The health crisis brought on by the novel coronavirus has been unprecedented in its impact on lives, livelihoods, and our socio-economic-cultural situation.
More than 80% of UNESCO World Heritage properties have closed down, threatening the livelihoods of the local communities and cultural professionals. Cultural institutions and facilities including museums, theatres and cinemas are shut thus impacting not only revenues but also sense of community and cultural lives of people. Artists across the world, most of whom were already in precarious situation prior to the pandemic, are struggling to make ends meet. In India, the crafts sector that is largely self-employed involving a large number of people has been facing a severe crisis. Similarly living traditions such as festive events that form an important part of people’s lives have had to be paused. Today, we are experiencing a cultural emergency.
UNESCO has launched ResiliArt, as a global movement to raise awareness about the serious disruption of COVID-19 on the arts and culture sector. It seeks to mobilise solidarity among artists and professionals in the creative sector while ensuring their voices are heard at the policy level to address existing gaps and needs. It aims to help contribute to the elaboration of financial mechanisms aimed at empowering artists that can be potentially established by relevant public and private organisations.
ResiliArt - India
UNESCO New Delhi, jointly with the India Foundation for the Arts (IFA), KHOJ International Artists Association, The Marg Foundation, and Natya Chetana, will organize a series of webinars dedicated to raising awareness about the far-reaching consequences of COVID-19 across the sector and to mobilise support from various organisations ranging from public to private during the crisis. The series will aim to focus on immediate relief for artists, recovery mechanisms, and resilience plans.
The key issues and concerns along with recommendations that will emerge from these discussions will be shared with relevant private and public institutions and authorities that are major players in the creative sector of South Asia notably India.
Launching ResiliArt - India on 21 May 2020 (17:30-19:00 IST)
The first webinar under ResiliArt for India, to be held on 21 May 2020, will bring together the emerging and established artists as well as other leading voices from the cultural sector to understand the current status of the sector and its coping mechanisms. It will include the current state of their respective artistic disciplines and how they are staying connected with their audiences using available technologies. The panelists will also share recommendations to help decision-makers and private enterprises develop suitable policies and financial mechanisms to assist artists in recovering from this difficult period and enhance the resilience of creative expressions.
Theme: Arts and culture during the Covid-19 crisis
- The key concerns of artists on the short and long-term impact of Covid-19
- Measures that government authorities, international organizations, and the private sector, among other players, can take to address these concerns and support the artists and arts organisations during and following this crisis.
- Mr Sunil Shanbag (Theatre Director, screenwriter and documentary filmmaker)
- Mr Suresh Jayaram (Founder-Director, 1 Shanthiroad Studio, Bangalore)
- Mr. Venu Vasudevan (Principal Secretary, Museums and Archaeology, Government of Kerala)
- Ms Priya Paul (Chairperson, Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels limited)
- Ms Farah Batool (Programme Coordinator, Goethe Institut New Delhi)
The discussion will take place on an online platform that allows 250 audiences to follow the discussions as well as post questions using a chat function.
India Foundation for the Arts (IFA)
India Foundation for the Arts (IFA) is a not-for-profit, independent, grant making organisation that supports research, practice and education in the arts and culture across India, since 1995. IFA believes that the arts and culture are essential to our individual and community lives, and for a more equitable and just world. As a facilitator, catalyst, and provocateur in the field, it supports critical investigations, explorations and experiments that push boundaries of knowledge and practice, and challenge dominant narratives.
Khoj International Artists Association
Khoj International Artists Association is an autonomous, not for profit, contemporary arts organisation based in Delhi. Khoj has grown from an annual event in 1997 to a vibrant building-based institution committed to creating international networks, cultural shifts and social change through affect-driven creative interventions. Khoj plays a central role in the development of experimental, interdisciplinary, and critical contemporary art practice in India and South Asia.
The Marg Foundation
Founded in 1946 as a magazine of architecture and art, Marg is an internationally oriented not-for-profit organization today, with publications and activities in the arts and culture, with a focus on innovation and inquiry. Acclaimed for their standards of production and editorial content, Marg’s publications have been a forum for pioneering research in the Indian arts and culture. Marg - India’s oldest art magazine - was founded by writer-activist Mulk Raj Anand along with a group of art critics and architects including Karl Khandalavala, Anil de Silva and Minnette de Silva amongst others. With seven advertisements and two rooms provided by the visionary industrialist J.R.D. Tata, it took up the massive task of identifying, analyzing and advancing the artistic heritage of a newly independent nation, guided by the spirit of humanism and internationalism. In 2010, Marg became an independent trust, The Marg Foundation. Its main objective is the propagation, research, advancement, preservation and education in all fields of the arts and culture. Through them, Marg aims to develop a socially active and culturally engaging language of art.
Natya Chetana, founded in 1986 under the leadership of Subodh Patnaik is a non-profit theatre organisation having a voluntary base of artists. In 1995, it established its Natyagram (Theatre Village) about 35 kms away from Bhubaneswar to live as a community while giving full time to artistic projects. It is a voting member of IDEA (International Drama and Education Association) since 1995. It is involved with different networks for social action as well as artistic expressions. It mainly works with folk artists, rural interested youth, artists from tribal communities, as well as urban youth. It performs in unique theatre styles such as carrying a theatre by cycle as an expedition crossing hundreds of kilometres once a year to reach rural remote audience, and intimate theatre style for urban masses. It has performed in Theatre Olympic 2018 organised by the National School of Drama.
This will also be an occasion to celebrate together the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, launched by the United Nations in 2002, upon the adoption of the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity by UNESCO in 2001. Artists play an integral role in nurturing cultural diversity which in turn is the driving force for sustainable development.