Vol. 66 No. 2, December 2014, pp. 78-89
Over the past 20 years, through his organization World Comics, Sharad Sharma has been holding comics workshops, using them as a tool for bringing about social change in various states of India and South Asia. This essay chronicles the grassroots impact of comics journalism and highlights the socio-political bent that is a feature of Indian comics.
Vol. 67 No. 4, June-September 2016, pp. 32-41
While the craft and handloom development sector is an important player within the Indian economy, it has for the longest time not been given the attention and assistance it deserves. Surveying the work of policy makers and NGOs within this field, this article looks into the problems plaguing the industry and the solutions that may be sought within it. There is a focus on the social and aesthetic concerns that need to govern revivalist efforts in craft. The critical issues include—tradition vs innovation; the demand for better artisanal training and marketing; the rights of craftspeople vs the tastes of customers; pure design vs functionality. The work of Sewa in Lucknow and Banaskantha and Dastkar in Ranthambhore and Tezpur throw light on the way in which craft may be transformed into a platform for sustainable employment and income generation that empowers local communities and encourages national pride and growth.
Vol. 54 No. 2, December 2002, pp. 46-53
The Elphinstone College building was designed in the Gothic Revival style by Trubshaw. The construction was begun in the 1880s and the college moved to the building in 1888. Over the years the masonry fell victim to corrosion, and insensitively done repairs and additions caused further damage. From 2000 the PWD in consultation with experts brought in by the Kala Ghoda Association began to correct the maintenance practices and the KGA undertook the façade restoration project which began in 2002. The writer who is involved with the project, describes the work of restoring this magnificent façade.
Vol. 64 No. 3, March 2013, pp. 94-101
After 30 years of civil war and the resulting economic and physical hardship for the people of north and eastern Sri Lanka, recycling has been a necessity, not a choice. Currently recycled products, especially jewellery, have found market acceptance encouraging emerging craftspersons to become more professional and focused on the end product. The tourist market is responsive to buying gifts hand made in Sri Lanka with an environmental provenance.
Vol. 61 No. 4, June 2010, pp. 68-77
Chandralekha (1928 – 2006) was a rare artist who, in all her choreographic works, consistently explored areas of femininity, sexuality, and the erotic. Her aesthetic questioned the reduction of the body to merely something pretty or ornamental or decorative. Her last few productions focused on a complex idea of “femininity”. Her central premise remained, of the essential unity of the body and, within it, the indivisibility of sexuality, sensuality, and spirituality. It was with Angika (1985) that she had proclaimed the need for reintegrating diverse Indian physical traditions and exploring new directions for dance in India. Today, her body of work is the yardstick by which new and contemporary dance from India is being measured. In the excerpt from the last recorded conversation with her friend and collaborator Sadanand Menon, she speaks movingly about her ideas and concerns.
Vol. 69 No. 2, December 2017–March 2018, pp. 30–36
This essay focusses on the work of Devi Prasad at the Sevagram Ashram set up by Mahatma Gandhi at Wardha, Maharashtra. At the heart of this experiment was the notion of NaiTalim, an education system driven by the spirit of swavalamban (self-sufficiency) that would create a new postcolonial nation of free conscionable people. The pottery unit headed by Devi Prasad aimed to train local craftsmen and improve their technical skills in pot-making, helping them to create more marketable wares. His legacy was later kept alive by S.K. Mirmira, Kalindi Jena, Dashrath Patel and Haku Shah.
Vol. 59 No. 2, December 2007, pp. 24–39 [Also in India’s Popular Culture: Iconic Spaces and Fluid Images edited by Jyotindra Jain; Vol. 59 No. 2, December 2007; ISBN: 978-81-85026-817, pp. 60–75]
This essay examines the annual Republic Day Parade in New Delhi to show how the cultural mechanism of image mobilization – of symbols, icons, performances and spectacles – has been deployed by the state to gain ideological control and to strategically ensure integration of the diverse and separatist elements active in India before and after Independence. The cultural pageant, comprising tableaux and dances, was used to represent the nation’s unity in diversity. This visual identity propagated through print and electronic media, philately, tourism, and Festivals of India, became a powerful tool for imaging India’s specific cultural identity and for national integration of a culturally diverse society.
Vol. 47 No. 3, March 1996, pp. 36-57 [Also in Unseen Presence: The Buddha and Sanchi edited by Vidya Dehejia; Vol. 47 No. 3, March 1996; ISBN: 81-85026-32-7, pp. 36-57]
The average visitor to Sanchi is likely to be both delighted and overwhelmed by the wealth of carved legends and decorative sculptures on the toranas (gateways) of stupas 1 and 3. With panels offering the classic storytelling device of continuous narration through their reliefs, the architraves frame scenes that are strikingly vigorous, imbued with a joyful expression of involvement in all of life's activities. The theological aspect of the Buddhist message was rarely allowed to overshadow artistic creativity. Episodes from Jataka stories and lively portrayals of significant phases in the Buddha's life captivate ancient and modern viewers alike.
Vol. 40 No. 2, March 1987, pp. 57-75 [Also in Art and Architecture of Ancient Kashmir edited by Pratapaditya Pal; Vol. 40 No. 2, March 1989; ISBN: 81-85026-06-8, pp. 117-135]
The present evidence indicates that the Kashmiri influence was strongly felt in Western Tibetan sculpture during the 10th and 11th centuries, when dozens of Kashmiri artists were present in the region. A parallel development was also witnessed in the surviving murals in the monasteries of Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, and Western Tibet. Despite the decay and destruction of many murals, an impressive number has survived. A strong Kashmiri style is dominant in the late 10th and 11th centuries and a more recognizably Tibetan style emerging from the 13th century. By far the largest number has survived at Alchi and Tabo, and although the murals show some stylistic differences, there is no doubt that they are 2 different expressions of the same aesthetic vision and painting tradition. It is now generally recognized that these murals are of as great an interest for the history of Kashmiri painting as they are for Tibetan. The chance survival of some 11th-century examples of manuscripts from Western Tibet demonstrates that there was a tradition of illuminating manuscripts in the Kashmiri style.
Vol. 36 No. 3, June 1983, pp. 22-24
Jainism is one of the more ancient religions of India. This system of religious, philosophical, and ethical teachings derives its name from the Sanskrit name jina which signifies conqueror. Jainism was expounded by Mahavira more than 2500 years ago. Mahavira was born in 599 BCE in the region of Magadha and was a slightly older contemporary of the Buddha. The similarities between the two religions have led to much confusion, but by the late 19th century, Jainism was no longer regarded as an offshoot of Buddhism but as a religion in its own right. The Jains maintain that their religion is timeless and has been revealed again and again by countless teachers known as Tirthankaras - those who show the way to salvation. Although several schisms took place in the Jain community, the major and lasting of them has been the one that split it into Digambara and Shvetambara traditions.
Vol. 1 No. 1, October 1946, pp. 3-6
The importance of planning for future growth is highlighted, In Asia, particularly India, this calls for a change in the mindset of the intelligentsia, which is even more of a prerequisite than the achievement of independence. The aims of Marg-sponsored by the Modern Architectural Research Group -- towards this goal are brought out, and it is hoped that this new magazine of architecture and art would be a "pathway" (skt. Marg) to the development of a new society.