Zuleikha CHAUDHARI



  • Rehearsing Azaad Hind Radio , 2018, Video, sound, mixed media, 40min12sec, Courtesy of the artist, Commissioned and coproduced by Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, with the support of Goethe-Institute

  • Rehearsing Azaad Hind Radio , 2018, Video, sound, mixed media, 40min12sec, Courtesy of the artist, Commissioned and coproduced by Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, with the support of Goethe-Institute

Rehearsing Azaad Hind Radio


Subhas Chandra Bose (1897-1945) was an Indian nationalist who attempted to rid India of British rule with the help of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. On his escape from India in 1943, Subhas Chandra Bose disguised himself as Mr. Ziauddin to flee to Kabul. As the Italian Mr. Orlando Mazzotta, he journeyed to Berlin via Moscow. In 1942 he was awarded the title Netaji (Hindi: respected leader) by the soldiers of the Indische Legion and the German and Indian officials in the special bureau for India in Berlin. The lack of interest shown by Hitler in the cause of Indian independence eventually caused Bose to become disillusioned. He left Nazi Germany in 1943 on a German submarine in the guise of Mr. Matsuda, following which he took a Japanese submarine to Tokyo where he became Chandra Bose. Eventually when Bose left for Rangoon to lead the Azaad Hind Fauj, he went into battle against the British as Mr. T.

In November 1941, a Free India Center was set up in Berlin with the help of German funds, followed by a Free India Radio (Azaad Hind Radio) for which Bose created nightly broadcasts in English and multiple Indian languages. It is alleged that Bose died in a plane crash in Taipei, Taiwan, on August 18, 1945 while on his way to the former Soviet Union via Tokyo. The fact that Bose’s body was never recovered has given rise to various speculations that he survived the crash.

Cinematographer: Desmond Roberts
Sound Designer: Ish S
Costume Designer: Amal Allana
Editor: Ganesh Prasad
Make-up: Pardeep Chahar
Backdrops painted by: Satinder Singh
Texts: Radio broadcasts by Subhash Chandra Bose, JNU lectures on Nationalism and from Heiner Muller's Hamletmachine.



About the Artist


Zuleikha Chaudhari is a theatre director and lighting designer based in Delhi. Her works shift between theatre and installation and investigate the role of the viewer in the performative experience and the tension between looking or watching and doing or acting. Her ongoing research considers the structures and codes of performance as well the function and processes of the actor as reality and truth production. Her current research uses archival documents (texts and photographs) to develop theatrical performances as a way of thinking about the relationship between production of memory, the role of the archive and how that pertains to the retrieval and reliving of an event.

2015 onwards she has been exploring the framework of law as performance, the role of performance in law and the performativity of legal truth-production. Law’s performativity describes a way of forming, of per-forming the world through a certain structure of the use of signs that is always at the same time a procedure and a connection of a (historical) sign to a (new) context. The concept of performativity here describes a mode of doing something to the world. Her works have been shown at the Weiner Festwochen, Kunsten FestivaldesArts, Festival D’Automne, Seoul Performing Arts Festival, Asian Performing Arts Festival, Tokyo (2012), Berlin Biennale (2018), Kochi Biennale (2016), Dhaka Art Summit, INSERT2014, New Delhi (2014) Chronus Art Centre, Shanghai (2013), Essl Museum, Vienna (2010), IFA Galleries, Stuttgart and Berlin, Johannesburg Art Gallery (2014), Serendipity Arts Festival, Goa (2018) etc.