• Artists in Troubled Times: Past Present

    Sunil Shanbag

    February 4, 2020

    From October 30 to November 01, 2019, India Foundation for the Arts (IFA) in collaboration with Bangalore International Centre (BIC) organised Past Forward: Celebrating Critical Practices. Spread across disciplines such as photography, visual arts, theatre, video installation, film, gaming, graphic art, sound, music, dance and puppetry, this festival featured a diverse line-up of artists sharing their work through panel discussions, performances, film screenings, exhibitions and workshops. 

    In the opening keynote address to the festival, Sunil Shanbag shared the voices and thoughts of the artists struggling to understand the value of their work and the role it can play in the rapidly changing context of artistic practice in India. He talks about whether there are ideas we can borrow, threads we can pull, inspirations we can seek and strategies we can build on in the present moment, learning from our pasts — across time, geographies, cultures and contexts.  


    Sunil Shanbag is a theatre producer/director, television writer/producer and the co-founder and artistic director of Theatre Arpana and Tamaasha Theatre. Over the past 40 years, his work across various genres of theatre practice has been engaging with and presenting the complex nature of contemporary India covering themes such as class, caste, gender and other inequalities, on stage as well as in various alternative performance spaces. Shanbag received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2017.

    IFA would like to thank their philanthropy partners – Bangalore International Centre, Biocon Limited, C. Krishniah Chetty Group Of Jewellers, Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, RMZ Foundation, Sandeep and Gitanjali Maini Foundation, and Jaithirth (Jerry) Rao; and outreach partner – Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru, for supporting this festival.

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