Welcome to the Kalakar Qasbah exhibition. Let us take you on a journey which, thirty children and three teachers from Dolphin International School Pulwama and three artists from Delhi and a documenter from Srinagar took.
A journey into the unknown. Armed with paints, brushes, puppets, newspaper, tape, stories and the internet they met every week to create paintings full of colour and feeling, sculptures made of newspapers, puppets full of life. With each artwork, stories full of metaphors and symbols came into being.
These stories have become the five video art projects you will see here, namely The land of colours, which is a gallery of paintings, the Land of equality, a story painted on a wall, Two sisters, a paper theater film, The lonely boy, a peep show and The Prince of Egypt, another paper theater film. You can watch the videos in any order. You will however need a few things for this journey. A comfortable place to sit, your imagination and just a bit of concentration as what you see is layered and what you hear is nuanced. Are you ready? Let’s begin!
The Land of Colours
The journey through the land of colours is an allegorical journey through many stages of our life’s. The butterfly is a symbol of transformation that travels through these various stages. It is a journey of transportation and transformation. The paintings reflect this journey of change in mindscapes and a change of life’s various stages through its various moods.
Search for Equality
(video to follow)
This is a story which is a scroll wall painting spread across three walls of the Dolphin International School. As you climb the stairs to the third floor of the school you would encounter this pink wall mural that tells the story of a princess whose father disinherits her only because she is a girl. Instead he coronates his nephew. To know more about the struggles of the princess and her encounters with magic click below.
A performance built entirely with paper cut outs and paper sets built by the team, performed and shot by the group, takes the viewer into the world of paper magic!
The Lonely Boy
This is a story on display as a wall mural in the Makers lab of the Dolphin School. The mural is a lot like the view from the window of fields of mustard, trees and snow capped hills in the distance. Embedded in the mural are six boxes, each a peep show, a glimpse from the story of the boy.
The Prince of Egypt
(Video to follow)
Another paper theater piece with multiple sets and characters that takes the viewer on an arduous journey along with a betrayed prince.
The Kalakar Qasbah team
After months of meeting online the group met in March and April to work together and bring all the artwork, stories, skills and ideas into one giant exhibition for the school and the parents. The symbol of the project was a butterfly, a giant puppet built with wood and mounted on the highest ceiling of the school, a constant reminder that the arts can be the beginning of a journey of self discovery, transformation, sharing and community building.