Chess / Chaturanga
(ongoing since 2020)
A series of chess games traced on paper in Chili Powder and Charcoal, played between my father and I.
Chess as a signifier of subaltern culture also contains a characteristically Indian joke about history, recalling the fact that chess was invented and developed in India and then travelled to the Middle East and Europe. In Europe the game underwent alterations so that there are differences between the rules of Indian chess and European chess. This is a joke about history, the tale recalls the history of chess not because it invokes nostalgia for ancient India as the golden past, but because the subaltern tale uses the condensed motif of chess to signify indigenous innovation and indigenous technologies. This has the effect of jeopardizing the discourse of enterprise, within which technological innovations are identified with the West, and lack of technology is associated with the colony.
- Dube, R., 2005. Satyajit Ray's The chess players and postcolonial theory.