Colours of freedom in the skies
‘Freedom is in the Air’, an art-event held by Museum of Goa seeks to showcase works of art related to the issues faced by LGBTQ community
10th November 2018, 03:35 Hrs
There is palpable freedom in the air and more so when the air is of Goa. Freedom is what freedom does. It is not only our fellow LGBTQs (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) who smell ‘clear air’ all around but so do all of us. Discrimination against a few translates to discrimination against all. A blot of negativity never remains tiny, rather it smudges and diffuses so deep that discrimination almost becomes mainstream. That’s when a deep-seated stigma runs through the veins of the society. And yet we think we are ‘free’. What a paradox! You don’t need an act of parliament to provide privacy and the rights thereof. But one actually needs the act to drive a norm which our society understands formally and gets bound by. And this could reverse the stigma, I am sure.
Sharada Kerkar, a bright, young social worker and budding art entrepreneur is convinced that the Supreme Court’s version ‘history owes apology to LGBT’ should be complimented with more avenues to celebrate the togetherness of LGBTQs. I couldn’t have agreed more with her.
In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court in September 2018 scrapped the controversial Section 377, a 158-year-old colonial law on consensual gay sex. The Supreme Court reversed its own decision and opined that Section 377 is irrational and arbitrary - ‘LGBT Community has same rights as of any ordinary citizen. Respect for individual choice is the essence of liberty; LGBT community possesses equal rights under the constitution. Criminalising gay sex is irrational and indefensible.’
Goa is synonymous with soul soaring and is the most appropriate pulpit to rejoice, engage and ventilate years of hinged existence. It’s time to fly. Museum of Goa (MoG) is organising an event titled ‘freedom is in the air’ to give a nod to solidarity of LGBTQs through creativity, art and fellowship. Scheduled for Nov 10, the jamboree aims to dispel our myopia about diversity in nuances and proclivities. Humans are not machines from batch production. Why should we expect ‘standardisation’? If we always look for standardisation then why do we assume ourselves to be ‘thinking’ animals? And if we think, why can’t we value differences? Many questions and much introspection! But the time has come for the joyous leap in Goa air, for the unhindered smile and ‘finding feet’ after years of identity crisis. The gala is open to all artists - of any form of visual arts, who would assemble to create and showcase their work in response to the issues faced by LGBTQ community and in line with the recent Supreme Court verdict or anything allied to the idea of freedom and equality.
The event will include paintings by, for and of the LGBTQs, public art installations, deliberations by senior activists from various sectors, music, dance, merry making, and the release of India’s first ever ‘white paper’ on livelihoods of LGBTQs. The ‘white paper’ is scripted by ‘Goa Livelihoods Forum’ which is a livelihoods-specialised think tank of Goa working under the aegis of FIDR, a reputed knowledge management institution.
It would not be an exaggeration to state that ‘Freedom is in the air’ is a rare endeavour to look at a social issue through the lens of art, culture and creativity. I have encountered instances where the effectiveness of art to demystify and unclutter a social malaise is been grossly underestimated. Art is not for art’s sake. Art has for the sake of humanity. Museum of Goa (MOG) has set up a lab where art could help overcome mean-spiritedness. Other states and the museums of the world would soon replicate the model and I hope they do so.
We often neglect the finest nuance of humanity (i.e. art in its varied forms) and its capacity to bring succour to humanity. Why do we choose to be unwise? And why do we prefer to suffer?
There is something in Goa’s air which rekindles seamless abundance of life and its joy. There is certainly freedom in the air. One can see the rainbow flag (also known as the gay pride flag or LGBT pride flag fluttering out of your window. It is the symbol of LGBT pride and LGBT social movement. MOG, in collaboration with ‘The Humsafar Trust’ and ‘Goa Livelihoods Forum’ will create a flying installation, a curated exhibition of artists from across the country and seminar by eminent artists and art activists.
India is waiting for the congregation and huddle on November 10 at MOG. MOG in Konkani means ‘love’!
Could it have been any closer?
Mhaka Goemcho mog aasa!
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