Gandhi PPNRCD

Gandhi! – PPNRCD


PPNRCD – stands for “Peaceful Protest – Nonviolent Resistance – Civil Disobedience”
curated for The Wake Up! Memorial by
Wilfried Agricola de Cologne

The curator's note

Gandhi! – PPNRCD
PPNRCD – stands for “Peaceful Protest – Nonviolent Resistance – Civil Disobedience”

In short, these three methods are representing the essence of Mahatma Gandhi’s fight for the independence of India from the British Empire (15 August 1947).
During the global conflicts, at his time this was most unusual to propagate nonviolence instead of violence and war which was more popular in the uprising nationalism worldwide.
But Gandhi was successful, however, he was paying a very high price – he was assassinated like his likeminded follower Martin Luther King, while propagating nonviolence and, Nelson Mandela whose nonviolence finally succeeded only after he was sitting for decades in prison.

More than 150 years ago – on 2 October 1869, Mahatma Gandhi was born, he was assassinated on 10 January 1948.

What can Gandhi’s methods tell us today?
They haven’t lost anything of their explosive force, think of the current movements of climate change, social equality etc, when “war” and enforcing conflicts are again an option. There is no politician on Earth who does not speak of war currently!

While Gandhi’s achievements are representing the historical roots for later nonviolent political and social movements, the project would like to spotlight incidents taking place after Gandhi’s death driven by the spirit of non-violence and humanity, think of Martin Luther King’s equal rights movement, the peaceful revolution of the German Re-unification or the liberation from the Apartheit in South Africa, for instance, or current movements of climate change, or all the daily situations when people overcome conflicts via nonviolence.

The Birla Academy of Art & Culture Kolkata is planning between 16 October – 22 November 2020– an exhibition on occasion of the 151st anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Invited to prepare a screening program of videos for the anniversary exhibition dealing with Gandhi’s maxims in a narrow or wider sense, Wilfried Agricola de Cologne initiated at The Wake Up! Memorial a new commemorative context, based on the new film collection, entitled; Gandhi – PPNRCD – Peaceful Protest – Nonviolent Resistance – Civic Disobedience, consisting of 30 artvideos, and selected 15 videos as a part of the exhibition context.

This screening program is realized in collaboration between The Birla Academy of Art and Culture Kolkata, Culture Monks India, The Best of Kolkata Campus and The Wake Up! Memorial, A Virtual Memorial Foundation, The New Museum of Networked Art and NewMediaFest2020 complemented and accompanied by the screening of the complete film collection @ ALPHABET at The New Museum of Networked Art online between 15 October and 31 December 2020 (end of NewMediaFest2020).

Birla Academy of Art and Culture Kolkata

Profile

Birla Academy of Art & Culture Kolkata

Who we are
The Birla Academy of Art & Culture was established in 1967 with the principal objective of fostering the growth of art and culture with emphasis on visual and performing arts. In this time, the Academy has established itself as a centre of cultural, artistic and educational activities.

History
It all started when Sri & Smt B.K. Birla; foremost industrialists of India, had started collecting rare and valuable treasures of art out of their profound love for art & beauty. With a sizeable collection in place, it was decided that such veritable treasure troves of history should be accessible to all. A public Charitable Trust was created in 1962 with a view to collecting, preserving and exhibiting art objects for the public.

For accommodating the proposed institute, the present eleven storied building was completed in 1966 and it was formally inaugurated under the name “Birla Academy of Art & Culture” by Karan Singh in 1967. It is now one of the premier museums and art galleries of the country. It consists of spacious display-halls, necessary for full-fledged cultural centre of modern importance.

Facilities & Activities
The main activities of the Academy consist of :

Collecting, preserving and displaying museum objects
Hosting exhibitions of Indian and International Art objects
Organizing cultural performances
Educational programmes of varied nature

The museum of the Academy has a distinct character of its own and depicts the growth and development of Indian art from 1st century, B.C. till now. The museum houses works by many celebrated contemporary Indian artists as well as few fine specimens of modern western art. The Garden adjacent to the Academy is often used for open air expositions, art-fairs and cultural performances.

