Five Million Incidents | Conversation Act the Victim: Conversation with Friends

Act the Victim © Paribartana Mohanty © Paribartana Mohanty

Monday, 9 - Wednesday, 11 December 2019, 18:00-20:00

Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan New Delhi

By Paribartana Mohanty

The role of ‘friendships’ is critical and crucial when thinking about the larger formation of an artist’s fraternity. With young artists, when inter-dependencies are emotional, economical and intellectual, the idea of ‘labour’ cannot be separated from the idea of sharing and collaboration, disputes and fights. Artists’ friendships are the most dynamic and effective with respect to their influence on other artists. I am intrigued by the notion of artists' friendships, its non-linear, non-symbiotic nature and limits. This project has indirectly brought some of those friendships into a collaboration.

The last in a series of conversations for Five Million Incidents, this iteration invites some of my friends to discuss three major Odia novels, ଛମାଣ ଆଠ ଗୁଣ୍ (Six Acres and a Third, 1896) by Fakir Mohan Senapati, ମାଟିର ମଣିଷ (Born of the Soil, 1931) by Kalandicharan Panigrahi, and ମାଟିମଟାଳ (The Fertile Soil, 1964) by Gopinath Mohant.   
With a timespan of almost 70 years between them, sharing a common language (Odia) and a common location (Odisha), the three novels depict a tragedy, a conflict, and a resistance that evolves with each text slowly through time. It becomes apparent across the three novels that the relationship of the Zamindars and peasants is dialectically inseparable. However, a question that arises when reading them together is - why did it take so long to even imagine ‘resistance’ in fiction writing?

Anish Cherian is an artist and architect, and recipient of the ‘Legislative Assistant for Member of Parliament Fellowship’. Anish will introduce a visual/textual reference on each day for the duration of the conversation, attempting to find answers on “how to visualise the event and begin the resistance.”

Ashis Kumar Palei, a sculptor, is a graduate of College of Art, New Delhi.
Mohit Kant is a multidisciplinary artist and writer based in New Delhi. Kant makes drawings, sculptures, installations, photographs, performances, etc. His practice also includes poetry, scripts, and graphic narratives. Through his works he talks about subjects like human desire, psychological phenomena, and distant futures.

Subhashish P. is a documentary filmmaker and multimedia researcher. He is a Digital Identity Fellow at Yoti and Director at O Foundation. Subhashish will explore how the central characters in the novel Matira Manisha, (whether they are portrayed as protagonists or antagonists in the plot by the author), can be compared to the biological ecosystem and the shifting role of the "victim" in the novel.

Sabyasachi Pattanayak is a photographer, currently working as an art teacher in Odisha. He is going to depict three characters who take a neutral stance in a conflict situation in the novels.

Vidur Sethi delves into literary art, visuals and performance in his practice. His areas of research include the institutionalisation of childhood, language, queerness, interdisciplinary pedagogies and practices. In 'mothership of a whippersnapper,' Vidur will lay down provocations from Maitri Manisha (Born of the Soil) to extend an imagination of a whippersnapper's attempt at exploring the background of the novel. He will discuss Sabuja Yuga and youth in movements and crisis. Vidur will be in conversation with Lasya Kahli, Nitish Arora and Rajni Sethi through this process.

Spinner: Paribartana Mohanty is a storyteller works in visual arts.