“What is that?” asked a curious five-year-old girl pointing to an installation titled ‘Broken Doll House’ at the Kala Ghoda festival that opened on Saturday.
The installation had broken dolls and newspaper cuttings shouting out the plight of the girl child in the country.
“I didn’t know how to explain the concept to her, but just told her that it was about protecting the girl child,” said the child’s mother, Rohini Mehta, a Napean Sea Road resident.
The Kala Ghoda venue in southern Mumbai was replete with similar art- work and installations that sent out stark social messages to visitors.
Some other installations included a flag made of money that depicted corruption, and an installation by a student group highlighting the need for environmental sustainability. “We made a furniture piece from cane, an eco-friendly material, which can seat up to 10 people,” said Vishesh Khetawat, 20, one of the 35 members in the group from an architecture college.
‘More artists are voicing their thoughts on the current socio-political scenario through their work, which the layman relates to,” said Jyoti Karmarkar, curator of stalls and installations at the festival. “People have really liked the installations.”
The festival opened with a range of activities and workshops spread across several venues in the vicinity and drew more than 10,000 visitors on the first day.
At the David Sasoon Library garden, a gathering of about a hundred people listened intently to poems and short stories of writer Saadat Hasan Manto that were read out at a mehfil organised by Urduwallahs, a city-based group. “To discover Manto is to discover the city itself,” said Arwa Mamaji, one of the founders of the group.