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FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS: Hasta Shilpa Mela, West Bengal, 2019

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FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS: Hasta Shilpa Mela, West Bengal, 2019



The Hasta Shilpa Mela, 2019, held at Eco Park, Rajarhaat, once again provided me a marvelous chance for connecting with my roots. Folk culture which has continued unchanged over centuries in India, regardless of political change and turmoil, provides a true index of national sensibility. These cultures still point at the epics as sources of power and cultural sustenance. One cannot deny that in the recasting and re-imagining of India in the theatre of the post- independence period, the epics do play a very powerful role as leading dramatists revisit epics themes and plots, fairly often. However, as the songs of the Chitrakars on child marriage and safe driving prove, rural/folk culture is trying to factor in significant social changes and urban themes/preoccupations/dilemmas into its cultural matrix. Such Melas allow us to grasp the lineaments/shapes/outlines of modernity among the practitioners of indigenous art. The Mela also highlights issues of commerce as it impacts Indian folk handicrafts at a global level. Mud, cane, jute, betel nut, Dokra, shola, coconut, vegetable dyes, imagined and re-imagined in many magical artistic formations, moulds and designs, truly take one’s breath away and reveal yet another irresistible face of Bengal. Finally, I thank Sri Chandan Mitra for his time and sincere enthusiasm for this project.

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7 Responses

  1. Brian Bach says:

    A fascinating, in-depth exploration of excellent handicrafts made with much sincerity and talent by these dedicated artists. The illustrated song performances are especially remarkable, as they promote women’s rights and safe driving. Well done, Sreemati!

  2. What an eye opener! Learnt so much through this wonderful video not the least being the inate sense of music and rhythm in these amazing Chitrakars.
    Sreemati your passion for the arts is so evident.

  3. Sunita Mehra says:

    Gud job done Sreemati!!! Very informative n it shows ur keen interest in this topic. Keep it up!!!

  4. Arpita Deb says:

    How beautifully done Sreemati’s empathy and respect shows through every frame , we salute these artists and you for sharing their work and skills

  5. It was very well done.
    The idea to focus on the lives of these artisans who usually go unnoticed is a very good initiative by Sreemati Mukherjee.
    It's an eye opener for all of us.
    She should keep up the good work.

  6. Koto kichhu jana gelo !.

  7. Here before 400 Subscribers. What's your favourite drink while Making videos. Laters :O

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