Ravisara is a multi-channel video installation exploring stories and strategies of postcolonial resistance among Thai female immigrants in Germany. Choreographed, performed, and filmed as a means of both translation and to protect individual identities, six women’s stories are presented as part of the installation.
During his stay in Berlin in 2018, Rungjang developed this work with members of the city’s Thai community, whom he got to know, interviewed, observed and accompanied. By learning more about the protagonists and their stories, he was keen to explore how memories can be expressed through performative gestures and physical presence. In his video installation, the women appear on their own, with others in close-ups, and also as a group of six, and in each configuration they express themselves without words. Rungjang uses text inserts – accounts of the women’s experiences of migration, violence, discrimination, loss, and the abuse of power – as a contrast to the intimate atmosphere generated by their bodily presence. In the recorded conversations, the Thai immigrants vividly describe the difficulty of trying to find a new personal identity in conditions that are influenced by postcolonial power structures and prescribed gender roles.
Commissioned by the Toronto Biennial of Art, co-presented with Harbourfront Centre, and made possible with generous support from DAAD.