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Nor’westers & Black Storms | কালবৈশাখী ও काली आँधी

Deepanjan Mukhopadhyay

Jul 5, 2024 – Aug 9, 2024
Window Gallery

Nor’westers & Black Storms (কালবৈশাখী ও काली आँधी in Bengali and Hindi) explores the intersection of colonial history, generational trauma, and technologies of representation and mapping by appropriating satellite images of regions around the India-Bangladesh and India-Pakistan borders.

Artist statement:

The Radcliffe Line, named after Cyril Radcliffe, was drawn during the 1947 Partition of India and it divided 175,000 square miles of territory and affected 88 million people. Published just two days after the independence of Pakistan and India, this demarcation transformed into the present-day borders, with the Punjab segment now delineating the India-Pakistan border and the Bengal segment forming the Bangladesh-India border. The Partition caused one of the largest migrations in human history resulting in communal riots and millions of deaths. The profound impact of the Radcliffe Line continues to shape the geopolitical landscape of South Asia. 

To create the images for this installation, I utilized Google Map screenshots of regions around the Radcliffe Line, focusing on glitches that occur during the stitching of satellite imagery from various sources. These glitches are likely to be caused by the different sensitivities of various satellites to specific wavelengths of light. Weather events and cloud cover also affect satellite image data.

By enhancing the failures in stitching through hue shifting, I emphasize the abstraction of landscapes via mapping and explore the complexity of borders. The images highlight that the landscapes wounded and marked by the border are alive- rivers and deserts shift- storms and plagues of locusts cross borders. Additionally, through its namesake, the installation reflects on the brief but intense weather events unique to these regions, such as Nor’westers in Bengal and Black Storms in Punjab. It holds space for the tension between communities actively healing from Partition, metaphorically suturing the wound upon the landscape or ‘stitching’ the cultural landscape; and the geo-political conflicts and communal rifts that continue to shape the subcontinent. The installation considers the impact of colonialism and the Partition on contemporary landscapes and communities.

Deepanjan Mukhopadhyay (pronunciation) has a background in photography and currently works within various object- and image-based practices, investigating shifting meanings within post and neocolonialism while still reflecting on the very mediums of representation that he uses. Deepanjan is originally from Kolkata, India, and received his MFA in photography from the University of Georgia. He currently teaches at University of Memphis.

Deepanjan’s work has been published in, Burnaway, and PDN Magazine. He has also received honors for his work from Society of Photographic Education, 2015 PDN Photo Annual, and was named one of the Atlanta Celebrates Photography 2017 Ones to Watch. His work has been exhibited in India, Canada, and across the United States in galleries such as Aperture Gallery, New York, NY, and Elizabeth Houston Gallery New York, NY.

💐 Feastland 2024 is fast approaching! Join us August 10th as we return to beautiful Broadturn Farm for a wild evening of food, site-specific art, drinks, music and county fair vibes — with dinner from Goodfire Brewing Co. included! 🍲