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A Memorial for the New Economy

Chinar Shah


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On the 8th of November 2016, the Government of India demonetised all circulating 500 and 1000 rupee banknotes without warning. This move suddenly invalidated these notes, deeming them unusable in exchange for any goods or service. Instantly, India’s heavily cash dependent economy found itself in an unstable position. In the months following this announcement, over a 100 people died as a consequence. 

As a society we quickly memorialise the consequences of human conflict, natural disasters, and even of random acts of violence, but financial collapses and its human toll are often ignored or rendered invisible. Within this context, A Memorial for the New Economyproposes a publication as a memorial - one that is neither a grand proclamation, nor a fixed monument, but instead a document dependent on systems of distribution, access and exchange.

Chinar Shah is an artist, writer, and occasional curator. Her work deals with photography and its implications in moments of violence and conflict. She is the founder of Home Sweet Home - an exhibition series that uses domestic spaces to show works of art - and she taught at the Srishti Institute for Art, Design and Technology between 2014 - 2020 (Bangalore). She is also co-editor of Photography in India: From Archives to Contemporary Practice (Bloomsbury, 2018).

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