Bindu Mehra: The Inaccessible Narrative  | Visual Arts | Sirius Arts Centre Cobh

Bindu Mehra: The Inaccessible Narrative Bindu Mehra: The Inaccessible Narrative

Bindu Mehra, The Inaccessible Narrative, still 2023

Bindu Mehra: The Inaccessible Narrative

13th Jan - 10th Feb

Bindu Mehra, The Inaccessible Narrative, still 2023

Bindu Mehra
The Inaccessible Narrative

The London-based artist Bindu Mehra examines colonialist acts of silencing and erasure
in the context of the 1947 Partition of India. Mehra produces films that engage with the
enduring legacies of British imperialism through personal records and archival footage,
using lived experience to enact an alternative collective memory that disrupts official
discourses. Along the way, Mehra also criticises the rhetoric of Western feminists who
persist in assuming their position is dominant when considering geopolitical contexts
other than their own.

The Inaccessible Narrative (2023) investigates the legacies of British rule on the Indian
subcontinent through the lens of intergenerational trauma, particularly the silencing of
Indian women’s identities. The title points to the inaccessibility of specific narratives due
to rewritings of history that obfuscate gender-based violence. The film examines the
notion of home – an ostensible place of stability and belonging that can in actuality be a
site of insecurity and impermanence. It speaks to loss through forced displacement, as a
home can be subject to its own scars and risk of destruction when politics, mass
movements of people, and border disputes are involved.

The film takes the form of an address, interposed with vocal pauses and gaps, thus
identifying Mehra’s difficulties in creating an autobiographical account as well as
speaking of her own family’s migrant circumstances. For instance, she asks: ‘What is free
will? What was the justification?’ – each question being met with the word ‘silence’,
pointing to an inability to answer. Elsewhere, when a mirror on a windowsill presents a
recurrent image of the interior and exterior demarcations of a house, perhaps standing for
territorial tensions, it reveals the lack of a reflection of a woman’s face, signaling both
physical and political invisibility.