The Women Development Cell of Lady Shri Ram College for Women(LSR) organized an interactive session with Dr. Masum Momaya, a museum curator at the Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C. on 28th October in the Upper Seminar Room. The topic of discussion was,” Indian Women in America through the Eyes of Artists”.
Her session started with a small presentation on how Indians are perceived in America. She carefully emphasised that there are many things for which India is known for in America, be it in the field of art, culture or anything else. She then led the discussion to the core of the talk which was Indian artists in America. She critically emphasised on the various aspects which the Indian artists touched upon, ranging from materiality to cultural elements to Indian spices and many more. She showed great works of different artists who showcased a different face of India through their art. Some of them being Annu P. Matthew whose art work depicted race and identity, Sejal Patel who brought out the issue of gender and sexuality.
The entire session was an engaging one where the audience asked meaningful questions.
A rather interesting question was on what happens to the identity of Indians once they start staying abroad. Do they blend in or retain their identity or furthermore, do they adopt the culture of that particular country.
Momaya answered this question with a gleaming hope for the future saying, “The identity of America has itself changed. Diwali is celebrated in U.S colleges by everyone, be it Indians or Americans.” She also said that the factors on which the identity issue depends is geography, generation and many other such factors.
She made the audience think in a very different perspective and the well-organised event was a hit overall. Mugdha, a student of History department and one of the audience members, said,” The entire talk was very enlightening and the different parameter on which India is perceived abroad has changed with time, which is very encouraging.”
Picture Credits: Jhanvi Tripathi
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