Four Seasons of Thought, and Manifold Dreams Manifesting

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4th Anniversary Special Editorial

Four Seasons of Thought, and Manifold Dreams Manifesting

31 July 2016・Rizio Yohannan Raj

chakra logo (1) Mitron: Greetings from LILA! Four years have passed, four summers, with the length of four long winters…That adaptation of Wordsworth could well sum up the feeling we share at LILA today. It seems incredible that an organization like LILA, which functions as an absolutely voluntary people’s movement, has been able to play out its foundational aspirations in such a beautiful way. LILA has been a rigorous quest as well as a truly light-hearted play since its inception on 2 August 2012.  It was the day of the Rakshabandhan that year—and four years hence in 2016, on another Raskshabadhan day, 18 Aug, we are opening the 4th edition of LILA PRISM, which has arguably become Delhi’s most loved annual interdisciplinary public lecture series. LILA PRISM 2016 revolves around the theme Institution as Practice, and it is a milestone reached after four years of participatory thinking on development, Indic cultural continuums, and transformative governance, involving some of the country’s best minds in various fields, who have become active stakeholders in our movement. This moment, when we open our hearts to thank everyone who has contributed to this performative enterprise for relevant thinking-doing, we also realize that it converges with a transitional movement in LILA’s own quest as a non-institutional institutional practice. Since Aug 2013, when we launched the LILA PRISM series, we have been engaged in interlinking cultural research, community-based transformaction and archiving/conservation towards creating and nurturing sustainable governance models germane to our country, and the world at large. Towards this, LILA keeps designing organic methodologies of governance in and across various fields. It curates public interface programmes, Life Appreciation Workshops, publications and projects. Apart from PRISM, we have created many other platforms such as a cultural banner, LILA Bearing Witness; a reflective thinking forum, LILA Menso, an artist conversation platform, Kaapi LILA; a films wing LILA Lumieres. Our programmes and publications including our latest blogspace LA, have gained tremendous goodwill and credibility among audiences, as we engage a variety of experts and institutions, and common people as stakeholders in our cause. At LILA, we have systematically developed our audience base and its demographic scope is large and varied — professionals, social scientists, academics, students, government functionaries, management experts, scientists, artists, policy makers…Our world-wide thought and transformaction connective stemming from an ambitious vision of organic governance for the new world, LILA Terra-Sutra, invests itself in discovering, nurturing, celebrating, distributing, renewing and conserving resources in various fields of knowledge and creativity, so that the possibility of equitable and ecological living becomes apparent and integral to every human being. As we move on to our fifth year, and are immersed in expanding our work to more geographies, we would like to thank everything and everyone that has made this play possible, and raise our hearts in advance to everything and everyone  who will come along to help us take wing. On our fourth birthday, Viva LILA-Jai Hind-Vazhka Makkal! Heartily Rizio
Rizio Yohannan Raj is a bilingual writer and educationist, and the Founder and Executive Director of LILA. Her engagement and mediation with ideas and words are aimed at initiating and driving a politico-aesthetic discourse relevant to the times and charged with transformative content.

LILA Foundation | The Luminous Idea of Life Appreciation

  1. SH Raza: A Timeless Bindu

    […] Let’s begin in medias res, the point where things take a turn. We are in 1980. The Bindu comes two score years after Syed Haider Raza’s joining the Nagpur School of Art with an aspiration to strengthen the artist in him. The period that precedes it is an exile; it reminds one of Jesus’ fasting for forty days and nights in the Judaean Desert—an alien terrain— constantly encountering Satan’s temptation to make him depart from God’s will. Since his first solo exhibition in 1946 till the moment he reached his mid-point, he was torn between his inner call and his outer circumstances. His life in France, which started with him going to school at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in 1950, tantalized him with fatally dazzling images of exteriority. Thus enamored by the splendid countryside of rural France, he gave in and captured its beauties:  the rolling landscape, the charming village architecture, the church, the inky sky. But then there was already restlessness creeping in—his brushstrokes and heavy application of paint showed it. His canvases from those days were already telling us of his slow movement into the 1970’s abstractions. But happiness was still farther away. His unrest kept taking him back to 1947, which beckoned him to look within himself. It was the year he lost his mother. It was the time of separation from his siblings who chose Pakistan over India. It was the year he co-founded the Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group along with K. H. Ara and F.N. Souza, with an original inspiration to break free from the influences of European realism and get closer to an Indian artistic inner vision. It was India’s tryst with destiny. Finally, in 1980 he found his profound connect with that early vision; he saw that the spirit of Indian art was rooted in Indian ethnography. That was the point of SH Raza’s emergence into the artistic heartland of India as a striking bindu, a shining star. It was a revelation that took Raza’s work as an artist into its master’s future, but we also see this point as his forever connect with his past, as well. One of the reasons SH Raza attributed to the origin of this work dates back to his elementary school days: the boy’s teacher drew a dot on the blackboard and asked him to focus on it, in order to correct his lack of concentration. SH Raza’s work into his inner self began with The Bindu. And ever since that hour of churning, he incessantly geometrized. His creations survive him, reminding one of Plato’s terrific insight: God forever geometrises. Today SH Raza seems to have gone from our midst, but he remains: A complete life. A poornam which is not reduced even if a poornam is taken out of it. A timeless bindu, ever ready to grow into a full circle. A seed of thought and care, which is also an eternally potential open space for conversations and collaborations. Time has made ILF Samanvay too a legatee of SH Raza’s ideal of experiencing fullness by sharing. And, we shall continue to follow the path illumined by your spot of light. Raza Saab, salutes. Republished from the ILF Samanvay Blog Next article: Four Seasons of Thought, and Manifold Dreams Manifesting […]