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Workers and Farmers: The Panorama of Resistance (Prelude)

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The second edition of Future Collaborations’ Workers and Farmers: The Panorama of Resistance, begins with this exhibition which serves as a prelude to a series of lectures, seminars, talks, performances, teach-ins, and exhibitions that will unfold in the course of a year. Drawing inspiration from Elvira Dyangani Ose’s concept of “project of projects” for the Biennale de Lubumbashi which used workshops, impromptu exhibitions and displays in public spaces, performances and gatherings to blur the boundaries between artistic practice and everyday experience, we aspire to make this edition more participatory and socially relevant. There are seven collaborators who are part of the current edition. We use art and curation as vectors to confront the collective silence and complacency towards the violation of human rights and civil liberties, oppression of the marginalized (religious minorities, women, Dalits, Adivasis, farmers, etc.), large-scale displacements, and the fear psychosis that is currently prevalent in India.

Through the works presented in this exhibition we endeavor to develop a blueprint that will help us engage with issues of political oppression and dispossession. In order to achieve our aim, we turn our attention to the idea of citizenship and its limitations. In the recent years through repeated acts of threats and violence against the minorities and the dispossessed, it is evident that citizenship has become precarious; i.e., it no longer provides the same kind of assurances as it had once did. Any criticism, especially against the majority or the government, or even a collective organization for rights, can place one’s life in danger. In particular, the workers and farmers movements that have taken place across the country, have met with brutal crackdown. Every form of resistance against displacement has also met with the same fate. In the narrative of development that has enchanted the nation there is no recognition of the violation of human rights that occur as a consequence of neo-liberal policies.

Through these projects we would attempt to unravel the ongoing domination of class relations to understand the political and social antagonisms. This will allow the emergence of radical perspectives in the times of rapid displacements, mass migrations of workers, and the violation of their rights.

Ankush Gupta
Anupam Saikia
Balagopalan Bethur
Birender Yadav
M.R. Vishnuprasad
Nikita Maheshwary

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