Lives in Other Rooms : Memories of Bangladesh childhoods
Whilst in Bangladesh I attempted to capture some of my feelings about the country on film and through the lens. However as most of these impressions were generally undertaken at 70mph whilst heading for a couple of tuktuks, a rickshaw or two, a bus overtaking a truck and all of us using our horns at the same time my initial feelings were of the speed and busyness of the place, the constant bustle and everyone moving faster than is safe.
However, we had a short time in Abduls village, Choudhury badi - and almost immediately I felt the wonderful dichotomy of the country as the pace and emotion slowed to a graceful tempo and the countrysides lyrical qualities overtook me. So, inspired, I snuck away from the family reunion and filmed these simple but beautiful windows and doors.
In all of these shots you can hear the low murmer and sussuration of language, of communication at the level of friendship and love.
This sense of life continuing invisibly through a door, through a window, in some place 'elsewhere' to us, tied in with the stillness and serenity of the images connects with memories of childhood, memories of my own and of others, of childhoods I had and those i felt i have experienced or just wish I had inhabited.
Advancing age increases the sweet sting of this desire to return to the simpler narratives we invest in childhood, to reinhabit an imagined or remembered past, ours or someone elses I'm not sure I can tell the difference any more, or for that matter care. Narratives, whether fictional or 'historical' are valid emotionally and therefore perceptiually as real as each other - the artist attempts to communicate to their audience one emotional narrative or another and if successful generates memory - as real and as tangibly valid as any of our own.
The film is dedicated to Yasin Ali, father of Abdul Malik Ahad whose grave is the last image in the film. The tree planted there grows upwards to the sky but places his roots firmly in the earth of Bangladesh.