Lakeer – Shruti Mahajan

The short film Lakeer poetically captures what the partition of a country, in this case India, is in three simple steps. The constant turmoil within the nation and its several parts is no new story. Through this film the artist makes one wonder the weight of diversity against the friction it causes.

The artist starts with ‘drawing’, where she draws over a map, changing the existing boundaries. So easily through the medium we call a ‘map’ we completely cut off a population, make them outsiders

and on the other hand take over a population, compel them to become ‘insiders’. 

The second step, ‘making’ she cuts boundaries, ready to be affixed onto the map perhaps. Almost symbolic to the laws set, which make the map an absolute. These boundaries have made way for the several conflicts arising in our country by ‘others’, or the insiders, for a struggle to get out of these boundaries, take back once taken boundaries, or create new boundaries altogether.

The last step ‘dividing’  she cuts out the map unevenly, destructively. She chops off the entire form, the identity of the mp into smaller parts, which is what our nation is. The boundaries have given birth to conflict, to groups, sections, which in the process of making a nation come together are actually destroying it and leaving back a few fragmented pieces of paper. 

The film was inspired by the poem ‘Lakeer’ by Faiz Ahmed. The film to me speaks out about the callousness and how casually one simply cuts, divides and makes a country, as some sort of project. What effect this eventually has on the identity of the country is what the artist tries to show in a very simplified manner. 

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