In order to unearth hidden and young talent, the Academy organizes All India Annual Exhibitions, one man shows, Group shows and Kala melas at regular intervals. In the field of performing arts, a cultural performance is organized once in a month.

The Academy is not only concerned about India’s glorious artistic past. It also promotes artistic activities and to help artists, the Academy lets out its 2nd and 4th floor Galleries including Auditorium to artists, art societies and cultural groups at a very nominal rent.

The Academy also holds Educational programmes, lectures, seminars, film shows, workshops and art appreciation classes. The Academy maintains an impressive library with a fine and eclectic collection of art books, journals and periodicals for public use.

Achievements & Successes

A distinctive achievement of the Academy has been the presentation of quite a few international exhibitions; of which the most memorable is the show of the outstanding French sculptor Rodin; a landmark exhibition for Calcutta. Other notable exhibits included the works of Henry Moore and the Graphics of Picasso. It has also hosted Russian festival shows, German Expressionist’s graphics, French designs and also American, Chinese and British porcelains.

With the active co-operation of Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the U.S.I.S. legendary American plays such as “Once upon a Mattress” and “Driving Miss Daisy” had been organized for the enjoyment of the people.

On an ending note, the Academy has also been enriched during the last 50 years by the continuous inflow of countless treasures.

presents

SPEAKING GANDHI : Visual journeys of Gandhi@150 & beyond

an assemblage of cross-generational art and archival articulations
Dedicated to the Centenaries of Gandhi’s call for Non Co-operation movement and the Rowlatt Satygraha and Jallianwala Bagh massacre
16 October – 22 November 2020

Curated by Parnap Mukherjee

The curator's note

from FRIDAY- OCTOBER 16, 2020 (6:30 p.m onwards) to November 22, 2020

Exhibition will be open till November 22 (SUNDAY), 2020
3:00 p.m. – 8:00p.m. (closed on Mondays and from October 22 to 25, 30, 2020 and Diwali)

CURATOR’S NOTE:

“I’m no prophet. My job is making windows where there were once walls.”― Michel Foucault

How do we imagine Gandhi@150 in terms of visual art?

Is it the materiality of the medium? Is it the subject? Is it the spirit of Gandhiji’s words? Is it photo-montage of Gandhi or Gandhian moments in our history of the world? Is it studying him through the works of contemporaries? Is it a visual tribute? Is it folk art and it’s evolution? Is it artistic understanding of satyagraha? Is it an archival spread of documents and manuscripts?

All these and more.

What is Swaraj?

Let’s examine an extract from Gandhiji’s Hind Swaraj:

Swaraj is when we learn to rule ourselves. It is therefore, in the palm of our hands. Do not consider this Swaraj to be just a dream. There is no idea of sitting still. The Swaraj which I wish to picture is that, after we have once realized it, we will endeavour to the end of our life-time to persuade others to act likewise. This Swaraj needs to be experienced, by each one of himself. One drowning man will never save another. Slave ourselves, it might be mere pretension to think, of saving others….

An exhibition concerning Gandhian articulations on visual art cannot be an exhibition either on Gandhi or on artists who lived during his time and were deeply influenced by hid political philosophy. Or for that matter merely exhibiting folk art.

Such an exhibition must operate as a complex act of viewing and experiencing. Beyond the dialectics of Nandalal Bose, Mukul Dey, Asit Haldar, E Venkatappa, Vinayak Masoji, Upendra Maharishi; Jo Davison, Clara Sherido, Felix Topolsky, Philip Jackson, Eduardo Kobra; S.H Raza, M. F Husain, Atul Dodiya, Jitesh Kallat, G.R Iranna and contemporaries; the pioneering works and layouts of Lucknow, Faizpur and Haripura Congress; timeless Gandhi photographs by Jagan Mehta, Kanu Gandhi, Margaret Bourke White, Walter Bosshard, Henri Cartier Bresson and Kulwant Roy; all of which and more are important artistic articulations and interventions ….a fresh juxtaposition is required with all that are mentioned above and more. Hence a look at Gandhi ‘s dialectics, praxis and dilemma, standing today will be a constant shifting gaze and a hard long stare at the same time.

