Is there an “idea” of India? Unity in diversity? A construct of contrasts and contradictions? A patchwork? Or a Speaking Tree with multiple voices?
Is it possible to define the idea of India?
(From the note by Gulammohammed Sheikh sent to artists as part of the invitation to participate in The Making of India)
Since it was formed in 1989, Sahmat has brought together diverse artists, performers, and writers on a common programme of resistance against attacks on freedom of artistic expression and dissent. Today, as the idea of India is being revamped into a singular, homogenised nation, severed from its composite and diverse heritage, ICF celebrates plurality and building of political solidarity of cultural expression.
In this ten-part series, the Indian Cultural Forum will showcase Sahmat’s work over the years — in visual, theatrical, musical or written form.
The Making of India (2004)
The Making of India marked both the completion of fifteen years of Sahmat’s activities and the collective’s ongoing celebration of India’s plural and secular cultural histories. Through the project Sahmat sought to actively engage artists in rethinking the country’s cultural and political histories in their practices.