Por­trayal of ac­tivism via art

Ex­perts be­lieve that ac­tivism is bring­ing about con­struc­tive change and non-bias ap­proach is key

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - INDIA - Pulkit Chaud­hary and Likitha Reddy cor­re­spon­[email protected]­dia.net

The open­ing ses­sion of the sec­ond day of Arth, the Cul­ture Fest ‘19, in as­so­ci­a­tion with ZEE, be­gan with a dis­cus­sion on whether ac­tivism though art is le­git­i­mate or op­por­tunis­tic. The talk was mod­er­ated by Shubhrastha. Em­i­nent per­son­al­i­ties from var­i­ous art fields were the pan­el­lists. The panel in­cluded Vivek Agnihotri, film di­rec­tor, pro­ducer and film di­rec­tor, Malavika Av­inash an ac­tress, Ananda Shankar Jayant, an In­dian clas­si­cal dancer and Su­var­na­malya Ganesh ac­tress and TV an­chor, who is also a trained Bharat­natyam dancer.

Ananda reck­ons that her art is her lan­guage of ex­pres­sion of her in­ner thoughts. How­ever, she con­sid­ers it wrong to use one’s art to politi­cise opin­ions.

Ac­cord­ing to Vivek Agnihotri, just hav­ing an opin­ion, only ed­u­ca­tion or stone pelt­ing is not ac­tivism. Ac­tivism is bring­ing about con­struc­tive change in the so­ci­ety. Us­ing art to bring con­flict in the so­ci­ety is not ac­tivism. He

opines that BR Cho­pra’s films are real ex­am­ples of ac­tivism and mod­ern Fem­i­nist women have a lot to learn from them.

Swar­na­malya Ganesh be­gan state­ment, “The per­sonal is al­ways po­lit­i­cal’. She be­lieves that from an­cient times, art has al­ways ex­pressed the per­sonal opin­ion of the artist. So, She sup­ports artists who make a po­lit­i­cal state­ment through their art. She opines that change in so­ci­ety be­gins at the point of dis­sent. Art is a very af­fa­ble way of dis­sent. Ac­tivism through art is ef­fec­tive and also gen­tle. Change has to be­gin some­where. So, ac­tivism through art is not bad.

Con­trary to Swar­na­malya’s opin­ion, Malavika Av­inash be­lieves that Art is Shanti Mantra and Ac­tivism is Kranti Mantra. Both are con­flict­ing en­ti­ties and mu­tu­ally exclusive. She says so be­cause art has dif­fer­ent forms and ori­gins- it was cre­ated for a pur­pose.

Crowd present dur­ing the panel dis­cus­sion held at Indira Gandhi Na­tional Cen­tre for the Arts

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