Serendipity Arts Festival in Goa opened the banned exhibits for public viewing on Sunday, the last day of the event after facing criticism from civil society.
On Wednesday, two art installations involving Assamese Miyah poetry and a public graffiti, both of which bore oblique references to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), were blocked for viewing during the festival. “I am happy that all the works are available for viewers on the last day,” said contemporary artist Sudarshan Shetty.
One of the exhibits involved electronic broadcasting of Miyah poetry, by Dalit and some other poets from the Northeast, which articulates anxieties faced by the Muslim community in the region, which is most affected by protests against the CAA and the NRC, was put off limits on the fourth day of the festival.
The other exhibit, barred for visitors at the festival, involved innovative showcasing of ink ‘upcycled’ from carbon from air-pollution emissions and enables carbon-negative printing and production.
As part of the immersive experience offered by the curator, visitors could scribble graffitis of their choice with the help of pens loaded with the unique black ink on empty canvases.
Shetty, in a statement, had expressed pain and bemoaned the lack of freedom in art spaces.
Organisers of the festival, who have refrained from commenting on the controversy, were not available for comment.