It’s always touched and shaken of my conscience to understand the pain of dislocation, due to the bifurcation of two nations as my parents and grandparents also had the same fate to flee from their homeland  to escape the ethnic riots that bloodied the partition between India and Pakistan in 1947. Millions of people been uprooted from their own place, leaving their all belongings in that process. The political situation in Kolkata where I was born and grown up was much vulnerable in the late 1960s and the 1970s. My art journey began after that time with a romantic perception of a world of peace, love and compassion. Ironically in present political situation in several parts of the world including India, one can see the same crisis in humanity have become more intense with the fear to be dislocated again .

     My thought process since I migrated to the U.S. has turned out to be more challenging as well as questioning self and facing a certain kind of anxiety which is a growing concern regarding the vulnerability of our very existence in anywhere in this planet. As an artist from the Indian diaspora and moving into a different demographic reality from my native home, I find it extremely difficult to disassociate myself from the burning issues of our times, especially the increasing political and racial bigotry recent years causing an immense damage to human relationships. Like many other artists, I am deeply affected by the relentless cycle of violence in various parts of the world and the immense suffering it has been causing. My concerns are become more intense about never-ending wars, threat of atomic weapons, industrial and environmental pollution and our excessive consumption of natural resources which is threatening our very existence. We face risks every day, which is existential risk that threaten to wipe out humanity. These risks are not just for big disasters, but for the disasters that could end history.  This uncertainty of life of the planet we call home has shaken my trust and confidence in the future of humanity. There is a sense of loss which is why the images of earth are repeatedly coming into my visual space in micro and macro level as well.

     Despite all the disappointments that I've faced in my career moves over the last few years, I have not lost faith in my art practice, because this is the only way I can communicate with and express my views.  I do not, however, wish to turn a blind eye to the unfortunate state of our world. Far from it, I will share my views with like-minded friends, and lend my voice to protests. So my studio practice can’t be like turning my head somewhere else which is relatively insignificant and not connected with my conscience, only to produce work for the art sake. It will invariably influence by the socio-political atmosphere I assume.   My spiritual inclination through Indian folk and Sufi music, which always energized me to live a beautiful life, has now taken a backseat but expect to comeback with more affection. I believe one creative person can regain his/her lost sensitivity to curiosity only through aesthetic experience and application. 

While dislocation from my comfort zone has always initially threatened the stability of my life and work, new encounters have also educated me in multiple ways, invariably offering a deep sense of understanding of myself and of humanity. Thus, I am determined to make my current experience of this new life yield equally fruitful results. Equipped with a deep compassion for human life and spirit, I want to take full advantage of the challenges this life offers, to explore fresh creative avenues and produce some meaningful works that extol life.

© 2020 Sajal Sarkar