International Art Curator’s Comments on Andhra Heritage

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Well known art curator Rajeev Sethi has now been roped in by AP Govt to contribute to empowering and promoting the cultural glory of Sunrise State Andhra Pradesh.

Sethi was all for the timeless glory of Andhra Pradesh and stated that the state is a rich repository of heritage. He mentioned that the present efforts of AP government are aimed at exploring ways of positioning the treasured heritage in the changing times.

“There is this strange paradox here in Andhra,” he said. “The State may be economically poor, but it has a very rich culture. When we talk about modernization, we must not forget there is a vast repository of heritage, and the sections associated with this legacy should be made stakeholders in the development of the new State.” Mr Sethi shared his valuable thoughts on Andhra while speaking to a leading newspaper daily.

Globally acclaimed art curator also attended the CRDA meetings in Vijayawada and later went on to explore Kondapalli, the village of traditional toy-makers. Sethi will also spend time at Machilipatnam to understand the living conditions of artists and craftsmen there.

Mr Sethi spoke about his observations so far with the situation in villages. He stressed on the transition of houses from ‘Kutcha’ to ‘Pucca’. He applauded the improved living conditions and the slowly dimishing traditional skills and overpowering machine made products that are flooding the Indian market.

“China is flooding our markets in the toy sector. We must help craftspeople create a brand, and efforts should be made to make consumers understand the difference between what is hand-made and what is machine-made,” he said.

Mr Sethi observed the need for serious development of the villages at par with the cities.

“When we talk about craftsmen, we are referring to millions of skilled workers. While we look at an urban area, we mustn’t forget that not all rural area people can be pushed to cities.”

“There is a need to raise awareness among people about the necessity to move from a ‘sunset’ scenario towards a ‘Sunrise’ State. It will give them a sense of identity and purpose…a sense of great pride.” he added.

The internationally acclaimed curator inferred that there is a plenty of scope for creative ideas like monuments, iconic getaways, cultural centres, museums and heritage parks.

He opined that people’s creative skills will have to provide scope for many options. “‘Make in Andhra’ should then become ‘Create in Andhra’…that is where the role of traditional knowledge system will grow” he was heard saying.

Addressing the fear of people about rich heritage of Amaravati getting buried under the rising Singapore model capital, Sethi assured that there will be no such damage.

“We are all participating, because there is also an interest to conserve the contemporary urbanism. Our effort is to make the people of Vijayawada spell out what it means to be Andhra. We cannot afford our future to dismiss the past as outdated,” he confirmed.



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