‘Art Beyond Borders’ Artists in Residency: Varanasi 2016

by Team ACF
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‘Art Beyond Borders’ seeks to bring together artists from across borders to facilitate and promote cultural and traditional exchange through the medium of art and culture. They aim to create a platform to establish meaningful visual and social connections beyond geographic, social, or cultural borders. It is their strong belief that such initiatives will ultimately involve the entire SAARC community and in addition to a cultural and social interaction.
In Oct 2014, they began their journey by bringing together renowned artists from Bangladesh and India in an art residency in the historic city of Lucknow. They had over 19 participating artists from both countries including pioneers who have, for decades, been well established in the field of art. The vibrancy and unique diversity of each artist was celebrated as they crossed cultural barriers of religion and limiting nationalisms and let art speak through the simple medium of colour and canvas.
Their venture was a success, in that, it stimulated an international dialogue and enthused us to display the artwork created during the residency in the national capital of Delhi. This union of individual ideas was showcased in an art exhibition recently in Delhi at the 1AQ gallery on Nov 27, 2015.
The border, it seems had blurred. With the demarcation done away, it looked like paintings from India and Bangladesh share a common space with a certain ease. Through this exhibition they did manage to create and promote artists and create a platform for the visiting artists that of preserving and strengthening our ties with neighboring countries. The success of their art show strengthened their resolve to carry this forward further.
Their second residency in Varanasi (September 18-23, 2016) is aimed at promoting a diffusion of art beyond national borders, and revive the historical significance of the Ghats at the banks of the holy Ganges in an endeavor to enhance tourism through a coffee table book that celebrates the age old beauty of the Ghats.
With this, they also intend to bring to the forefront, the necessity of a clean Ganga free from pollutants and an appeal to the corporates to adopt these ghats for the upkeep and restoration as very soon world heritage would be lost with neglect and ignorance. It is their firm belief that by promoting a cultural and artistic dialogue amongst artists we can open our national spaces to encompass global issues and let art stimulate  an empowered, holistic approach.
“It is our belief that this has the potential to eventually include the entire SAARC community. By allowing art to speak, we hope to fill the void left behind by sub-continental politicking and diplomacy,” says Sandhya Parmar, the force behind Art Beyond Borders.
Noted names in the art world like Jatin Das, Sudip Roy, Jamal Ahmed, Ranjit Das and Munirzzaman, who were their participating artists for the first residency are also there to support the residency in their second step.
The other artists include:
Anita Khanal, Narayan Bahadur Gurung from Nepal; Farida Zaman, Sultan Ishtiaque , Vinita Karim from Bangladesh; and Vinod Sharma, Bharti Prajapati, Swapan Das, Suresh K. Nair and Radhika Surana from India

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