“Mir [Umar Hassan] […] lamented [the] willful and violent erasure of an ancient town and in a delightful satirical poem, where he wrote about the vapid consumption of a place and the excretion of a people devoid of the flavors of their individual and munificent past. With recent cause to recollect the horror of the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, and in solidarity with the protests against the draconian actions of our government[,] we are revisiting [Umar Hassan’s] original poem.”
Even though Islam is the second-largest religion in India after Hinduism, the situation of Muslims living in the South-Asian country worsens daily. The current protests, especially the deadly ones in Delhi, are not just one single peak of horror, as the history of violence against Indian Muslims proves to be a sad tradition. I am sorry to admit that, but without “The Indifferent Wonder of an Edible Place”, the chances of me ever reading up on it would have been very low.
As a white, thirty-something male in Europe, I never had to endure such pressure and hatred against my identity. My personal current fears circle around the climate change, the brutal political swing to the right in some European countries as well as the United States and the Coronavirus outbreak. However, the developers of “The Indifferent Wonder of an Edible Place” managed to shift my perspective for a while, so that I would focus on their personal struggles and anxieties. They did so in an abstract, even magical way.
They visualize step by step a poem by Mir Umar Hassan, a Gujarati poet, whose works they already featured in their game “a Museum of Dubious Splendors”. It reads like the letter of a man to his brother, right after he got transformed into an eater of buildings. His teeth can break the bricks down to consumable pieces, and with each devoured construction he also eats a part of the culture and history.
The tragical lyric in combination with the beautiful world design make “The Indifferent Wonder of an Edible Place” a stunning storytelling experience. Each verse and each bite line perfectly up with each other, making the dramaturgy highly remarkable and this game to political protest in the most sublime form. [PLAY]