The “Banyan-Tree“ is a symbol for “family“ in Indian literature – a tree, which, after growing into the sky, will let his branch fall to become the root of a new tree. To me it’s also a symbol for the „Indian diaspora“ – all the Indians who went to the West “to get to know the its methods“ (as my father). Suddenly, through devices as Facebook, a family connects. Branches from all over the world are talking to each other.
I’d like to form a website which looks like a “Banyan tree“ – if you click certain „branches“, you will be connected to both – a part of my family and a very specific question. A cousin living in the USA, e.g., raises questions of feminism in India, another cousin in India raises questions on the class system. Another one, a photographer, presents his work on Indian women.And I want to use something I just started: “Letters to Papu“. Papu is my dead cousin, who didn’t survive her arranged marriage. This project is an introduction to my further plans: Oct. – Dec. I’ll be in India to do research on my cousin’s life. A radio play is the planned “result“. My virtual “Banyan-Tree“ could be both: first of all documenting my preparations, using e.g. my Eastern holiday with my parents to have a look at „my father’s archives“, his photos of the Indian family, second showing the further steps in autumn / winter. Embedded in the personal, private story shall be questions raised in India and about India today – about feminism, the class system, and religion under “Modi“. *