In June 2019, Praneet Soi travelled across the occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel. Beginning in Haifa, he drove up to the occupied Golan Heights and from there, down to Bethlehem, Battir, Hebron, Jericho, Nablus, Jenin, Salfit, and Ramallah, before driving back up to Haifa, Akka and Tel Aviv. Looking for alternative representations of a land under occupation, Soi’s aim was to experience the country through facets of its landscape and to visit, en-route, farms, workshops and factories, to engage with productivity, entrepreneurship, and minutia of everyday life for people in Palestine.
At the beginning of August, while Soi was developing this work, the Indian state of Kashmir had its autonomous relationship with India revoked. It was split into two parts along religious lines (Muslim and Buddhist) and its state-hood was terminated. People in Kashmir have long identified with the Palestinian struggle. 1947 marked Indian independence from British rule, and the beginning of Kashmir’s quest for autonomy. In that same year, the UN voted to end the British Mandate in Palestine, leading to an event called Nakba, or ‘The Catastrophe’ by Palestinians, and the founding of the State of Israel in 1948.
In this book, through film stills, collage, drawing, notes and sketches, Soi draws on the work made in Palestine, and hints at this link to Kashmir, to explore the distortions that are caused by these disturbed political climates.
Co-published by Book Works and The Mosaic Rooms, A.M. Qattan Foundation, as part of Co-Series No. 20, in an edition of 1,000. Softback, 132pp, printed full colour, 240 x 300mm. Designed by Fraser Muggeridge Studio.
Praneet Soi was born 1971, Kolkata, West Bengal, India. Following studies in India and the USA, Soi moved to the Netherlands in 2002, and divides his time between Amsterdam and Kolkata. His work is internationally recognised for his explorations of socio-political nuances and media representations. His practice incorporates traditional methods of miniature painting and sculpture, as well as time-based media such as video and sound. Recent solo exhibitions include ‘Third Factory-From Kashmir to Lisbon via Caldas’, at Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon (2018), ‘Notes on Labour’ at Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai (2017), and ‘Srinagar’ at the Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven (2016).