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Hunger Burns

The Bengal Famine of 1943
May - August 2024

The Bengal Famine of 1943 was never about there not being enough to eat: it was about not having enough to eat. More than three million people perished due to starvation and malnourishment as a result of catastrophic wartime colonial mismanagement. Today, it is a brutal reminder of colonial plunder.

Inspired by Diya Gupta’s book India in the Second World War: An Emotional History (2023), artist Sujatro Ghosh and poet Eeshita Azad respond to letters and the remembered history of the famine, surfacing stories that were never told, suffering that was never acknowledged and asking what it means for us today in modern Britain.

Hunger turns food into a site of nourishment but also of desire and longing and it is this desire that fuels the combined joy and rage of the works in this exhibition. The whole library will become a letter from May - August and we invite you to participate and contribute to this immersive installation.

Eeshita Azad - poet
Sona Datta - curator
Sujatro Ghosh - artist activist
Diya Gupta - academic lead

Artist profile:


Sujatro Ghosh

Multidisciplinary artist-activist, Sujatro Ghosh is also a curator from Kolkata/Berlin. His practice tries to initiate conversations about social action and political protest, producing conditions for othered voices to be heard. His works combine conceptual and material adventures inspired by radical thinking around queer rights, diasporic tensions, women rights, climate change, gastro-politics ad transitional migration. He works in film, with performance, poetry, fabric and photography. His current work deals with the intimate relationship between food, memory, violence and justice. Sujatro's works have been part of Berliner Festspiele, Tokyo Metropolitan Theater, The Whitworth Gallery, Venice Biennale, Hebbel am Ufer (HAU),  nGBK Berlin and many others.

Eeshita Azad

Eeshita Azad

Eeshita Azad is a page and state poet and poetry facilitator with a career spanning 15 years in the UK and Bangladesh. She is currently the executive director of the British Bilingual Poetry Collective, BBPC (CIC), a London based company that specialises in participatory workshops with a focus on heritage languages, poetry for second language speakers and mental health. She was poet-in-residence for Bok Bok Books Sensing Bangladesh: A Children's Guidebook to Art from Bangladesh and Resident Poet for ARC, Stockton Arts Centre. Her work includes commissioned poems for The Francis Crick Institute and Poet in the City's A drop of Hope project, inspired from her works with The Wellcome/EPSRC Centre for Interventional and anthology: Home and Belonging is forthcoming.

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