Of Longing, Family & Migration: 16 Digital Artists Explore What It Means To Be A Migrant

Sarah Kaushik
Sarah KaushikSarah Kaushik

Across borders and oceans, many choose to migrate to foreign lands, in hopes of better lives and sometimes just to get a taste of the world outside. This choice means devising a new identity in a foreign land all by yourself; alienated from all you had previously known. The act of migration comes with longing, new experiences, family and involves carving a new understanding of yourself and of the re-describing the world around you.

Exploring the experiences of diasporic communities is a digital exhibition— Kaalpadukal: Songs of the Diaspora, curated by Shafeena Yusuff Ali— a hotelier, retailer, and art collector based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, who is herself a second-generation migrant from Thrissur - the cultural hub of the South Indian city of Kerala.

‘Kaalpaadukal is the mystic idea of the footprints one leaves behind in the places they make their own, and this exhibition is my attempt to bring together the emotions and memories that a migrant leaves behind - many that are blown away with the wind, and many more that are set in stone and concrete.’

— Shafeena Yusuff Ali, Curator of the Digital Exhibition

An experiential audio-visual treat, the digital exhibition is an exploration of the modern-day migrant and at a deeper level examines how art becomes the bearer of emotions; of love, of longing, of pain, of hardships, and how all of these culminate onto a canvas. The digital exhibition will come to life with the strokes of 16 gifted digital artists from South India.

Of the curation and the exhibition, Shafeena says, ‘The South Indian diaspora with its rich history of migration, seemed fertile ground for the emotions on both ends of the spectrum to be represented visually. In times like these when travelling back home has become more difficult than ever, when the starkness of being a migrant is more visible than ever, this exhibition visualizes those emotions. By bringing together a select group of talented digital artists whose lives have in some way or the other been touched by migration, this virtual exhibition is an ode to those footprints that we see and the many that we do not, but which in one form or another, lie scattered across the world.’

You can checkout the exhibition here.

If you enjoyed reading this, we suggest you also read:‘Pehchaan’ Is A Visual Series Capturing The Life Of Immigration Mothers

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