Festival Director Sorcha Carey introduces this multi-channel sound installation by internationally renowned Indian artist, Shilpa Gupta, which gives voice to poets who have been jailed through the centuries. Bringing together fragments from the work of 100 poets from around the world, the artist offers a powerful reflection on freedom of expression.
Working across a wide range of media, Gupta demonstrates a deep engagement with the power of language, the written word, and the role of the individual vis-à-vis those structures that seek to define and control mobility, whether of the body or even the imagination, through the use of mechanisms such as censorship or borderlines. Her newest work draws directly on the work of poets who over centuries have found themselves in conflict with political powers as a direct result of their ideas expressed in the written form, highlighting the fragility and vulnerability of our right to freedom of expression today.
Our Commissions Programme is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Scottish Government’s Festivals Expo Fund and EventScotland.
Co-commissioned with YARAT Contemporary Art Space, Baku. With additional support from Scottish Poetry Library, PEN International and Edinburgh College of Art, The University of Edinburgh.
Still photography by Johnny Barrington.