Some of us speak words and these words become weapons. Some of use actions in our daily lives – gestures of kindness and compassion, anger and disagreement, change and hope – and these gestures evolve into weapons as well. Others create with different visual media and through them they speak without a word, they indicate without a finger pointing, they shake us without touching us physically. And they challenge, yes they challenge, without filtering the reality. Kajol is one of these kinds.
It is no surprise that those wanting to control our realities, bodies and activities do not appreciate such people with emancipatory approaches. They fear the speaking, the indicating and the shaking, because it reveals the illusion they wrapped us in.
Kajol shows through his images invisible narratives, situations of conflict and represents a reality. Police and governmental violence executed against protesters and the consequences of human conflict, oppression and the destruction of the environment around us are just examples of those hidden realities, nobody wants us to see, but Kajol is turning his lens towards.
The online exhibition, created to present Kajol's work and raise voices questioning his disappearance, gives the audience a chance to access an experience, which reminds us of the reality we lived in before the global pandemic. These experiences are becoming crucial for every one of us in order to look beyond the walls of our locked down personal existence. The exhibition represents with its small space, just enough to turn around, the feeling of this constriction, but relates as well to the anxieties Kajol's disappearance creates and the content of the showcased pieces.
We need people such as Kajol to make us aware of the world and situations we live in and others are confronted with. People who are uncompromising, courageous and daring.
We demand the return of the last man standing.
Dr Helena Asha Knox is the co-founder of Kaalo 101.