Portrayal of activism via art
Experts believe that activism is bringing about constructive change and non-bias approach is key
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