12.2.2021

Digital Wondering 05

Die Digital Wonderings sind eine Reihe von Online-Diskursen rund um das kuratorische Thema TRUST. Sie können jede Form annehmen: von einem Gespräch, über ein kurzes Statement oder einen Film, bis hin zu einer fotografischen Serie. Die von Susan Bright und Nina Strand eingeladenen Mitwirkenden kommen aus den unterschiedlichsten Disziplinen und können nach Belieben auf das Thema und das Format antworten und reagieren. Die Beiträge erscheinen zunächst im englischen Original.

On violence and trust, by Bangladeshi photographer Salma Abedin Prithi.

Renowned German writer and thinker Jan Phillpp Reemtsma argues in his book ‘Trust and Violence’ (2008) that discussions of violence either mystify or pathologize it. Instead of doing either of these things, Reemtsmaa argues that violence cannot be comprehended without understanding the concept of trust, and the peculiar relationship between the two. He gives the simple example of noting that even dictators must trust in others while, by means other than violence, they must convince others to trust them. The history of violence, he states, is therefore a history of the peculiar relationship between violence and trust.

 

This complicated relationship (and how it often breaks down) is the subject of Bangladeshi photographer Salma Abedin Prithi’s series Mundane. It is, however, the reactions and growing passivity to extreme violence that is her focus. This work shifts our attention to the normalization of it in her community and the lack of energy to address it. The constant reporting of heinous crimes, and the every day occurrence of it means it has become mundane, and something that people no longer pay proper attention to.

As Prithi writes in her statement:

 

Mundane

Mundane is a combination of texts, found images and tableau photographs dealing with recent social violence of Bangladesh. The work developed as protest – a protest against our desensitized memories to violence.

 

I was born and raised in Bangladesh and my country is passing through a difficult time with extortion on freedom of expression and sovereignty. The threat of murder, rape, extra-judicial killing, ethnic tortures and child abuse are taking place almost every day. I am also losing my friends, neighbours and colleagues who played crucial roles on cultural and political movements, blogging and activism, and feminist movements. My friend Xulhaz, a LGBT activist, was hacked to death inside his own house where we had eaten dinner only few months previously. These continual violent events are becoming mundane in our daily life, causing ennui when published in newspapers or social media.

 

My photographic series is a testament of those violent moments. Taken in a space slightly before or after the moment, I attempt to show how body and mind might react to such moments.

 

You can find the rest of the statement and full series here.

Biography

Salma Abedin Prithi’s photographs explore the vulnerability and psychological struggle of ordinary people. After her graduation in photography at Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, Prithi started making portraits of ordinary people with performative gestures in her pop-up studio at home. Her work, Mundane, is a combination of tableau-vivant and archival footages of newspapers exploring domestic violence in Bangladesh. She was the recipient of the Magnum Foundation Photography and Social Justice fellowship in 2019 and attended World Press Photo’s Joop Swart Masterclass in 2020.

Journal