Artists from northeast depict human rights issues on canvas

February 18th, 2008 - 7:14 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Feb 18 (IANS) In an attempt to vent their frustration, express pathos and give the world a glimpse of the difficult situation back home, 18 artistes from northeastern states have come together in the national capital for an art conclave organised by the Lalit Kala Akademi in association with the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA). Hailing from the eight northeastern states - Assam, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura, Mizoram, Sikkim, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh - these artists began working on their canvases Monday and will complete two works of art each, which will be later put together in an exhibition by the Akademi.

The conclave is part of the national conclave of the northeastern states for promoting access to justice to women of the region.

The themes of the art works, therefore, are in some way or the other related to the issues of women and human rights.

Punyo Chobin, a 22-year-old art student of Visva Bharati, Santiniketan in West Bengal, is one of the participating artists in the conclave.

“There are just so many issues affecting the northeastern states and my own, Arunachal Pradesh. There is HIV/AIDS, drug abuse, violation of human rights…but then again which place today is not affected by any of these issues?” Chobin asked.

“Like the blank canvas in front of me, my mind is blank. I am still thinking over the issues…but the theme of my drawing will be human rights,” he told IANS.

Smita Saikia, an artist from Assam, stood playing with her brush and staring at the blank canvas, deep in thought.

“The theme of my painting will be an incident in Assam when a woman was harassed,” she said bringing out tubes of acrylic colours.

Sudhakar Sharma, secretary of the Lalit Kala Akademi, said that it was for the first time that an art conclave with regard to human rights and the northeastern states specifically was held in the capital.

“It is good to have so many talented artists of the northeastern region come together and express themselves on their canvas. Although human rights is the theme has been given to them, they have been asked for another painting on a subject of their choice.

“After this, the paintings will be taken by the Lalit Kala Akademi and put together for an exhibition,” Vinod Aggarwal of the Akademi said.

For 25-year-old Mrinmoy Deb Barma, an artist from Tripura, a conclave like this is a good opportunity for artists of the region to gain exposure for their work.

“These are the issues which affect the common man and this conclave provides a good opportunity to express out thoughts about them,” he said.

The conclave, which is held at Gandhi Darshan near Rajghat, will be on till Feb 25. It also has an exhibition of handicrafts and other wares of the region, street theatre, quizzes, workshops and discussions on various aspects of human rights, especially those pertaining to women, under its umbrella.

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