“Artists explore gender inequality in a series of art workshops”


Kochi, March 17: Kochi is the perfectamalgamation of artistic sensibilitieswhere artists look at their medium as an agent of social change by raising fundamental questions and challenging the conventional thinking, saidMr Robert G Burgess, American Consul General.

The envoy was speaking at the valedictory ofthe ‘Amplified Voice Programme’, an educational series of workshops organized byAmerican Arts Incubator, an initiative of the US Department of State and ZERO1 in partnership with

 Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF) and Sacred Heart College, Thevara at Pepper house on Friday.

The focus of the three-week sound workshop, which commenced on February 22, was ‘Gender Equality.’

“In arts,we raise fundamental questions and challenge the way we think andthey enable us to look at issues from a different perspective. Besides, theendeavour of this sort also helps to forge the ties between the United States and India,”Mr Burgess said.

Four teams comprising 17 members came up with their interesting prototypes which gave prime importance to audios to tacklegender-related issues.

US- based Sound artist MsLaura Wright, who led the workshops, said that she decided to take‘Gender Equality' as the theme after participating in the Women's Day march  at Seattle.

‘Axia’, an interesting prototype developed by one of the teams, emphasized the art of listening and conversation through a revolving globe placed in a flat triangle, with three microphones at its corners.

The team members said it can be set up at public places,offering opportunities to males, females and gender minorities alike to speak out their woes which usually go unheard as they do not have anybody to listen to.

‘ Bindu’, another prototype,underscored on breaking the stereotypes by recording  the daily lives of three women who chose to smash the barriers by venturing into  those uncharted fields confined to men.

Selin, one of them,  works at a crematorium in Kochi while Rekhais a  fisher woman and JyothsanaPadmanabhan is  undergoing training to become a Hindu priestess. The team also intends to take it to the schools to tell children how to break the stereotypes.

Yet another team travelled with their ‘Secret bag’ with microphones attached, which will record the issues of transgenders. This will convey those issues which they shy away from communicating to the world,  and makes the society aware of their issues.

The last team spoke about the gender inequality by the  moves on  a chess board through  audio recordings.

MsManju Sara Rajan, CEO, Kochi Biennale Foundation also attended the function.

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