The Creative Arts (India) in collaboration with Testimony Arts (Australia) announced the Indo-Pacific launch of ‘Arts Alive – The Arts, The Artists and The Times’ 2022 in the presence of honorary guests such as Rowan Ainsworth, Consul General, Australian Consulate in Kolkata and Sayan Bhattacharya, education oﬃcer, Indian Museum. The event was moderated by Anjum Katyal, Editor, Author and Festival Director.
The event was also graced by other notable personalities from various walks of life such as Pradeep Khemka the Hon. CG, Debanjan Chakravarti, director of British Council, East, Namit Bajoria, Director of Kutchina and Honorary Consul General of Macedonia, Reena Dewan Director of KCC and others. Artists, and The Times’, in collaboration with Testimony Arts, Australia.
The Creative Arts and Testimony Arts have been selected as grantees of the prestigious Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grant 2021-22 for their collaborative Indo-Pacific ‘Arts Alive’ webinar series, curated by Ramanjit Kaur (Founder Director, The Creative Arts, India) and Tammy Brennan (Director, Testimony Arts, Australia). This conversational series brought together art practitioners, curators and funders from India, Australia and worldwide to look into the dialogic intersection of different artistic disciplines (music, dance, theatre, visual arts, literature, filmmaking, festival curation, residency and funding), used to create and curate performances and interventions in the international cultural context. The launch was also supported by Australian High Commission, Ministry of Culture, Government of India, Indian Museum, Kolkata, Ministry of Culture, Government of India, and 75 Years- Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. In times when mobility and gathering of people in a ‘space’ is still a subject to menace, this series is an initiative conceptualized by Ramanjit Kaur, launched by The Creative Arts in 2021, to map the journey of the Creators and the Curators before, during and post- pandemic.
The series has successfully completed 7 episodes featuring artists from India, UK and USA – Padmashree Neelam Mansigh Chowdhry, Bhai Baldeep Singh, Mahesh Dattani, Michael Walling, Anita Ratnam, Dipankar Mukherjee, Chandra Dasan, Lissa Tyler Renaud, Ricardo Khan and Kabir Singh Chowdhry. The project proposes to question the ways in which the arts community would adapt the indefinite ‘new normal’. This global health crisis has resulted in significant decrease in creative production and has made everyone reflect on re-structuring methods of ‘creating a performance or art piece’, ‘observing a performance or art piece’ and receiving funds for the same. The series aims to study the process of transition to understand the persistent adaptation taken up by the arts and cultural sector within India and globally, in recent times. It focuses on mapping the journey of arts, artists, art practices and its impact on the community, to observe and understand the pathways to recovery through arts. ‘Arts Alive’ emphasizes on the vitality to engage in dialogue with art practitioners from all over the world and record their journeys as retrospective point for contemporary and future artists.
The series will be archived and documented in the form of an E-book and print version. The ‘Arts Alive’ Indo-Pacific series, curated by Ramanjit Kaur and Tammy Brennan is aseries of conversations with artists and speakers from India, Australia and worldwide, covering various aspects of Arts – Deborah Leiser Moore, Kirtana Kumar, Vanessa Tomlinson, Sandeep Bhagwati, Alex Wisser, Smriti Rajgarhia, Jahnavi Phalkey, Pippa Dickson, Jeremy Smith, Victoria Hunt, Shilpika Bordoloi, Raghav Handa, Gaele Sobott, Abhishek Annica, Malika Booker, Maryann Talia Pau, Libby Harward and Leena Kejriwal. The Launch will have dignitaries and luminaries from various Consulates, Arts and Corporate world.
The speakers from across the globe shared their stories of the pandemic times and how their methodology of work underwent several changes and what the future of this discipline holds for them. Ramanjit Kaur said, “I believe that art is something that has to be experienced from very close quarters to be able to comprehend its depth. However, that has been hindered owing to the pandemic. This brought me to conceptualise this project as I felt the need to hear from the artists, their personal experiences during these troubled times and how it might have affected their art. I hope that these discussions will create an in-depth archive of the interventions of myriad art forms during these unprecedented times for present and future generations to come.”