Where and how did the idea of arts collaboration emerge?
During the Singapore Exchange Programme in November 2018, one of the ideas proposed by the Singapore International Foundation was to do a community project in Chennai during the final step of the fellowship. We also wanted to explore the children’s expressions and provide an avenue for artists to come together. Over a period of three to four months, SIF Arts for Good Fellows, Stephanie Turner (United Kingdom), Kamya Ramachandran (India), Jigyasa Laboo (India) came together with an idea of collaboration.
What art form took the centre stage?
This collaboration has taken many forms, including spoken word poetry which the students co-created under themes like hope, dreams, creativity, faith, and visual arts by painting these poems as murals. We also had dance and music at the fore with SIF Fellow Noramin and my colleague Manjula Ponnapalli collaborating to lead a workshop infusing Indian folk music and Malay dance movements along with Bharatanatyam movements.
How does art collaboration bring peace?
Art’s primary purpose is to heal. NalandaWay Foundation’s work specifically deals with how art can be used to reduce fear and ignorance – the root cause of many societal disorders we witness today. When disadvantaged children grow up with constant exposure to art, it helps them express such fears in a non-violent way which contributes to peace.