The exhibition includes five distinct treatments. The archival documents of Shri G.D. Birla which illuminates different aspects of his relationship with Gandhi, a draft of Tagore’s landmark letter in his refusal to continue with the decoration of knighthood in the wake of Jallianwala Bagh massacre and some important literature on Gandhi.

Secondly, the BAAC collection which is a mix of diverse voices including A.H. Muller, Nandalal Bose, George Keyt, Abdul Rehman Chughtai, Walter Langhammer, Raja Ravi Verma, Elizabeth Brunner, Sass Brunner, Kshitindranth Majumder, Ramkinker Baij, S. Chavda, M.V Dhurandhar, Amina Kar, Isha Mahammad, Somnath Hore, Bikash Bhattacharjee, Antonio and Angela Trinidade, Asit Halder, G, R Santosh, B. Prabha, R. K. Chandrajit Singh, V. A Mali, Prabhash Sen, Piraji Sagara, A. Ramachandran, Sudhir
Patwardhan, K. Babu Namboodiri, Jiwan Singh, Julien Segard, Vivan Sundaram and Shailesh Bandopadhyay. These are carefully chosen voices from the collection and each of their work reflects the idea of bodies and people in socio-political dilemma, depiction of oral history through the medium, mythologies and rituals interwoven in our lives and the ideas of utopia and dystopia that often overlaps to warn us that there is always an invisible violence in our daily lives.

Thirdly, there are contemporary fresh aticulations for the exhibition: In the frames of Hiran Mitra’s march of the shadows in the sets of the play: The Plea; Ranjan Kaul’s paintings of figures and spaces or Baishampayan Saha’s fragmented photo-collage reiterates the dictum of Gandhi-Martin Luther King Jr-Mandela’s idea of reconciliation. There are exciting Gandhian interpretations by works executed by including Sunil Mody and Ranjit Kumar, Sanjeev Khandekar’s framing of the images talk about the debate between the internal schism versus liberation of self and Masood Hussain’s six canvases is a nuanced look at Bapu set in a contemporary time frame with an universal visual subtext.

Fourth aspect is a set of folk artists and their take on the art from. Putli Ganju from Sohrai art, Ranjan Paswan and his black and white treatments in Madhubani and Durgabai Vyom and her distinctive style within the ambit Gond Art. The fifth and the last aspect is a set of WOW selection of curated international video spread helmed by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne.

It is the violence and the non-violent oscillation of the reference points of the images that becomes both a duality/paradox/metaphor and an oxymoron at the same time. The images challenge the status quo. Looks at newness of hope. Looks at re-generation of spirit. Manufacturing an idea of protest which cannot kill love.

Our visual journey talks about the people’s idea of oneness..that inherent spirit of our times. It talks about digging deep into our roots/routes. The values that Bapu held so dear.
Mukherjee. P

The Film Collection
list of videos

1

Brancha Gautier (France) – Soldiers of Peace, 2020, 3:58
Marek Wasilewski (Poland) – Clarifications, 2020, 6:15
Wilfried Agricola de Cologne (Germany) – oaktown, 2020, 17:00
Vito Alfarano (Italy) – I Have A Dream, 2019, 11:30
Claudia Strohm (Germany) – The Woman, 2015, 9:08
Delphinus inspirations (USA) – Insurrectionists at Heart, 2020, 3:00
Kenji Kojima (Japan) – Gandhi Walks, 2020, 5:00
Yiotis Vrantzas (Greece) – Phone Call from Cairo, 2012, 5:00
Omar Robert Hamilton (Egypt) – The People Demand the Fall of the Regime, 2011, 4:00
Oliver Ressler (Austria) – We Are The Limits, 2019, 10:36
Dimitris Argyriou (Greece) – 5 Minutes Silence, 2018, 10:52
Ausin Sainz (Spain) – Peaceful Protest, 2020, 5:12
Sira & Laura Cabrera Díaz (Spain) – Revolutio, 2014, 6:20
Shahar Marcus (Israel – Seeds, 2012, 5:08
Fran Orallo (Spain) – Nuclear Pigeon, 2020, 1:00

