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Nafas II, Isolation Diaries | Rs. 1500

In the series Nafas: Isolation Diaries, the record of a year in the artist’s life, we are presented with an archive of lived time. More critically, however, we are introduced to the figure of the artist as an archivist. Nafas functions as a diary of embodied thought, and a purposefully assembled archive of incidents and ideas. Through couplets and fragments drafted by the artist, embedded in the work or nestled in its title, we can discern the breadth of her reading and her literary disposition; which assembles with care and devotion, references to a striking array of poets, writers, and philosophers.

As the distillation and encroachment of global politics into the conduct of daily life became more acute and evident in March 2020, Nafas fiercely reclaimed the terrain of the personal—the notebook, the diary, the letters that must remain unsent. This terrain is isolated yet encumbered with history, inscribing the passage of private hours alongside the march of the calendar. In utilising these forms of addressal to the beloved or the other, which can only persist as echoes within the self, Arshi was reviving a potent site of feminist action. Autobiographical orientations are often taken to imply a disjunction between the public and the personal, an assumption readily undone by a feminist position which is witness to the radical politics of living against dominance. Nafas develops this aspect of writing as an act which may be performed in the first instance for the survival of oneself, but extends as sustenance for another mind, and ultimately, serves as a source for the nourishment of ever-growing, immaterially-bound communities.

Excerpt from the essay, ‘The shadow came and stood’, by Arushi Vats

Editorial Adviser: Amit Kumar Jain
Collaboration: Waheed Sagar
Graphic Design: Shruti Chamaria
Translation: Kadamboor Neeraj
Printing: Naveen Printers

ISBN: 978-81-954427-0-6
Pages: 132 + cover