Unbound book of datasets, historical texts and ancedotes from my mother, Risograph printed on black cardstock, 211 in x 8.5 in.

After the emancipation of African slave labor in 1833, a system of indentured labor was crafted by Britain which shipped over a million Indian peasants to work British-owned sugar estates in the West Indies, Africa and South East Asia on fixed-term contracts. I began this research to learn more about my Indo-Trinidadian lineage. I found myself with very few answers and more questions. How do we corroborate a past passed down through oral traditions and empirical research? Who gets to corroborate it? What counts as evidence? When I re-tell this past, am I bending it to my desires? Finally, to borrow from Meena Alexander, do we have poetry so we do not die of history?
In addition to the installation, I performed rearranging, remembering, and retelling the publication with a companion sound piece reflecting. As the documented and oral history of indenture shifts in every act of its telling so too does the publication as the pages are shuffled in a different order, re-shaped and changed in length. Below is an excerpt documented and edited by Manavi Singh.
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