The conception for the Video Installation and exhibition of „Inner Lines“ began with the issuing of the ‘Inner Line Permit’ from the Indian Government to allow inward travel into protected zones of indigenous communities in Northeast India, where the Brahmaputra river traverses through China, India, and Bangladesh, and pours into the Bay of Bengal.
Realized as an artistic multimedia installation of sound, moving and still images, found objects and archives, „Inner Lines“ leads us tactilely through a water world of rocky mountains and stunning panoramas of land, river and sacred spaces. The immersive experience of water is audibly combined with sounds of insects, electricity, cymbals, and unseen creatures, culminating into an environmental orchestra.
Human voices sometimes interrupt the entrancing experience as a specter of nostalgia for the past, anger at the present circumstance, or a bitter criticism of the coming future. Intimate portraits of people reveal the changing face of the area as gigantic dams appear strangely across the river and huge electric poles erect peculiarly over the blue sky. Examining the river’s water issues through a variety of documentation, „Inner Lines“ raises questions of a capitalist society, where the planet’s materials unavoidably become a resource for human consumption.
„Inner Lines“ ponders about the absurdity of human impact on the natural world.
As an ethnographic and documentary experimentation, „Inner Lines“ has been deployed since 2014 by Desire Machine Collective.
Edda Kirleis (Bread for the World)
She holds an MA in Development Studies from ISS The Hague, is linked to South Asia since the early 1980ies and has lived in the region. She works with Bread for The World’s South Asia Unit and has related to their partner organisations in Northeast India for more than 20 years.
Klara Feldes (Humboldt University Berlin)
She studied Political Science and South Asian Area Studies in Berlin and Paris. She is currently finishing her PhD project at Humboldt University Berlin on media discourses and developmentalist narratives used in relation to India's National River Linking Project, the world's largest water project in the making. Previously Klara has also worked on former colonial realities and their continuities in Germany, and has been involved in the making of the documentary movie 'German-SouthWhat? - Recalling a German genocide'.
Jost Pacgaly (Neinrich Böll Stiftung)
He works in the Asia Department of Heinrich Böll Stiftung and is responsible for India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. He has lived and worked in different Asian countries and holds an MA in Economics.
Desire Machine Collective is a collaborative founded in 2004 by two Indian artists Sonal Jain and Mriganka Madhukaillya, whose interdisciplinary practice examines ecology, technology and activism through experimental multimedia art, public intervention, curating and writing. Their recent exhibitions include (amongst others) the India Art Fair (2017); the 11th Shanghai Biennale, China (2016-17); the Three Rivers Script Lab at Rome, the British Museum, London (2016); Project 88 in Mumbai (2014); New Museum of Contemporary Art, Solomon Guggenheim Museum in New York, 3rd edition of La Triennale, Palais de Tokyo in Paris (2012); and Venice Biennale (2011). www.desiremachinecollective.in
The final outcome of Inner Lines is held by NON Berlin in cooperation with Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung and participates in the programme of Transmediale and CTM Vorspiel 2018.