OCTOBER 28, 2017 – The Hindu
“Jomin o Joban / A tale of the land, Wasif’s first solo show in India, which opened last weekend at Project 88, presents a complex gamut of interconnected stories that spill across the globe as an invisible map, with present day Bangladesh at its epicentre. But at the heart of it, it really is a tale of land, rooted in the history and memory of a nation, that quite like its neighbours was and will always be majority agrarian by default. The mirror Wasif holds up to the current state of affairs in Bangladesh, where a failed modern system of trade and economy is damaging the state’s intrinsic eco-system, also ends up reflecting an image of India’s ongoing agrarian crisis where farm land and farming/ agriculture is forced to take a back seat in the face of burgeoning industrial development.
The more Jomin o Joban delves into Bangladesh’s present, the more it scrapes off its past. A project like this is structured like a tree where the roots are inherently united with the branches, where to access the inside, one might need to make their way from the outside. Wasif isn’t oblivious to Bangladesh’s precarious position as one of the “global countrysides” for the West, where cheap labour rules the roost and the only equation there exists is one of exploitative dependence as against that of interdependence or self sustenance. We, as South Asian, “young, developing” nations, all tend to inadvertently fall into this quagmire, in one way or another. “We are living in a global, post-liberal, capitalist society where we don’t know what we consume. We wear jeans, the raw material comes from China, it’s produced in Bangkok, shipped in US…that’s what we are proud of, no? This is the new global economy,” laments Wasif.
Perhaps, there is some truth in Wasif’s carefully framed title, maybe it will truly be the seeds that will set us free eventually…”