Dispatches, Single Channel video, duration - 11:30
Rumours of a love between Jamal-ud-din-Yakut and Razia Sultan in the 13th-century Delhi Sultanate and the real-life romances of African-Indian couples provides the fictive ground for Dispatches. Employing this speculative love story and the concrete stories of the present helps interrogate the dilemma that still exists with the notions of belonging, memory, and the idea of landscape with regards to the African Identity in this country. Excerpts of abstracted landscapes and architectural motifs from the Kamal Amrohi period film Razia Sultan plays out on monitors in a series of installations across several sites that have come to be claimed by the African community in contemporary Delhi. Within these frames, fragmented poetic text mined from the interviews of present-day African-Indian couples, who continue to embody the ethereal and extraordinary circumstances of these unions, act as threads to weave in the narrative of a lover sending out postcards to his beloved to tell her about his home, his heart, and his hopes for them and their children to come.