“You did Bhimayana, the book on Ambedkar’s life. Will you work with me and help me tell my life? Of course, I’m not famous like Ambedkar and my book may not sell as much. But I do want to tell my story and that of my community. I’ll make the art, you make up the words. I will show, you tell.”
On 30th April, the Khoj International Artists’ Association in Khirki saw an unusual art installation: it was the latter half of a cycle, rotating, powered by some mythical energy, suspended mid-air. The occasion was the launch of Finding My Way, Gond artist Venkat Raman Singh Shyam’s wonderful book that transports the reader to the forests of central India, to a people who we rarely hear about.
Along with S. Anand, who provides the words for the book, Venkat took his audience through his life, recounting the times he had to drive a cycle-rickshaw in Delhi to survive [and hence, the installation]. Noted journalist Ravish Kumar was in conversation with them; he called the book an ‘outstanding work of art‘ in his review.
Click below to go through an evening of conversations around art, culture, India’s indigenous people, and the folk traditions we have lost:
Finding My Way is available at all leading bookstores and online. To buy it, click here.