Details

Brancha Gautier (France) – Soldiers of Peace, 2020, 3:58
biography
Mahatma Gandhi not only brought peace and human rights to India but his impact on the whole world is felt even today, 150 years later, after his greatness joined us on this planet. Gandhi proved that one man has the power to take on an empire, using ethics, intelligence and the invisible force of love.
Let us celebrate the Mahatma Gandhi by also becoming Soldiers of Peace, making this planet a better place to live by simply continuing to practice his principles – Peaceful Protest – Nonviolent Resistance and Civil Disobedience

Marek Wasilewski (Poland) – Clarifications, 2020, 6:15
biography
„Fear is a poor advisor, but it causes many things to appear that one pretended not to see“. – writes Giorgio Agamben in his short essay “Clarifications” that responds to the controversies around his opinions about social consequences of coronavirus in Italy. This video work quotes some sentences from this essay combined with images from China, Russia, Poland, Germany and other countries depicting how the state controls social unrest and protests arising with the spread of pandemia. Italian philosopher warns us of the political and ethical consequences of the epidemic.

Wilfried Agricola de Cologne (Germany) – oaktown, 2020, 17:00
biography
2018 – Via non-violent protest the peaceful occupation of the Hambach Forest (near Cologne) by climate activists and their violent eviction by state security forces in September 2018.
The music by Marvin Gaye, soul singer of the sixties correspond with the questions behind the images.

Claudia Strohm (Germany) – The Woman, 2015, 9:08
biography
In 2015 I took part in The Performance Festival KinAct#1 in Kinshasa, DR of the Congo. I decided to sew a robe with cloth from Germany and the DR of the Congo. I bought cloth on a market in Kinshasa as well and I sew the robe with a hand machine from the tailor´s I lived at. On the streets of Kinshasa ́s suburb, Masina, there was a lot of rubbish and there was no place to dispose it. But everybody has the right to live in a clean area. So I decided to wash the rubbish, I found in the streets and return it in the same place. I don ‘t want to take away anything.

Kenji Kojima (Japan) – Gandhi Walks, 2020, 5:00

Kenji Kojima


Techno Synesthesia: Gandhi Walks, 2020, 05:00
The video repeats a short part of the Gandhi walking film that is a symbol of “Peaceful Protest”, “Nonviolent Resistance” and “Civil Disobedience”. This is not only the messages but the artwork of human senses and culture. The original film does not have sounds, but the artist created piano music from visual data of the video by the computer algorithm. The data was converted to ASCII characters and symbols. Hindi’s voice Lekha read them. The data collection points were connected to a drawing. Finally, the data collection times were added to the drawing points for the 3D wireframe and revolved.

Yiotis Vrantzas (Greece) – Phone Call from Cairo, 2012, 5:00
biographyVrantzas
“Phone Call from Cairo”, 2012, 4:55
“Phone Call from Cairo” is made by material shot in Cairo one year before the Tahrir rebellion using a small photo camera. Although the situation in Egypt did not seem to be good, my friend used to believe that the Egyptian people was far from revolting. After two years I had to make this phone call to my friend and face the challenge to compose my pictures from Cairo.

