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Sculptural Poem #4

Unbearable Memories, Unspeakable Histories

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When a memory is unbearable, how does one memorialize it? And when a history is unspeakable, how does one talk about it? This sculptural poem titled, “Unbearable Memories, Unspeakable Histories” alludes to the painful and silenced memories of rape and sexual violence in the partitions of 1947 and 1971 that have been elided from mainstream discourses of the Partition.

Rendered in light and dark pink neon, since pink is stereotypically associated with women, it conveys that these partitions were a gendered experience. Women experience riots, wars, and conflict very differently than men. It poetically references the impact it had on Hindu, Muslim, Bengali, and Sikh women in 1947 and 1971. This sculptural poem is also the title of my retrospective exhibition featuring the Partition Anti-Memorial Project at the South Asia Institute to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Partition.

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Text-based Art | Sculptural Poems

Project Notes

What to learn more about Sculptural Poems project?


These text-based artworks play with the intrinsic nature of language as a means of communication. The sculptural poems are an exercise in paring down to the essentials, to the core, and an attempt at finding the “more in less.”


These text-based artworks are sculptural poems that problematize language through artistic interventions such as fracturing, fragmenting, disrupting, appropriating linguistic conventions to create new meanings and interpretations. These sculptural poems also employ formal methods of color and form to present the text-based artworks as installations on the wall or on the floor.​

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