On December 3rd, 2005, several students and supporters of the Bhopal campaign joined together in the creation of a public art project, memorializing the catastrophic disaster that happened 21 years ago. Entitled “Bhopal”, the project featured seven large “toxic waste” drums, each of which was covered with stencils, writings and images representing such themes as “THAT NIGHT,” “The Women’s Union,” and “Compensation”. Each barrel also contains a sound installation, which will continue to play this 3-minute clip of powerful quotes and damning Carbide lies set against the mournful backdrop of the Indian sitar.
The project was presented to the University of Michigan at the home of its President, Mary Sue Coleman. President Coleman was out of town and unable to accept the gift in person, but Julie Peterson, the University’s Vice President for Communications, was on hand to accept the gift on behalf of the school. Jayanthi Reddy from AID-Ann Arbor and Ryan Bodanyi from Students for Bhopal spoke briefly about the disaster, its importance, and the local movement to ensure that Bhopal is not forgotten. Julie Peterson also spoke, echoing the importance of remembrance and thanking us for the gift to the school. The barrels themselves will be displayed separately in seven different buildings on the University of Michigan campus.