4th Anniversary Special Editorial
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.
Crossing the Ecliptic is a collaborative attempt by two artists to make sense of the great light and shadow play of immateriality that gives the human world its unique perspectives and varied visual experiences. Rizio Yohannan Raj’s eponymous poetic trilogy (forthcoming in The Drunken Boat) inspired by the celestial sphere representing the sun’s apparent path during the year, the moon’s crossing across and the resultant eclipses meets Aadil Jamal’s lens, which had independently captured reflections, tones and shades illumining and extending the material reality about him. Their coming together here forms LILA’s first step towards realising its visionary project, LILA Terra-Sutra InterArts.
Andolan, Gamaka, Kan-Swar or Gitkari, Meend or Murki: the Alankars are multiple in types, and innumerable in practice. Each melody acquires its ornament, each note, its body. Alankar, a term for aesthetics in the Indian arts, is the adornment, the embellishment, the process that reveals the beautiful from within – the inherent beauty. Fascinating paradox: the Alankar is wilfully produced, coming above and beyond the theme, but it only enhances a beauty already proper to the art. Alankar permits beauty before the accompaniment – Alankar recalls how the inner light is still shining.
Handicraft is not simply decoration; to artist-weaver Priya Ravish Mehra it is also part of the art of life. Out of nothingness, a thread is woven. A cloth’s lifetime is prolonged by the art of rafoogiri, or darning; an art that itself remains invisible. Weaving thus lends itself easily into poetry and metaphors: of Kabir’s devotion woven into a cloth, of poetry woven out of silence, and of healing and repair.
The poetry reading and conversation evening Echoes of Silence was held on Thursday 18 December at 6.30 pm at the FSI hall, South Asian University, Delhi. The programme sought to retrieve lost and painful memories to give shape to the echoes of silences teeming all around us. As the world continues to struggle to make sense of the extent of inhumanity at Peshawar, Echoes of Silence affirmed the role of poetry and art to bridge our polarised world. The evening brought together two eminent writers: Tamil poet in exile R Cheran (Sri Lanka) and English novelist Vikram Kapur (India). Both of them have been working closely with ethnic and religious confrontations in their respective spaces, using at times their creative works to articulate the hushed voices. The conversation that followed the readings was chaired by Kavita Sharma, President of the South Asian University. She opened the evening with one minute of silence for the victims of Peshawar.
“For the dead and the living, we must bear witness…” The spirit of Elie Wiesel’s words animated the air as the Sahitya Akademi hosted a unique poetry evening, with readings by seven major writers in various languages, and a conversation among them, to mark the launch of the cultural banner of LILA Foundation, LILA Bearing Witness. The event, entitled ‘Voices in Verse’ celebrated the multicultural origins of the participants, and also served as an initial collective reflection on the possibilities of individuals and communities bearing witness to the times in general, and to the multitudinous ways in which poets in particular tend to bear witness.