KGAF: Discussing the fine art of activism

  • Badri Chatterjee, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Feb 10, 2016 01:20 IST
Author and journalist Raghu Karnad with American artist, writer and entrepreneur Molly Crabapple at the event on Tuesday. (Satish Bate/HT)

When you have nothing, art makes something out of nothing… creates beauty and joy through representations of expression,” said Molly Crabapple, in an enlightening discussion with Raghu Karnad about how art and writing impact activism, politics and current realities.

The discussion, between the 32-year-old American artist, activist, writer and entrepreneur, and journalist and author Karnad, was titled Art and #WW3 and was held as part of the HT Kala Ghoda Arts Festival.

Crabapple presented different shades of her work, juxtaposing, for instance, the lives of burlesque

dancers and “money-hungry” capitalists through sketches and extracts from her novel, Drawing Blood.

From here, the discussion moved to the various types of conflict in present-day society: that between the forces of human greed and constraints of human society; wars between humanity and technology; and a combination of imperialism, neo-religious fascism and an ongoing arms race,

which Karnad highlighted as potential causes of a “third world war-like situation”.

“Molly uses her art and illustrations to tell stories, bringing out the real social issues of the times

we’re living in,” said Asad Lalljee, co-curator of the literature section at KGAF. “Her sketches and the way she tells stories are what we wanted to present to Mumbai through this unique discussion.”

As Crabapple read out an extract from her book, weighing the scales of art as hope against cynicism, audience member Trisha Jalan, 20, a college student, remarked: “This just proves that silent art forms can speak louder than words and reveal more than the average eye can see.”

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