‘Kaalpadukal: Songs of the diaspora’; Audio Visual Exhibition curated by Shafeena Yusuff Ali

by Navneet Mendiratta
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Kaalpadukal: Songs of the diaspora

Conceived as an audio-visual experience by curator Shafeena Yusuff Ali, Kaalpadukal: Songs of the diaspora, is a digital exploration of the modern-day migrant as told through the strokes of 16 gifted digital artists from South India. 

Designed as an experiential audio-visual treat on the platform www.kaalpadukal.com, the exhibition is as much a tribute as a reflection of the emotions shaping the world’s migrant community.

“Kaalpaadukal is the mystic idea of the footprints one leaves behind in the places they make their own, and this exhibition is my attempt to bring together the emotions and memories that a migrant leaves behind — many that are blown away with the wind, and many more that are set in stone and concrete,” writes Ali in her curatorial note.

 A Migrant, as she puts it, is a person who has had to leave his home, for love, family, job and more. “The idea of migration evokes such strong emotions. There is the anticipation of leaving, the excitement of something new, the stark realities of being on foreign soil, the range of loneliness, the discovery of new friends, the tension of settling in and the hope that all things will work out well. There is also a range of emotions unexplored, that dictate the lives of those the migrant has left behind – his near & dear ones. Their lives, their emotions of anticipation and waiting, their exhilaration at meeting their loved one again,” she writes.

For the selection of artists, Ali chose the South Indian diaspora with its rich history of migration, as it seemed a fertile ground for the emotions on both ends of the spectrum to be represented visually. 

 “In times like these when travelling back home has become more difficult than ever, when the starkness of being a migrant is more visible than ever, this exhibition visualises those emotions. By bringing together a select group of talented digital artists whose lives have in some way or the other been touched by migration, this virtual exhibition is an ode to those footprints that we see and the many that we do not, but which in one form or another, lie scattered across the world,” she adds.

The participating artists include: Akhil V K, Ashwin Jacob Samuel, Bhaghya Babu, Devika Menon, Fathima Hakkim, Harsha Ann, Hima Susan Zacharia, Kinky Kashayam, Lakshmy Das, Lalitha Mudapaka, Pankaj Sadasivan, Rahul V Mathew, Sachin Samson, Sarah Kaushik, Sreekanth Karthikeyan, Vinayak Jayasree and Younus Backer. Each of the artists brings a richness of experience and a variety of impressions with them. A must visit.

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