Image: Sohrab Hura, Youtube
Started by Nehal and Gavati, the Artist in (R)evolution Collective, a student collective at the California Institute of the Arts, was established with the aim of amplifying the socio-political reality of a particular community or region. In each of its sessions, the founder duo host varied presentations by an artist member belonging to the region being discussed. They believe in open and peaceful dialogue as a means to not only educate and inform, but also as a tool for resistance in our contemporary day and age. Each of their programs brings to the mainstream views of the artist presenting, which further leads to discussion and debate for a deeper understanding of the community.
Their latest offering, From Cinema, is an initiative to raise funds for the Migrant Workers Solidarity Network and their covid relief work. The fundraiser invites viewers to donate a minimum of rupees five hundred to watch a selection of films online, from 9th to 16th May. Talking about what motivated their endeavour, the duo adds, ‘With the COVID-19 outbreak in India, our hearts and minds are not able to focus on much else other than this humanitarian crisis, which stems from the unpreparedness and negligence of our government. The only solace we can find is in the hope that when we look back at this point of time in history, we will remember most strongly the love and strength strangers gave one another. To do our bit, which we know is a drop in the ocean, we wanted to fundraise for Migrant Workers Solidarity Network, to help them with their work on-ground. MWSN is a network of trade-union activists, social activists, students, workers and concerned citizens, who are active in different parts of India. In the second wave of COVID-19 in India, though there is no National Lockdown, states are undergoing partial lockdowns and amidst that, the labourers are left stranded once again. MWSN has been doing an extremely incredible job of providing migrant workers with urgent relief, transport and healthcare access. We believe that nobody should have to risk their lives to reach their homes safely.’
Their eclectic lineup includes works by artists like Sukanya Ghosh, Sohrab Hura, Amshu Chukki, Payal Kapadia and Sarah Naqvi, among other imminent names. Their process began with reaching out to the artists and friends who inspired them. Breaking it down further, Nehal and Gavati tell me, ‘In the process, the program developed into a selection of works, that each uniquely articulate the experience of bodies in the Indian landscape. From Cinema is a selection of films that comes together to acknowledge what India was and is, ensuring that we don’t forget it. Also, we hope that tomorrow, when we heal, we imagine something kinder and more equitable. Although this is our first fundraiser, all sessions programmed by Artists in (R)evolution Collective focus on amplifying art and cinema from underrepresented communities all over the world, through a network of friends, colleagues and fellow artists. All our regular programming is free and open to all.’
To donate to the fundraiser and for more details, follow the updates here.