A conversation between Madhusudhanan & T V Santhosh in the context of the book on Madhusudhanan published by The Guild Art Gallery.
Followed by screenings of films: History is a Silent Film (15min.) & Razor, Blood and Other Tales (7min.)
B Rajeevan, writer and critic, lays the groundwork and explores the history and contemporaneity of 'subaltern democracy'. He speaks about the rise of the subaltern as a force of resistance against the right-wing forces, and how it poses a challenge to the established narratives and meta-narratives of the 'liberal-left', especially in Dalit politics and thinking. Rajeevan distinguishes between the power of the ruled, and the ruling class as he situates and imagines subaltern democracy as a viable political alternative and force against the tendencies of Indian fascism.
Sunil P Ilayidom, writer and critic, examines how the commonalities of the nation-state and nationalism not only precede but informs and exerts ideas and sentiments of the 'nation'. He reveals how historical narratives, especially the ones that are taught in schools and thought of as a means to unify a 'national identity', have only helped in abetting selective histories, and to drown out local histories and specificities. He highlights the discrepancies in India's democratic values and how it led to accentuating contemporary social-and-cultural divides.
Philosopher, author and Dalit activist Sunny M Kapikkad analyses the condition of marginalised man through the concepts of space, justice and interventions. He exposes the fissures that appear when a people are denied space in society, and analyses through political, cultural and ethical lenses the friction between the imagination that encompasses all human history and the reality of space. Kapikad illustrates through experiences and insights gained through his public work how the Dalit movement may move forward and resist Indian fascism through moving beyond Gandhian and Marxian paths by employing Ambedkarite thought and the political possibilities of the constitution.
How did Kerala understand and deal with its encounter with modernity? What is the significance of this self-understanding for the evolution of Kerala society? How do we read the philosophical utterances, autobiographies, poetry and journalism through which this self-images are articulated and handled? What are these discursive events that reconstructed our relationship with traditions and engaged with issues of caste, gender and body.
This seminar discusses two recent texts on the self images of Kerala modernity: Guruchintana and Writing the First Person. The first day is dedicated to detailed discussion of these texts. On the second day, under title Aesthetics of Existence, we shall pursue some of the themes put forth by these texts – techniques of the self, style, life–writing – in the larger context of contemporary Kerala Studies.
Image courtesy: Kochi Biennale Foundation