First woman curator of Kochi Biennale urges 'inclusivity'

First woman curator of Kochi Biennale urges 'inclusivity'
Anita believes that one need not look too deep to find misogynistic tendencies in the field of art. Photo: Kochi-Muziris Biennale portal

The first woman curator of the international art exhibition Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Anita Dube acknowledges gender pay gap exists in the field of art too.

Gender bias is not the only form of discrimination she aims to fight through the exhibition. As part of her role in the exhibition, she travelled across the globe to meet artists who foster the concept of 'non-alienation.' She asserts the need to listen to the oppressed - to women, to marginalised castes, to queer community.

Anita believes that one need not look too deep to find misogynistic tendencies in the field of art. “Look at the small history of Kochi-Muziris Biennale itself and you'll see how women and minorities have been marginalised. Even if there are women artists, their work has always been undermined.”

This year's season to be held on January 18 in Kochi expects to see a surge in women artists at the biggest contemporary art festival in Asia. Through this, Anita seeks to reclaim the art of femininity, which she feels has been disturbed for long by implicit sexism.

Even though India has had a long history of female artists right from the Hungary-born revolutionary Amrita Sher-Gil, their representation in galleries and exhibitions remain hindered by patriarchal hegemony.

Other minorities like LGBTQ community, too, shall be well-represented this year.

“I am not God. The difference I make may be negligible, but I will try,” she said.

People's participation

Kochi Biennale has always been an interactive affair and this year is no exception. Taking people's participation a notch up, Anita encourages impromptu discussions and debates on whatever issue the visitors feel like addressing.

There will also be panel discussions where formal and informal dialogues will take place.

A total of more than 90 projects are being undertaken and one core theme to connect them all – 'togetherness'.

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