This isn’t my story; the narrator is my grandfather I am simply painting visuals to his words. I wanted to give the viewer an idea of what the concept may be but in a way which would not be seen as grotesque. When we think of famine we think of death, darkness and the grotesque which is what the photographs from the time show. My work is not a photograph but an artistic retelling of the famine through my grandfather’s perspective as well as blending my memories of Bangladesh. I used the figure true to what the bodies of Bengali people looked like during the time of famine but chose to shrewd them in beautiful silks and light. I was saddened to learn about this part of my family’s history through the internet, and thus began to question my mother about her own experiences and those of my grandfather and his brothers during the famine. My goal was to create visual representations of their stories while also being respectful in my portrayal. Instead of focusing solely on the grotesque nature of the famine, I wanted to explore the familial relationships and how families were able to survive such a difficult time. Throughout the creative process, I constantly asked myself questions to better understand how to best represent these ideas.

Group Works