In February 2020, I travelled across Bangladesh – a distance of over 2000km – in the context of the Trans-Bangladeshi Road Trip project. It was a collaboration between Invisible Borders Trans-African Photographers Organisation and The Drik/Pathshala/Chobi Mela Group Bangladesh. We travelled across 5 states while making stops at points (towns, cities, no man’s land, corridors) where Bangladesh borders India. There were altogether eight participants who produced photographic, textual and film works during the two weeks road trip.
On this journey, I am thinking of intimacy. Perhaps, better to say I am in search of it. Looking out for where my energy, my body – imbued with memory and thus language; intuition, its own desire to break open, to break apart while still held together; held together by its volition to remain unresolved, falling off the edge or tethering at its brink – resolves itself in an encounter.
I am in search of beauty – the fleeting kind.
Like the candour of fizzling smoke from a dying cigarette butt.
Sometimes hidden under a shadow cast by feet,
A walking, working feet
I would turn, shedding the weight of my own limitations
As if to reduce to fraction the friction between my bones
A bird, no less obscure than a silhouette, will serve as a timestamp
A marker of lines, a pillar of borders, a dot in a cross between longitude and latitude –
reminder that, though we walk and trot, ultimately we fly.
I am in search of knowledge – the intimate kind
Like in the chatter of two friends, heard only by them, and perhaps –
They stand in a rice field that so many, far away,
would mistake for a minefield.
They would point to a faraway distance before them
As if to conjure a horizon from contoured clouds,
Above equally contoured countries
All the while reminding themselves that the ground under them is
Indeed what it is.