Documentary film – INDIGO : THE BLUE GOLD

The Making of “Indigo: The Blue Gold,” 2023
Video (6.35 min)

This short film documents artist Shelly Jyoti’s process of working with master ajrakh craftsmen in Ajrakhpur, Bhuj, Gujarat to make new textile works for her 2023 exhibition Indigo: The Blue Gold at the South Asia Institute in Chicago, IL. The exhibition looks at indigo’s long history from several perspectives, including global trade, forced labor, slavery, and indentured labor, migration, and colonization in terms of India’s colonial history and uses recurring iconographic symbols of Gandhi’s spinning wheel, indigo plants, globes, and ships to tell the story of indigo.

Mapping Ajarkh Traditions in Contemporary Art and Craft, 2016/2022
Video (8.33 min)

This short documentary features Jyoti’s processes of collaborating with ajrakh craftsmen in Ajrakhpur, Bhuj, Gujarat to explore the critical relationship between the materials and processes used in ajrakh production to develop a deeper understanding of the role that the cloth, fiber, natural dyes, and environment each play in mapping ajrakh traditions in contemporary art and craft. The video was originally created in 2016 to document Jyoti’s Indigo Narratives series, which she began in 2009.