CHENNAI: DakshinaChitra in collaboration with Neelam Cultural Centre, an initiative of filmmaker Pa Ranjith, will be hosting Vaanam - a festival celebrating Dalit art, literature and theatre. The event will feature talks, panel discussions, documentary screenings, theatre and art exhibitions. Vaanam will be held on October 8, 9, 14 and 15 at DakshinaChitra Museum.
Curator of the art show Natarajan Gangadharan tells DT Next, “DakshinaChitra contacted us for a collaboration and we are happy to present our works. This festival will celebrate talented people from oppressed communities. It will be a one-of-a-kind festival that aims to grapple with the disturbing reality of caste discrimination.”
More than 20 artists from Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Maharashtra will be displaying their paintings, installation and sculptures at the art fest that will be on till October 30 at Varija and Kadambari Galleries. “The art exhibition is mainly focussed on Dalit aesthetics. Paintings by Dalit artists highlight the importance of equality in society,” adds Natarajan.
Gita Hudson, artist and coordinator at DakshinaChitra, shares more details about the four-day festival. “Deborah Thiagarajan, founder-director of DakshinaChitra Museum, has been wanting to have a festival celebrating Dalit art for a long time. We got in touch with Neelam Cultural Centre and now, we are hosting the festival. All talks, documentaries and plays will be in Tamil. There will be a book fair from October 8 to 15 that will feature select books featuring Dalit literature (both fiction and non-fiction). We have conceived and nurtured this festival with the idea of highlighting the social contradictions that plague society like caste discrimination and gender inequality among others, through theatre, music and dance. This event will be an eye-opener to all,” says Gita.