Lakeer by Shruti Mahajan is a short, extremely visual video that demonstrates the partition of a country in three simple steps, drawing, making and dividing. Lakeer is a line or a boarder, using India as an example she shows how the partition occurred in India and created the “lakeers” This short film has taken inspiration and interacts with the poem Ae Roshnion ke Shahar by Faiz Ahmed Faiz.
Using no spoken words, through this film the artist tries to explain what happens to a country during a partition in a two-dimensional way i.e on paper. She shows how politicians use maps to divide areas that are then conceptually mimicked in reality. They draw boarders that don’t actually exist and try separating places through manmade objects to create boundaries, which in turn becomes a conceptual limit in reality.
The first step is “drawing” where she draws new lines over the maps changing existing boundaries. Therefore just by drawing lines over a map the geography of a country changes at a global scale.
The second step is “making”. This word is taken literally in the video where S. Mahajan is shown cutting out fences like boundaries, which, is symbolic to how men create the actual boundaries at boarders with some kind of fencing or in the case of Indian, and Kashmir, barbed wires. These boundaries that are so easily just cut out to put on maps but the real equivalent would have colossal implications. These notions are made absolute by lawmakers.
The final step is “dividing” which is portrayed in the video by a haphazard cutting of the Indian map. This shows the destructive quality of partitions and how such tiny actions could have such tremendous implications, dividing an entire nation. This divide then creates conflict and within countries and people, giving rise a divide, not only geographically but culturally.
This video according to me was simple and accurate. It displays the process of partition in a very mechanical way making it easy for a viewer to understand it and draw appropriate conclusions.