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1528 - Rohit Saha

1528 - Rohit Saha

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Alkazi Foundation for the Arts
Hardcover, File Folder
1st Edition, 2019
200 pages

In 2016, while Rohit Saha was in university, poet and activist Irom Sharmila announced an end to her 16 year long fast against the extrajudicial killings embedded in the history of Manipur in North East India.

The Malom Massacre, which had triggered Sharmila’s protest, became a starting point for Saha to recognise the layered social and political disharmony forced upon the people of the state. Every evening, Saha would look down at the city from his room and feel like its alleys housed ghosts asking for justice. Dark, grainy images fill the pages of this book, running from end to end with no space to breathe. Photographs of strange moments encountered transform to sites of violence, fiction seamlessly weaving its way into fact, woven into context with news clippings, scans and reports of victims and perpetrators. The pages are meant to confront you, images cropped and layered over each other with a rage to find answers for questions the photographer is still trying to understand.

Most of Saha’s research during this project came while working with an organization (EEVFAM) in their petition to the Supreme Court demanding an investigation into the 1528 cases of alleged killings between 1979 and 2012. The title and approach to the book is his way of acknowledging their work and his days spent digitizing the filing cabinet that housed over 700 files of these 1528 encounters.

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