The Border

Images and text from Prithvi Hirani’s fieldwork on borders, identity and spatial practices of exclusion in South East Asia.

. . .

“The re/production of the Indo-Bangladeshi border is a violent cartography. Often the black fence that marks it, is  also a site where dead bodies of people trying to cross are found. But here is an image from Karimganj in southern Assam, a border town where the fence is a central feature of the landscape. The picture shows the secret life of a border, and challenges the common notion of this black impenetrable fence that separates people, languages, history and culture. I find that here, by ‘domesticating’ the fence through daily practices, people subvert its violent and threatening nature.”

Prithvi Hirani

. . .

border 1

From the twisted lines in my mind,
Like an artist, I draw, erase, and draw again
Leaving marks of whom I once was
And who I want to be
But how can you know, when the picture is incomplete
With every time I draw again, I leave behind a part of me
I am not sure, if the picture is me or If I am the many palimpsests that
took to make me
Every erasure, every extension thought through so deeply,
You have the freedom to draw what you like, they say,
Really?
A circle is round, the sky is blue, and trees are tall
Don’t give me your moulds and ask me to be free

. . .

Prithvi Hirani is currently doing completing her PHD in Wales, where she studies International Politics.
These images and text are from her thesis fieldwork on borders, identity and spatial practices of exclusion in South East Asia.

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