2nd Dalit Christian artists workshop planned

By Matters India Reporter

Bengaluru, Jan. 10, 2019: The second workshop for Dalit Christian artists will take place at the Indian Social Institute, Bengaluru, southern India.

The Office for Scheduled Caste/Backward Class under the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) is organizing the January 18-19 workshop to revive long forgotten but rich artistic heritage of the Dalit community in India, said Father Devasagayaraj M Zakarias, national secretary of the CBCI Office for Dalit Development.

Arts (drawings and paintings) play an important role in the lives of the marginalized people. Through drawings and paintings Dalit Christian artists can visually express their culture, lives, joys, happiness, agonies, and rights, the priest explained.

“The workshop for the Dalit Christian Artists is aimed at bringing together the Dalit artists at the National level. They will be motivated to paint and draw from the perspective of the oppressed and marginalised communities at the same time keeping in mind the rich cultural history of the Dalits.

Bengaluru-based senior artist Jyoti Sahi will be the main resource person.

Sahi, who manages an art ashram in Silvepura, a village just outside Bengaluru, is considered the most inventive painter of biblical themes living in India. An artist since the late 1960s, he has been instrumental in developing a visual gospel language that’s contextualized to Indian culture and in fostering Hindu-Christian dialogue.

Sarianna Kranz and Jussi Eskola artists from Sweden will be guide the participants during the workshop.

There will be an exhibition of the art works prepared by the artists on a later date. After the art exhibition, the art works can be taken by the artists. The ownership of the arts belongs to the artists. A small portion of the sale of the art works will be shared by the CBCI office.

It is not a training but production of Dalit arts. It is not for people who want to learn arts. This workshop is to produce Dalit Christian arts, said Father Zakarias.

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