Omar Robert Hamilton (Egypt) – The People Demand the Fall of the Regime, 2011, 4:00

Omar Robert Hamilton (Egypt)


Agitprop film calling people to the streets for the first anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution

Oliver Ressler (Austria) – We Are The Limits, 2019, 10:36
biography
Everything’s coming together while everything’s falling apart: Limity jsme my
This film leads us directly into the blockade of Bílina coal mine in Northern Bohemia in the Czech Republic. In June 2018, climate activists entered the mine in an attempt to stop all activity there and to insist on the need to shut down climate-destructive mining operations. The blockade followed an action consensus that rejected property damage and sought to avoid direct confrontation with the police. Nonetheless, 280 of approximately 400 activists taking part were detained. The camera follows a group of activists awaiting deportation inside a police kettle, against the backdrop of a landscape defaced by lignite strip-mining. While the screen shows images filmed from inside a prisoner transport vehicle, we hear the voice of a semi-fictional character, reflecting on mass civil disobedience.

Dimitris Argyriou (Greece) – 5 Minutes Silence, 2018, 10:52
biography
5 Minutes Silence for Yazidis’ grief.

Ausin Sainz (Spain) – Peaceful Protest, 2020, 5:12
biography
In democratic societies we are used to peaceful protests. They are only attended when the media broadcast them. The powerful do not wish to have a bad name.
In Spain democracy is relatively recent. During the Franco dictatorial regime all kinds of barbarities were carried out. They were silenced by the regime itself and
the countries that supported it. Currently there is still a worrying social and political sector that denies that reality. They idealize it and prevent those affected from being honored.

Sira & Laura Cabrera Díaz (Spain) – Revolutio, 2014, 6:20
biography
About the “15 M Movement” in Madrid, Spain, 2011. The word revolution comes from the Latin “revolutio” and its first meaning is “Action and effect of stir or stir”. The video is about
how the economic crisis impacts on a social and individual level. It is a documentary about this social movement of peaceful protest, mixed with two symbolic individual actions. The
“Podemos” political party later emerged from the “15M Movement”, which has been part of the Spanish democratic government since January 2020.

Shahar Marcus (Israel – Seeds, 2012, 5:08
biography
The video work “seeds” deals with mines that are still buried in the ground after the war was over. From a beautiful top-shot the camera follows three professional mine-removers. They move slowly in meditative movement in a no men’s land desert. They look for mines, find some and remove them. This act leaves a visible trail which the artist, dressed as a pioneer, follows, while sowing seeds, from a small bag (refers to Millet famous painting) on the same track the mines were removed from. The sowing as a healing gesture suggests a new hope to come.

Fran Orallo (Spain) – Nuclear Pigeon, 2020, 1:00
biography
This work shows images of the detonation of a nuclear bomb in contrast to the international peace symbol, the white dove. The video aims to generate a paradox, showing a contradiction that tells us about the symbols and their representation.

2

Daniela Lucato (Italy) – My Name Is Sami, 2020, 3:49
Bankleer (Germany) – minority in majority , 2011, 4.30 min
Kuesti Fraun (Austria) – Tolerance, 2014, 1:00
Eda Emirdag (Turkey) – Last Dance, 2016, 1:56
Guilherme Bergamini (Brazil) – Plenitude, 2020, 5:00
Elisbeth Ross (Mexico) – MEMORY IN THE CITY, 2008, 4’34
Wilfried Agricola de Cologne (Germany) – Soulpower, 2020, 15:00
William Peña Vega (Colombia) – Control, 2013, 3:45
Kaiser Nahas (Syria) – A Protest against internet Censorship in Turkey, 2014, 4:26
Daniel Djamo (Romania) – Untitled: Syria, 2011, 5:58
Ivar Veermae (Estonia) – Warm Up, 2010, 2:24
Hande Zerkin (Turkey) – Democracy, 2014, 2:34
Silvia De Gennaro (Italy) – The days of rage, 2011, 03:00
Wilfried Agricola de Cologne (Germany) – Never Wake Up, 2016/2001, 3:35

Details

Daniela Lucato (Italy) – My Name Is Sami, 2020, 3:49
biography
During the COVID-19 pandemic Sami apparently calls a friend to tell her a tragic episode.

