The room is dark. Black and white photographs hung on the walls and even on the roof, staring straight at you as if asking questions.
On both sides of every photograph is placed an audio instrument like telephone and as you pick up the instrument, narration of story that went into making of that picture begins: “First, we shifted the dead bodies, placed them in a line and numbered them. Now, the dead bodies wouldn’t be recognised by their names, they will just be identified by their number. Then we called upon the final year medical students, allotted dead bodies to each.”
This harrowing first person account could be heard in the audio instrument placed by the side of DK Satpathy, forensic expert’s photo in his own voice.
This is perhaps India’s first museum commemorating a contemporary social movement and would be inaugurated on Tuesday. The ‘Remember Bhopal Museum’ is collectively curated by the community of survivors and activists fighting against corporate crimes across the world. It is also the first museum in India that relies predominantly on the oral history testimonials of survivors.
Museum curator Rama Lakshmi says the museum carries the message of the movement and it does not use any toxic material or products manufactured in hazardous factories and it does not accept money from either the government or large corporate houses.
“It took around four years for this project to take this shape. Earlier, it was planned as a Bus Museum that would travel across India with a message against corporate crime,” said project coordinator Shalini Sharma. “It was a challenge to build this museum without using any flex or chemicals,” said Vivek Seth, designer of the museum.