Saturday, July 16, 2016

30213 A Performance installation by Jazeela Basheer

30213 is an interactive performance installation that is inspired by ‘Mathilukal’ the highly popular Malayalam novel written by Vaikom Muhammad Basheer. The novel is based on Basheer's time spent in prison and how he fell in love with a female inmate without ever having met her. Her voice behind the high walls that separated the male and female prison is his only link to her. In time, they grew to love each other through their conversations and by exchanging gifts over the wall. Basheer’s portrayal of jail is not that of hardships and struggles; instead he speaks in detail of the comforts he enjoyed owing to the fact that he was a celebrated writer who was a political prisoner. What troubled Basheer was the monotony of prison life, the way he seemed caught in a time warp because time seemed to stretch endlessly ahead of him. His greatest sorrow was the idea of having his freedom taken away. Things change after he falls in love with Narayani, the female inmate. She devises a plan for the duo to meet at the doctor’s office. But, a day before their meeting, Basheer is released from jail. At this point, Basheer realises that he might not want the freedom he has been craving. He asks the warden who bring his release notice. “What does freedom even mean? Outside is an even bigger jail.” The novel was adapted into a film, directed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan and released in 1989. It won several national awards and Mammootty bagged the National Film Award for best actor for his role as Basheer.

Taking off from the ideas in the novel, the series of exhibits set in 1, Shanthi Road, dwells on our constant search for the meaning of love, life and death. 30213 is an experiential journey through time, space and imagination.

Jazeela Basheer's performance installation was developed under the guidance of Sandbox Collective and supported by 1, Shanthi Road.

Language: English

Duration: 30 minutes

Age: 15+

By: Jazeela Basheer

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