london: bhopal - a silent picture

© amnesty u.k. - the bhopal - a silent picture installation by indian artist samar jodha 

in the run up to the opening of the olympics in london, amnesty is hosting a remarkable, free, multi-sensory art installation by acclaimed indian artist samar jodha at the human rights action centre. the installation highlights the peculiar link between the bhopal tragedy and the 2012 olympic games. in 1984 between 7,000 and 10,000 residents were killed immediately by a toxic gas leak from a pesticide factory in the indian city of bhopal. over the next 20 years a further 15,000 people have died and the site is still contaminated, affecting the human rights of over 100,000 people. it is considered one of the worst chemical disasters of the modern age. today dow chemical, a sponsor of this year’s olympic games, owns the company responsible for the leak. however it has never addressed the on-going human rights impact of the catastrophe. samar jodha’s temperature-controlled metal container recreates the wintry night of the december 3, 1984 with 3d images, blow-torched mannequins and a soundscape. the soundscape starts silently, and there are notably no alarms or sirens throughout, as on the night, just the noise of crickets and the hum of the factory. the sound of gas escaping from the factory can be heard as the viewer moves through the container and towards the end of the journey, the sound of the first victim struggling to breathe [the installation is on display through aug 1]. location: 17-25 new inn yard [shoreditch].

© amnesty u.k. - image by samar jodha