Celebration of Art : Art festivals of India

The blog about evolution of street art in India has been published by printartica. But what was missed out is the celebration of same as a festival. Anything that comes from the pulse of common people consists the essence of pain and real emotions in it.Therefore the festival of street art initiated by Sta+rt is ruling the hearts of people across the country.

Contemporary art in the country is going through a tremendous evolution because one community decided to change the outlook of the concept of art within. In 2014, a bunch of artists came together and started a network which was later transformed into a revolution of art.

For the people of India the realization of the power of art to convey any socio-political issues sprouted because of the vision and creations of St+Art India,a non-profit organization that has been splashing colours and creativity to the vacant walls and the streets of metro cities.

One of the founders of Sta+rt India reminsces their concept of taking out the art which they felt suffocating within the walls of art galleries to more elaborated spaces.A space where every common people can understand the idea its trying to convey. From converting a whole art district and colouring the streets of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad the street art festival is changing the definition of art.

The Arawani Street art festival initiated by them created a storm of difference in the predetermined norms of society. Transgenders across different cities united and painted the walls across the streets of Pune, Mumbai and Kolkata. A community which was abandoned by the society and their family was given paints and brushes to paint their freedom with colours. It’s the thing about street art festival it focuses on what to be changed in the society and fill the barren wall with the same through painting.

The essential idea of street art is democratic. It transforms a public space from plain and non interactive to a lively space painted with deeply rooted social context. St+Art works as space for Indian artists to be revealed on a international platform like never before. It was to create an ecosystem around street art. The perception of different societies changed along with changing a public space into canvas.

Over the years the Sta+rt India community have worked with over 20 cultural institutions. The season of street art festival were celebrated in Delhi and Mumbai respectively.

Approximately 150 artists worked combining all these festivals. Finding finance for such projects were initially difficult for the organizers but now the situation has changed. The street art festival of India are now sponsered by many big companies. They realized this festival can change the perspective of a society and understood that the efforts of these bunch of youngsters are not just about building their brand.

At the beginning stage, because it’s an NGO the support from Govt and other local authorities stood as a challenge for Sta+rt organizers. But after some of their beautiful works and changing an area which was previously of unhygienic ecosystem into an art bloomed space authorities started accepting what they were trying to bring into the society.

“People have this opinion of the government being this close-minded institution; but they are pretty open-minded, progressive and forward thinking. It may sound strange. Of course, they come with their own set of obstacles but those are fairly negotiable and are also within realistic demands. It’s understandable because there’s a lot of red tape bureaucracy involved and most people have bosses that want things done their way. The point is these are partnerships we’re creating; not one-sided conversation”one of the Co-founder Akshat opened up.

The process of art festival is done by presenting sketches to the authorities by team members following which they identify artists and a space . The plan is then presented to authorities at every stage to ensure transparency.

The government also sees value in these art festivals especially, with the whole idea of smart cities coming up because that’s where the world is moving. Art and culture is a huge part of building a smart city.

At the crowded space of metro cities inhabited with less privileged people displaying the value of women through street is something rare. There is no assurance that the thought process of people will change through street art. But the inhabitants think about such changes and that itself is the reason behind street art festivals. A thought sometimes can change a person.

As an organization, St+Art India has done approximately 6 large scale festivals so far. With every festival they do they try to have projects they create a balance of aesthetics and social context.

Depending on the artist that they’re working with the team decides on a project basis on the location. This also means having some boundaries of the kind of work that they put out in the public domain. They stay away from overtly political and religious ideas. Yet they put forward some changes and challenge the society and the norms on things that are happening.

Art is a medium for putting out a social message. The role that St+Art as an organization plays today is not just to make an area aesthetically pleasing but to provoke a socially relevant statement. It’s an important measure for reflecting a society.

As any other initiatives it takes a span to understand what exactly this community is trying to convey. But the talk of these street art festival is spreading everywhere. A festival to be embraced by masses always takes time. But in the case of Sta+rt art festival its quicker.

What this art festival is doing across the country is something very fresh. With no written down guideline on how to do an NGO of art has reached big so far. They relied on digital advertisements and marketing of their projects. With global audience and organic followers with unfiltered love and enthusiasm this festival of India is reaching untouchable heights.

The message this art festival is trying to convey is simple but what makes it complicated is because the strong misconceptions of society about various socio cultural concepts. Art that penetrates into the life thoughts of common people is what printartica always choose for.

Life is all about feeling connected.And connection roots from hearing the world and letting it hear urs. thajziya06@gmail.com

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