Outsiders: Discovering the Self by Inventing the City, Ramahari Jena and Bhoomi , Multi-media installation, 2018
Every inside needs an outside; in fact, it is the outside that fabricates the inside. Being an outsider, therefore, is not only a position that one merely occupies; it also involves actively becoming a political subject. Standing with our feet planted in the soil of Bhubaneswar, we realise that being a citizen is essentially becoming an outsider.
Taking the writer and political figure Harekrushna Mahatab and the Indologist Rajendralala Mitra as our reference and vantage point, we create a history of our present by juxtaposing photographs and lithographs from 19th and 20th centuries, with photos of the same spaces taken in the present. At the centre of this project space, a fluid, earthy structure with a small body of water, tries to capture the ‘inside’ of Bhubaneswar – an ‘inside’ which is a space infused with sacrality, where history stalks the contemporary, and memory become a prism for refracting the world.
These visual narratives of history are accompanied with oral testimonies infused with memories of ordinary outsiders who have made the Old Town of Bhubaneswar their home.