Karail Basti, the subject of the video installation Karail, is a 190,000 m² self-organized settlement in Dhaka, Bangladesh with approximately 120,000 inhabitants. Often designated as a “slum,” the Bengali word basti translates simply to “settlement.” In February and March 2016, I conducted on-site research there, gathering audiovisual material with the aim of portraying Karail Basti not as a degenerate “slum,” but rather as a legitimate human settlement with its own nested logic of habitat production.
The video installation Karail is an attempt to portray Karail Basti’s everyday life in all its abundance. At the present moment, I am preparing a new instantiation of the work for the 2017 Weissensee School of Art graduates’ exhibition in July (an earlier version was shown at Arte Actual FLACSO, Quito, Ecuador in 2016). Karail will include two video channels (one projected, one shown on a video monitor) in a sculptural/architectural installation that utilizes analogous materials, tectonics, and techniques to those found in Karail Basti.