Event, Jan 30: Resisting Together – Art and the Artist in South Asia

Prominent artists across South Asia will meet virtually to share perspectives on art and the culture of resistance in South Asia. Titled “Resisting Together: Art and the Artist in South Asia”, this is the tenth monthly webinar organised by the South Asia Peace Action Network, or Sapan.

These events are part of Sapan’s ‘Imagine! Neighbours in Peace’ series, a title borrowed from an unpublished volume by Chowk.com. Through their statements and other forms of artistic and cultural expression, the speakers will present their thoughts on the art and the artist in the times we live in.

Sapan series: Imagine! Neighbours in Peace – X

Event title: Resisting Together – Art and the Artist in South Asia

Date: Sunday, January 30, 2022

Time: 10 am EST / 8 pm PKT / 8.30 pm IST / 8:45 pm NPT / 9 pm BST

The 90-minute event is free and open to the public. It will be broadcast via Facebook Live.

To attend the Zoom meeting and participate, register here.

Sapan is a coalition of individuals and organisations calling for a visa-free South Asia and regional approach to issues. The online event will highlight the significance of art in the vocabulary of resistance, and call upon South Asian states to encourage and promote cultural exchanges. Touching upon how the arts and the resistance shape each other, the event will also bring to the foreground the current plight of and the onslaught on the arts and the artists in South Asia.

Featured artists and speakers at the session include Chandraguptha Thenuwara from Colombo, Lubna Marium from Dhaka, Salima Hashmi from Lahore, Sangeeta Thapa from Kathmandu, and T. M. Krishna from Chennai.

Eminent economist and poetry aficionado Fahd Ali, who has a keen eye on arts and resistance culture, will moderate the discussion.

Sri Lankan artist and activist Chandraguptha Thenuwara is the founder director of Vibhavi Academy of Fine Arts, an artist-run art school and exhibition space in Colombo. Among Sri Lanka’s foremost contemporary artists, Thenuwara is also a Professor at the University of the Visual and Performing Arts. Engaging with contemporary politics, his works offer a critique of war, human rights abuses, militarisation, and authoritarianism.

Lubna Marium is a Bangladeshi dancer, researcher and cultural activist. A Sanskrit scholar, Marium is deeply involved in researching and understanding arts and aesthetics, and also heads ‘Deepshikha’, a school for children from marginalised communities. She is part of a Trust that manages ‘Shodhona: A Center for Advancement of Southasian Culture’.

Renowned Pakistani artist Salima Hashmi is a former college professor and Dean of Pakistan’s National College of Arts. A recipient of the Pride of Performance Award in 1999, Hashmi is an accomplished painter and a widely-published author, having written among others the critically lauded ‘Unveiling the Visible: Lives and Works of Women Artists of Pakistan’. She is the curator of Faiz Ghar in Lahore, a cultural space taking forward the legacy of her father, the acclaimed poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz.

Sangeeta Thapa is the director of Siddhartha Art Gallery and founder chair of the Kathmandu Triennale, Nepal. Thapa has published four volumes of poetry, and has written a book ‘In the Eye of a Storm’ on the life and works of Nepali artist Manuj Babu Mishra. She has curated over 600 shows of Nepali and international artists, and regularly initiates community art projects.

A pre-eminent vocalist in the rigorous Carnatic tradition of India’s classical music, T. M. Krishna is a public intellectual who regularly speaks and writes about issues affecting the human condition and about all matters cultural. His book ‘Reshaping Art’ asks important questions about how art is made, performed and disseminated and addresses crucial issues of caste, class and gender within society while exploring the contours of democracy, culture and learning. He is a recipient of the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award and the Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration. 

Sapan founder member and secretary of People’s Union of Civil Liberties, Kavita Srivastava will host the event across different time zones on Sunday 30 January 2022, at 10:00 am ET, 8:00 pm PKT, 8:30 pm IST, 9:00 pm BST. 

Former chief of Indian Navy Admiral Laxminarayan Ramdas and peace activist Lalita Ramdas, also Sapan founder members, will read the Sapan founding charter

The upcoming session is the first in a Sapan series focused on art and culture in South Asia aiming to highlight the literary, performing and visual arts. It aims to highlight the significance of art in the vocabulary of resistance, and call upon South Asian states to encourage and promote cultural exchanges. Touching upon how the arts and the resistance shape each other, the event will also bring to the foreground the current plight of and the onslaught on the arts and the artists in South Asia.

Past discussions have focused on a wide range of issues, from climate change and rights of the incarcerated to gender-based violence, health, and most recently on human rights and equality.

The event will be broadcast on Facebook Live at this link

Media persons wishing to join the event may register at this link with the email address they plan to use to join the meeting. 

For more information email: southasiapeaceactionnetwork@gmail.com 

ABOUT SAPAN: Initiated in March 2021, Sapan is a coalition of organisations and individuals advocating for peace, justice, democracy, and human rights in South Asia and diaspora, calling for a visa-free South Asia and regional approach to issues. 

Social media links @SouthAsiaPeace – Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn.

Note: We are grateful to Fahd Ali for stepping in as moderator at short notice.

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