“ARTS” is simultaneously one of the most exciting and least understood of terminologies in India. ‘The Arts” in India face unique fd2012challenges. From classical to contemporary dance, classical to fusion to contemporary music, classical to contemporary paintings, sculpture, photography, puppetry, the arts are in a transformational stage in India. Most of these art forms are ephemeral. Because they are linguistic and region –specific (classical dances of India for example), and often non-notated, they do not enjoy the same advantages of being written down, stored and transferred that literature and film enjoy.
Classical Arts also has an undeserved reputation as being difficult to understand. Statistics informs Stake-holders that its audiences are small, despite the passion and loyalty of the artistes themselves. Indian arts media is facing challenges of its own with new writers struggling to understand or cover the “Arts” with any depth and sensitivity.
Gone are traditional Sabha Organisers who nurtured the Art Forms with diligence and continuity. The new Organisers want a little bit of Bollywood in everything they touch. As also the new patrons of Culture –the Corporates. They want a lot of Bollywod and Cricket in anything they sponsor. What is dangerous is the eroding space- financial or otherwise of serious arts. Because of its media and money power, Bollywood is fast occupying the mindspace and emotional space of generations of Indians. Dangerous too is the projection of Bollywood as the “Culture” of India. Cinema is a parasitical art form – not an Original Art Form. So then , can we gift a legacy of a parasitical art form to our children and to their children?
The Delhi International Arts Festival is therefore important and necessary for the audience, the artist and for the community in general, driven as it is with its sustained cultural energy. DELHI INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL (DIAF) is a rare bouquet of all forms of art including literature that unifies the globe into one aesthetic. Cutting across geographical barriers and looking beyond cultural stereotypes, the festival is not just the capital’s but the entire nation’s first such arts initiative.
My mission is to re-instil pride in our cultural and artistic traditions in the new generation; while simultaneously exposing them to the ‘Arts and Cultures of the World’ so as to develop a healthy understanding and appreciation of diverse cultural practices.
I believe that aesthetics are never compartmentalized by forms or controlled by countries. Creativity is a notion constantly in search of new contents and forms. DIAF looks forward to inviting art projects from other parts of the world and opening new avenues for explorations of different approaches to the development and creation of artistic works. It also believes in reviving and re-projecting many ancient traditional art forms of India and the sub-continent thereby creating newer audiences and opportunities for continuation of intangible heritage. In this sense DIAF has taken the first step towards offering a new and unique model that is non-judgmental of the art forms presented and non-bourgeois.
DIAF brings global perspective in terms of aesthetic and artistic experience into the city simultaneously offering local artists the opportunity to interact and perform in an international context. Delhi International Arts Festival is a cultural confluence where boundaries dissolve and the idiom of one world comes alive.
Welcoming you to all events of DIAF 2011,