The mighty Brahmaputra and its multi-hued canvas are the focus of an art festival here explores the source, history and imagination of the river through art installations, video installations, poetry, dance, music and conversations.
The third edition of ArtEast Festival, which began Thursday, is curated by Kishalay Bhattacharjee.
The highlight of the festival will be an illustrated talk Visions of Paradise in the Tsangpo-Brahmaputra Gorge by Ian Baker, hailed as one of the seven 'Explorers of the Millenium' by National Geographic.
The festival is a visual and historical journey from the river's source at Mansarovar in Tibet to Siang in Arunachal Pradesh, Brahmaputra in Assam, Jamuna, Padma and Meghna in Bangladesh, Bhattacharjee said.
The festival is also attempting to imagine a 'new commons' and start a conversation on Brahmaputra and Ganga.
Dancer Surjit N from Manipur is choreographing a piece for ArtEast on migration and displacement, National Geographic explorer and author Arati Kumar Rao is exhibiting her artwork and photographs along with filmmakers Parashar Baruah and Apal Singh's video installations.
Lalsawmliani Tochhawng has curated the history of exploration and discovery of the river through a fascinating inlay of maps, archival material and photographs in an exhibition, Brahmaputra: Red River Tales.
ArtEast is an initiative to raise pertinent questions through intersections in art, livelihood, social justice, climate change, communication, history - past and present, issues that have a far reaching impact on our everyday lives.
An underlying focus of the festival is on art, history, livelihood, migration, documentation and discussion. It began as an attempt to try present the Northeast region and its neighbourhood from a more contemporary perspective.
The project seeks to go beyond the region and the usual traditional dance/music extravaganza that has been the norm.
Launched in 2017 by National Foundation for India (NFI), Arteast is a fringe art festival presenting emerging and leading local and international artists in all genres of the performing and visual arts.
The festival highlight has always been the traditional tea-tasting sessions with Assam tea planter Dhurbajit Chaliha to highlight the river's tea story and will demonstrate how to brew the leaves for a perfect cup.
Presented by National Foundation for India (NFI), ArtEast is organised in collaboration with India International Centre (IIC) and supported by The Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF) and in partnership with New Imaginations, Jindal School of Journalism and Communication.
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