'Live through Art'- A Cultural Intervention
The world of the arts is large yet small. It includes a plethora of creative fields- theatre, music, dance, poetry, photography et al. Within each field too, there are various different forms- each field has a world of its own! Yet, this world is limited to a certain class of society- the ‘intellectuals’, ‘the artsy’, ‘the cultured’. Indian cities see the same patrons moving from one event to the other. While there have been several initiatives to try to weave the arts experience within the social fabric of Indian cities, these have been restricted to either a particular field, location or crowd. The most successful large-scale art interventions have been in the form of annual events like the Jaipur Lit Fest or the Jazz Fest in Delhi. Other initiatives which hope to sustain through months or years start out with great enthusiasm, which fizzles out eventually. We are yet to see an initiative which reaches out to the masses, runs throughout the year and sustains the interest of the audience it hopes to cater to.
Sponsored by the UN Mehta Foundation, we are proposing a year-long and city-wide cultural intervention in Ahmedabad which would engage citizens with all facets of art and culture. Come 2017, we plan to organize 10 events weekly, in different locations spread out in the city. With 500 events in a year, such an initiative could potentially impact 2.5 million people. Never before has an initiative at this level been envisaged. We hope to bridge the gap between niche audiences and the masses. Being in Ahmedabad, the focus would be on promoting Gujarati and Indian culture and arts but not limited to the same. The events could be anything ranging from performances, movie screenings, and poetry recitals to talks, workshops and debates. We could conduct such events at easily accessible locations such as public parks, mall courtyards, the riverfront, private offices etc. The idea is to create spaces within the city to enable public engagement with the arts. We would not limit ourselves to any particular field, we would be happy to venture into anything under the sun within the arts.