Mariraj Rajasekaran

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Artist Statement

We see in history that for ages ethnic groups, civilizations and dynasties and countries (ultimately people groups) have fallen due to various reasons. Vanishing due to climate change is a fate, collapse by war and invasion is another reason. There are some people, groups that have vanished but reasons for this downfall are difficult to predict, historians can only assume some theories, for example- Indus Valley Civilization. I afraid that this may be the case with some ethnic groups in the future, Somalia, Sri Lankan "Ezha Thamizharkal", a few decades back the loss of life due to the Bengal Famine, are examples for this. We all know how Iraq was invaded by the USA systematically.. But,no other country did anything significantly for the Iraq problem. It is the same case with Somalia, invasion of that people's livelihood caused famine and forced those people into crime to survive and then branded as terrorists. The international community has failed here too. In Sri Lanka, lakhs of people, including children and women, were brutally murdered in a genocide, because they belong to one ethnicity. Even here, the Global Human Rights Commission and UNO have failed in giving justice to the affected people. All these incidents and their history (both written and actual) guides my research on the network of people, societies, organizations that are behind such politics. In India, I see a lot of damage being caused to cultures, traditions, people and land of certain ethnicities. I find a similar motivation behind these too, due to the nature of the approach and how strategically and systematically various incidents, accidents have been manipulated, including how the voice of the people from these ethnicities are silenced. But these are kept secret in the name of confidentiality, the public are not given access to these files and are only fed information that allows them to be easily moulded in favour of certain politics. Currently, I'm creating works to reflect these programmed mentalities and the original face of hidden politics. My works are in the form of papercuts, as paper is a very suitable material for my conceptual work. Paper is a very delicate material and holds our history, though it can be very easily damaged. It is a metaphor for the "Goddess of Knowledge" in India so people do treat paper with respect. In portraying traditional elements, human figures and nature on paper by burning and cutting, I say that they are wounded. By creating simplified positive and negative cut spaces and drawing, I want to draw the attention of the people on how to apply our knowledge and to look at an incident through various dimensions.

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