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NJ exhibition highlights diaspora stories

The exhibition was curated with the aim of engaging the Indian diaspora in New Jersey

Image-Grounds for Sculpture (GFS)

An ongoing exhibition at the Grounds for Sculpture (GFS) in New Jersey aims  to engage with the local Indian diaspora community and highlight their stories. Titled Local Voices: Memories, Stories, and Portraits, the exhibition is focused on highlighting the importance, and impact of original storytelling derived from personal experiences.

Organized in partnership with Madhusmita Bora, a folk artist, teacher, and journalist, the exhibition presents oral histories of 15 individuals with diverse and unique stories. For the exhibition, the storytellers were asked to shed the layers of religion, ability, place of origin, caste, education, and sexual orientation, and share a story that left a lasting impact on their lives.

The stories collected over a period of ten months was followed by a photography session, in which the storytellers were asked to dress in an outfit that made them feel celebrated and invincible. The final images selected by the storytellers are also a part of the exhibition display along with hanging banners, and personal objects of meaning.

“When people whose stories are not often heard have an opportunity to speak their truth, they are empowered and we are all made the better for it. We hope that through this exhibition our audience will be inspired to connect with their own histories, roots, memories, and share those with others,” Bora said of the exhibition.

Local Voices will be on view till January 7, 2024, in Grounds For Sculpture’s Domestic Arts Building. Founded by artist and philanthropist Seward Johnson, GFS opened to the public in 1992. More than 700 artists have shown their work at the venue.