Bankleer (Germany) – minority in majority , 2011, 4.30
biography
The song of the music video “Minority in Majority” deals with the community awakening of the Roma community from the Predlice district in Usti nad Laben, which is left entirely up to the state to decay. The dilapidated building facades are an expression of poverty and lack of prospects. Life there is shaped by exclusion and the associated ghettoization of the Roma population. “Minority in majority” opposes a widespread culture of corruption and apathy against the common departure from these living conditions

Kuesti Fraun (Austria) – Tolerance, 2014, 1:00
biography
although being an elastic term tolerance still has its natural limits

Eda Emirdag (Turkey) – Last Dance, 2016, 1:56
biography
in memory of people who died while fleeing the war Syria”
Collabration project – Syrian dance artist Ghaith Saleh and Turkish visual artist Eda Emirdağ

Guilherme Bergamini (Brazil) – Plenitude, 2020, 5:00
biography
Based on a poem of Alphonsus de Guimaraens and The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1.

Elisbeth Ross (Mexico) – MEMORY IN THE CITY, 2008, 4’34

Wilfried Agricola de Cologne (Germany) – Soulpower, 2020, 15:00
biography
Images and Music refer to the soul of the sixties (20th century) – Agricola de Cologne grew up in consciousness of the human rights movement of Martin Luther King – the Black lives Matter movement today, and the black music of the sixties.

William Peña Vega (Colombia) – Control, 2013, 3:45
biography
CONTROL is a question: is human being violent per nature? Nature of human being is manipulated by the Power.
CONTROL shows a day in the life of a man hired to create chaos

Kaiser Nahhas (Syria) – A Protest against internet Censorship in Turkey, 2014, 4:26
biography
A protest against the censorship laws issued by the Turkish government; which would allow the government to block access to certain websites and track down people’s activity on the internet.
This was the second protest regarding this matter, and the protesters failed to protest in Taksim square because the police surrounded it, so they started the protest from Istiklal Street.
The protest didn’t last more than 4 minutes and then it was clashes with police in the allies and streets for two hours.
I shot this video without having a gas mask and I faded out at one point but some protesters helped me regain consciousness.

Daniel Djamo (Romania) – Untitled: Syria, 2011, 5:58
biography
This video presents a protest from September 10th, 2011 made by the free Syrians that live in London, as a response to the state of affairs in their homeland.

Ivar Veermae (Estonia) – Warm Up, 2010, 2:24
biography
I shot this video on the 1st of may in Berlin and it shows antifascist-minded youth who are planning to interfere in a neonazi demonstration without knowing where it is held.
What I am trying to show here is that antifascist movement is mostly comprised of young people who just want to do something without having clear political agenda behind it.
Alternatively, it can be seen as a temporary breakout from the individualized and normalized everyday life created by modern capitalism.

Hande Zerkin (Turkey) – Democracy, 2014, 2:34
biography
This video is about democracy and its return. It says that democracy has equality.

Silvia De Gennaro (Italy) – The days of rage, 2011, 03:00
biography
About the recent civil unrest in northern Africa and internet-driven uprisings against regimes in general. Animation mixed with footage from Al Jazeera

Wilfried Agricola de Cologne (Germany) – Never Wake Up, 2016/2001, 3:35
biography
The “anti-war” moving image is based on Agricola de Cologne’s lyrics and musical composition “Never Wake Up” referring to the netart piece of the same name, he created 2001.
Subject: Loss of identity: Soldiers become distorted, veterans of war are not able to be reintegrated in society.

The poem/movie uses some fundamental images:
The soldier = metaphor for the human individual
War = metaphor for life, respectively the fights of all day life
Veteran of War = the human being who can not get rid of the Shadows of the Past.

The used footage is demonstrating the senselessness of war.
It is a plea for humanity, the question: who is the victim – is an ambiguous one.

Starting on 16 October 2020, the complete film collection will be screened at ALPHABET – CINEMA L – running until 31 December 2020.

After 31 December 2020, both programs presented on ALPHABET will be posted on this page.