The subject of the 9/11 attacks is popular among the scroll artists. These scrolls often combine multiple visual perspectives from above the building or inside the aeroplane such as Jaba Chitrakar's (India b.1960s) 9/11.

Traditionally, the first frame of a scroll shows an enthroned god or goddess — the subject of the story. This pat follows a similar structure, depicting anthropomorphised aeroplanes crashing into the Twin Towers in the first frame, followed by roundtable political meetings, rubble, and neatly arranged corpses with closed eyes. The story concludes with Osama bin Laden on a white horse, disappearing into the mountain caves of Tora Bora.

Patachitra, or ‘pats’, are scroll paintings from West Bengal, intimately bound up with itinerant storytelling and songs. Historically, patachitra were cloth scrolls on which mythological or epic stories were painted as a sequence of frames. The artists (patua) would travel from village to village, slowly unrolling the scrolls and singing the stories. Patachitras have been compared to cinema frames or animation, and are said to be one of the oldest forms of audiovisual communication.

Exhibited in 'The 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art' (APT8) | 21 Nov 2015 – 10 Apr 2016


  • Title: 9/11
  • Creator: Jaba Chitrakar
  • Date Created: 2012
  • Location: India
  • Physical Dimensions: 276 x 56cm
  • Provenance: Purchased 2016 with funds from Professor Susan Street, AO, through the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation. Collection: Queensland Art Gallery
  • Subject Keywords: APT8, India, Jaba Chitrakar
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: © The artist
  • External Link: Kalpa Vriksha: Contemporary Indigenous and Vernacular Art of India
  • Medium: Natural colour on mill-made paper with fabric backing

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