Ecography: Home and House in the time of Coronavirus | Bengal Institute

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Bengal Institute calls for submission of anything that captures our new awareness of home. The submission is open until September 15, 2020.

Source: Bengal Institute
Source: Bengal Institute

The coronavirus pandemic has caused “home” to be our perpetual place of being. To reduce the spread of the virus, much of our lives are now situated away from the public realm, with the imposition of lockdowns. Although the lockdown has been lifted and things are somewhat returning to as it was before, many of us are still mostly homebound. This constant state of being at home makes it a poignant place, and gives us an opportunity to look at it differently.

Even within a homogeneous culture, home can have a wide-ranging meaning. If “oikos” is homestead or house, from which we have ecology and economy, “ecography” is a measure of that home. Our emotions related to home—swasti, comfort, calmness, annoyance, exhaustion, anger, unsettledness – exist as a wide range of feelings. Conversely, the idea of home struggles to settle in one particular place.

The pandemic has forced us to see home in a new way; from the smallest details of daily chores to the forgotten corner of a room, and from a wet stain on the veranda to a stream of light through the window screen. When the circumstances around are altered, disrupted, or heightened in permanent ways, it changes how we perceive even the most familiar things or conditions in our lives. Within the boundary of the space you consider as your home, do you now see the homeground in new lights?

In order to take a closer look at this unprecedented domesticity, we are announcing a call for submission of your new reflections on home, with which we plan an online exhibition and forum.

The invitation to submit is open to everyone. Submit “something” that captures your new awareness of home — 1 drawing (in any size or medium), photograph/s (no more than 3), a video clip (no longer than 1 min), and/or a few paragraphs (no more than 500 words). Following the submissions, we will curate an online exhibition, and based on the exhibition organise a public online forum with a group of internationally renowned personalities.

Deadline of online submission: September 15, 2020

Announcement of initial selection: September 30, 2020

Submissions are being accepted through the Google form embedded here.

Source: Farhat Afzal, Senior Academic Associate, Bengal Institute