Taking place at the intersection of performance, installation, and theater, Zuleikha Chaudhari’s work is defined by a deep concern for how spatial politics and practice inform experience, memory, and narrative.
Chaudhari’s work for the 10th Berlin Biennale, Rehearsing Azaad Hind Radio (2018), explores the complicated trajectory of the Indian independence movement, and its problematic intersections with nationalism, through a constellation of actors and events. One such agent is Subhas Chandra Bose (1897–1945), a charismatic indian nationalist who lived in Germany between 1941 and 1943 and gained a temporary ally in the Nazi leadership. With their support, Bose founded the Free india Center in Berlin, and had his Free India Radio programs embedded in Nazi propaganda broadcasts to India. Chaudhari uses these speeches as material, combining them with fragments from the “Nationalism” lectures which took place at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. These public presentations were convened in response to anti-sedition threats from the Indian government in 2016. Through critical reenactments of epochal material testimonies, Chaudhari questions historical memory and the collective and individual ideological perversions and subversions that shape and bend the past.
—Daniella Rose King