Prabhakar Pachpute’s drawing depicts a character midstride who is made up of body parts, personal belongings, and cleaning accessories, evoking the iconographic forms of some Indian goddesses of epidemic diseases. Here the artist addresses the flipside of the global slowdown of everyday activities and nationwide lockdowns: lowest-paid essential workers who keep things moving during the pandemic and often lack access to benefits like paid leave and health insurance. The character’s movement also may refer to migrants who have nowhere else to go, or perhaps to the current mass exoduses from densely populated cities to rural areas. Underneath the various layers worn by the walking figure, a violent absence of justice and labor rights is revealed.
Prabhakar Pachpute, born in Sasti (India) in 1986, lives and works in Pune (India)