new questions. multiple perspectives. different artists. weekly series.
ONE TAKE is an arts practice interview series where our artist community shares their perspectives on one question each month. Through these uncertain times and beyond, we thought we could continue the dialogue online.
Q3. How does your arts practice allow you to respond creatively to conflict/crisis around you?
“It allows me to wear a healthy shield and go out there to battle the conflict that has reached me. It’s more like draining yourself of all the things you feel. Dark/satire/gratitude. Creating that void inside you only to be filled back again with new feelings, no matter what they are. And the best moment for me to be able to do this is practising my art live on stage. That vulnerability is important.”
– Mohammad Muneem Nazir
Poet, Singer-Songwriter: Alif
“Over the last few years, India’s syncretism and composite culture have been under systematic assault. I have enjoyed using my photography to focus on the Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb that is so distinctive and unique to the subcontinent, especially through the architecture of various monuments and places of worship that attract people from a range of backgrounds. I have enjoyed using my camera to document history and explore the complicated questions around what is being valued, what is being carried forward, and what is new that is emerging through crises of personal and national identities. For instance, in the wake of recent strife in India, the artistic flourishing has been a beautiful illustration of the power of art from music to photography to graphic design in not only responding to conflict but also channelling ideas and a process of healing.”
– Aaran Patel,
Photographer, Educator, Writer
“Through my arts practice, I’ve learnt to acknowledge that every day is a struggle. The basic idea of standing is a struggle against gravity. Struggle involves conflicts that are created by us and for us. Every conflict evokes emotions. So, as a dancer and a movement artist, I use emotions to lead me into movement. My aim is not
to express my feeling but to feel the expression through my movement. When the entire being is committed to move in accordance with the emotion, creation automatically takes place.”
– Namaha Mazoomdar
Dancer, Choreographer & Theatre Artist
“I don’t know if this is something many people/artists experience but because of social media it’s so easy to get caught up in everyone else’s emotions, and narratives and lives – which are often just curated for social media and not even fully honest – rather than being in touch with yourself and your feelings. I think the most important thing art does for me in conflict and crisis is to help me get back in touch with how I feel. Being in touch and expressing myself, yeah – because I’m just so used to being a listener when it comes to crises around me because I know I’m not an expert in any of those fields so it’s good for me sometimes that I have an outlet where I’m allowed to be honest and critical but also emotional and a place for me to allow myself to speak and indulge my opinions a little – regardless of how popular or unpopular the opinion it is.”
– Ankur ‘Enkore’ Johar,
Songwriter, Rap & Hip-Hop Artist