The Art of Citizenry: The Art from Politics

Courtesy: Deepak Ramarao
Courtesy: Deepak Ramarao
Courtesy: Deepak Ramarao

In a world where rules confine, art liberates. The sole creative expression breeding among an artist is what sets him apart. At the same time, there’s a connection that binds everyone with their feet firmly on the planet’s ground. The art of politics is a country of a few, but art from politics spells a world of all.

Deepikah Bharadwaj
Courtesy: Deepikah Bharadwaj

In India, dissent over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) has fostered creative hearts swelling in unison all over the country. With several people being detained as they take to streets, the undeterred spirit of art has lent a powerful voice to them. From basic placards thumping in street protests to witty cartoons on the Internet, the people are here to stay with what they say.

Courtesy: Illustrious Creates
Courtesy: Illustrious Creates

Take, for example, the Kadak Collective — a collective of South Asian women who work with graphic storytelling and art for inquiry on subjects that are focussed on the Indian subcontinent. The group has over the last few years brought sharp stories and political/cultural discourse on Indian narratives in the spirit of the argumentative Indian.

Courtesy: Maithili Madhusudan
Courtesy: Maithili Madhusudan

This time, however, the collective sprung into action following the horrifying police excesses against peaceful marches to start a repository  to collate and publish posters and communication that educates and opposes the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act and the NRC proposal. As a result, creative artistes across the board started sharing their creatives which found their way into protests and social accounts of concerned individuals all over the country.

In essence, the overall sentiments reflect a stern opposition to the laws weaved by the government. Critics have claimed that the government has been dismissive of the Constitution, unity and culture, and has been slathering the nation in Hindutva and fascism. Mirroring these conflicts, artists have dissolved contours all across the homeland:

From the varsity walls of Jamia Milia that were marked by graffiti to personal feeds of keyboard activists-gone-mainstream, the call against CAA and NRC has mostly been united, even as the rationale behind the protests seem splintered.

Image Courtesy: Sanitary Panels
Image Courtesy: Sanitary Panels

This powerful comic strip by Harshveer Jain speaks volumes about perspective:

Words made their way through the clamour too, revealing a state of conflict. Watch Varun Grover’s powerful “Hum Kagaz Nahi Dikhayenge” here.

Take a look at this topical series by Instagram user Pisssdom, which outlines the underlying issues with the Citizenship (Amendment) Act of 2019:

As the agitation manifests itself into art across a plethora of media, TheVibe celebrates the brave, watchful expressions of India. Although art has been a device of activism always, the lines today blur as ideas find redemption on the digital feeds.

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