Skip to main content

New York award to Avni Sethi for museum on conflicts amidst 'attacks' on human rights

By Our Representative
The Vera List Center for Art and Politics, a Manhattan, New York-based non-profit research organization and public forum for art, culture and politics, has announced Avni Sethi as recipient of the 2020-2022 Jane Lombard Prize for Art and Social Justice for her project Conflictorium, a museum of conflict resolution in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
Chaired by Candice Hopkins, the jury, which included Ivet Curlin, Natasha Ginwala, Carin Kuoni, Tamara Oyola-Santiago, and Shuddhabrata Sengupta, in its citation said, Conflictorium, initiated and directed by Sethi, a cultural organiser and kathak dancer, “is not a normal museum”, adding, it “reflects Sethi’s interdisciplinary, boundary-crossing practice and ethos.”
“Deeply embedded in the surrounding communities of Ahmedabad, Conflictorium is opening up histories of individual and collective trauma and holding space for challenging and difficult conversations”, the citation notes.
It adds, “The museum operates within a complicated political context and is an intellectual and ethical sanctuary in the region – particularly at a time when democracy and basic human rights, including religious freedoms, are under attack, in Gujarat, and elsewhere in the world.”
Asserting that Conflictorium “is rooted in the political dimensions of its immediate surroundings”, the citation says, “Sethi’s commitment to intimacy of scale and sincerity of intent has made it a place of gathering for everyone in the community, from schoolchildren, to elders, to neighbours.”
The citation continues, “By working across generations, the museum navigates polarized spaces and challenges historical amnesia. Under Sethi’s guidance, Conflictorium uses lyricism to recalibrate what has been frozen into silence, and it is through this sense of the political dimension of poetics, that it addresses the often unspeakable nature of trauma.”
The Jane Lombard Prize for Art and Social Justice is an awarded by the Vera Center to an artist or a group of artists in recognition of a particular project’s long-term impact, boldness, and artistic excellence. International in scope, it claims to constitute “a unique meeting of scholars and students, the general public, and globally significant artists.”
“The prize initiative unfolds over a two-year period and provides a multi-layered platform for artists as agents of social and political change. Key features of the prize initiative include the Jane Lombard Prize as well as the Jane Lombard Fellowships, bestowed on the prize finalists”, says the Vera Center website.

Comments

TRENDING

Arrest of Fr Stan Swamy: UN makes public letter seeking explanation from Govt of India

Counterview Desk In a letter to the Government of India (GoI), three senior United Nations (UN) officials – Elina Steinerte, vice-chair of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Mary Lawlor, special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; and Fernand de Varennes, special rapporteur on minority issues – have said that the arrest of veteran activist Father Stan Swamy in October 2020 marks “the escalation of harassment the human rights defender has been subjected to since 2018.”

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Farm laws 'precursor' to free trade deal envisaged by US corporates to allow GMO

By Rajiv Shah Did the Government of India come up with the three farm laws, first rushed by promulgating ordinances in June 2020, to not just open the country’s agricultural sector to the corporate sector but also as a precursor to comply with the requirements of the United States for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), as envisaged by the outgoing US president Donald Trump?

Modi govt 'implementing' IMF-envisaged corporate takeover of Indian agriculture

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak* The surge of wealth of Indian billionaires and the Modi-led BJP government’s onslaught on poor, marginalised and farmers continue to grow simultaneously as masses face annihilating pandemic of coronavirus. There is 90 % rise of Indian billionaire’s wealth over last one decade. It is not accidental.

A new fad in India, coding-for-toddlers culture needs to be 'nipped' in the bud

By Aditya Pandey* We are all aware of the dire consequences of subjecting young kids to intense academic pressure from an early age. In India, we have coaching institutes like FIITJEE and Resonance offering programmes for 6th standard kids to prepare them for “NTSE, IJSO, PRMO and other Olympiads”. The duration of these programmes is around 175 hours – hours that could've been spent playing games and making friends instead.

New trend? Riots 'expanded' to new rural areas post-2002 Gujarat carnage: Report

A VHP poster declaring a Gujarat village part of Hindu Rashtra  By Rajiv Shah  Buniyaad, a Gujarat-based civil society organization, engaged in monitoring of communal violence in the state, in a new report, “Peaceful Gujarat: An Illusion or Truth?” has said that a “new trend” has come about in communal violence in the state, where the parts of Gujarat which didn't see communal riots in 2002 are experiencing “regular bouts” of communal violence.

Differing from Ambedkar, Kancha Ilaiah holds a 'different' theory of caste system

By Banavath Aravind* I was introduced to Kancha Ilaiah’s work when I was about 20 years old. He was then in the midst of a controversy for a chapter in his book "Post-Hindu India: A Discourse in Dalit-Bahujan, Socio-Spiritual and Scientific Revolution", which termed the Baniya community as social smugglers. During many of his debates, I had come to notice his undeterred fighting spirit in trying to bring up certain fundamental social issues that were hitherto undiscussed. I eventually came across some of his works and started reading them silently. I’m deliberately stressing upon the word ‘silently’ here, as this was the kind of silence particularly associated with sensitive social issues like caste, religion, etc. But, as I write this essay, I feel silences on sensitive issues should be broken. Ilaiah opened up an entirely new debate that had the vigour and strength to counter the systemic Brahmanism. His methods of research were also novel in terms of going back to the roo

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

More than 5,200 Gujarat schools to be closed down, merged, says govt document

RTE Forum, Gujarat, releasing fact-sheet on education By Our Representative A Gujarat government document has revealed that it is planning to close down 5,223 schools in the name of school merger. The document, dated July 20, 201 was released by the Right to Education (RTE) Forum, Gujarat. It shows that the worst-affected districts because of this merger are those which are populated by marginalized communities – especially tribals, Dalits and minorities, said RTE Forum’s Gujarat convener Mujahid Nafees.

Consumption pattern, not economic shock behind 'poor' child health indicators

By Neeraj Kumar, Arup Mitra* The findings of the latest round of National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) conducted in 2019-20 covering 22 States/UTs under Phase-I  present a somewhat disappointing picture of children’s health in India. Majority of the experts, based on prima facie evidence, just highlighted the deteriorating sign of child health in terms of increase in proportion of stunted and underweight children in most of the phase-I states/UTs over last two rounds of NFHS (2015-16 to 2019-20).