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The Lightning Testimonies in Assam State Museum

CNS: The Lightning Testimonies (2007) is a multiple projection video installation that reflects upon a history of conflict in the Indian subcontinent through experiences of sexual violence. In this
exploration, multiple submerged narratives are revealed, sometimes through people, images and memories, and at other times through nature and objects from everyday life that stand as silent but surviving witnesses. In all the narratives, the body is central – as a site for honour, hatred and humiliation and also for dignity and protest.
The Lightning Testimonies creates an experience that emerges from a constellation of eight synchronized video projections with sound tracks that lead to disparate narratives that then converge into a single projection. As the stories unfold, women from different times and regions come forward. The multiple projections speak to them directly, in an effort to understand how such violence is resisted, remembered and recorded by individuals and communities. Submerged narratives appear, disappear and are then reborn at another time. Using a range of visual styles, The Lightning Testimonies transports us beyond the realm of suffering into a space of quiet contemplation, where resilience creates the potential for transformation.

The Lightning Testimonies plays in a 32 minute cycle continuously through the day. Visitors can enter at any time and stay for as long as they like. The screens can be seen in any order, all together or in parts.

ASSAM STATE MUSEUM KIRAN NADAR MUSEUM OF ART NORTH EAST NETWORK AMAR KANWAR Amar Kanwar’s films and installations are complex, contemporary narratives that connect intimate personal spheres of existence to larger social political processes. Finding a contextual relationship with diverse audiences, Kanwar’s work maps a journey of exploration revealing our relationship with the politics of power, violence, sexuality, ecology and justice.
Recent solo exhibitions in 2013-14 have been at the Art Institute of Chicago, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna and the Fotomuseum Winterthur, Zurich 2012.

Recent group exhibitions in 2013-14 have been at the 56th Carnegie International, USA; 13th Istanbul Biennial; 5th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art; Sharjah Biennale 11; 1st Kochi Biennale , India; Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, South Korea; Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis, USA; Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi, India; Tarra Warra Museum of Art, Victoria, Australia; Tate Modern, UK and the Guggenheim Museum, New York.

Kanwar has also participated in Documenta 11, 12 and 13 in Kassel, Germany (2002, 2007, 2012). He has also had solo exhibitions at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2008); Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (2007); National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo (2006) and the Renaissance Society, Chicago (2004).
Amar Kanwar has been the recipient of several awards such as the Leonore Annenberg Prize for Art and Social Change, USA, Edvard Munch Award for Contemporary Art, Norway, an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts, Maine College of Art, USA, Golden Gate Award, San Francisco International Film Festival, Jury’s Award, Film South Asia, Nepal, Golden Tree, 1st National Environment and Wildlife Film Festival, Delhi and Golden Conch, Mumbai International Film Festival.

EXHIBITION INFORMATION  VENUE: Assam State Museum, Gopinath Bordoloi Road, Ambari, Guwahati, Assam 781001 DATES: 1 March 2015 to 31 May 2015 TIMINGS: 10.00 am - 5.00 pm, open Tuesday to Sunday. (Closed on Government holidays, Mondays & 2nd, 4th Saturdays of the month) Guided tours & arrangement for transportation can be organized for institutions and interest groups (5 persons+) Additional information and teaching resources are available online at

North East Network is a women’s rights organisation working in the north east region of India with a focus on women’s human rights. Ever since its inception in 1995, NEN’S role has been that of a facilitator to empower women of northeast around issues of livelihood, health, conflict and governance through capacity building, awareness raising, networking, research and advocacy.
ADDRESS: J. N. Borooah Lane, Jorpukhuri, Guwahati 781001, Assam, India.

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