The Ukrainian War echoes in the narrow alleys of South Colcatapara (neighborhood), where the annual street festivals and public art festivals are held. Pablo Picasso’s iconic anti-war painting “Guernica” (1937) overlooks black and white from the walls of the workshop. Surrounded by a corrugated asbestos roof, Gustav Klimt’s golden “kiss” is rude and jarring alongside soldiers with guns.
Suprabhat Patra, who has been working for 18 years at a nearby Dwarrick sweets shop, confesses, “I have never visited an art gallery, but I like what these artists do in our para.” Looking around the anti-war art and slogan, says 42. All of us here read and hear about the war in Ukraine every day. You need to stop. “
This time, Kolkata’s Behara Art Fest aims not only to convey the message of anti-war, but also to let the general public know the works of the world’s masters beyond the boundaries of the gallery space. Organized by the local club Nutan Sangha and working with 28 artists, the work is limited to two adjacent lanes in this middle class district.
The famous lines of the poet Kabir Sumon, Judhdho taake cheetahe tolo, judhdho taake kobor dao (putting the war in the funeral crematorium and giving the war a burial) are adorned over the wall and are famous artists. Says Sana Tandinda, the convenor of the Behara Art Fest. “Even when we are brainstorming on the theme of light and darkness, we see the darkness of war coming down to us and ready to extinguish the light and vitality of mankind. I was able to.”
Dinda clearly states: “Even if the state or authoritarian regime tries to suppress our voice, we always have to talk about peace. We tried to tell the masses and the pedestrians there, and we through art. Did it — it’s our current political and social commentary. “
Through installations and wall art, this art fest has managed to accomplish what many are talking about. Associate art with the lives of the common people. That’s why the local “Preswara” Tribvan Rajak irons a pile of clothes standing in a huge installation of Picasso’s “Women’s Iron”.
Originally from Gaya, Bihar, he says with a smile. “I’ve been working here for the last 40 years and have never felt as honored and respected as it is today.” Ironically, Picasso’s work emphasizes the groundbreaking nature of his work. increase.
The pandemic has been a difficult time for Chayahalder, whose teahouse is synonymous with this para, for the past 26 years. The Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer’s “The Milkmaid” was recreated as a mural in front of her stall.
After her husband died last year, she says, “I’m enjoying it for the first time.” “Chayermashi” (female tea cellar) is a must-see landmark in the cityscape, and Chhaya proudly poses to take a picture with a kettle.
The exhibits show the selective nature of creativity. The 21-year-old art student Sankar Ghosh’s installation works include several glass bottles that preserve a concrete “memory” of the horrific incident of the mob Lynch. “I want to reflect on the spectators the danger that WhatsApp rumors can lead to lynching and death. We don’t think enough about these issues,” he laments.
To commemorate Satyajit Ray’s 100th anniversary, a huge mural of the director and his work, including his burning critique of authoritarianism (lowering the tyrannical “Hirok Raja” statute), is a skyscraper. It is drawn on the wall of. The visual compliments to Ray also include the stunning stencil art of his film’s strong female characters — Devi, Charulata, Mahanagar, and Pather Panchali.
As dusk approaches, installation art gains its own life and the innovative use of lighting makes the display stand out. The brightly lit Bengali letters that decorate the flag fly over the club building and read, “We want a job.”
Like the more famous Karagoda Arts Festival in Mumbai, the Behara Arts Festival is still in its infancy and is in its third year this year. Nonetheless, the festival’s attempt to highlight relevant public issues each year has secured a permanent place on the local calendar. This is an event that the local community and art lovers are enthusiastically looking forward to.