recorded on site at the same place that the pieces were installed. Generally, they don't let people go inside the house. So, I displayed the work in three places where people could access them if they were visiting the building from the outside so that everyone would have access.
The project in that way was inextricably linked to the place where the creation of the work took place, through the conversations. In this way, I was hoping to unveil the materiality of the work, this material or matter being the individual tales from the local community and participants.