Pride Month holds immense significance in the Indian context as it serves as a platform for raising awareness, advocating for LGBTQ+ rights, and fostering inclusivity and acceptance. One ongoing event that exemplifies the importance of Pride Month in India is “Learn Togetherness III”, an exhibition curated by renowned interdisciplinary artist Sujoy Prosad Chatterjee, currently taking place at the Kolkata Centre for Creativity (KCC) on the 4th floor.
“Learn Togetherness III” celebrates the power of art and cultural reflections within the LGBTQ+ community and its allies in India. The exhibition features the work of 16 selected visual artists who responded to the theme of “What is in our Gait? The Performative & Queer” through the LT III Open Call. Works of promising artists such as Anup Let, Archan Mukherjee, Pallavi Aseri, Prasenjit Chandra, Susana Dutta (Sahitya), Subhanil Roy, Suchandra Das, Rudra Kishore Mandal, Indrani Banerjee, Sebabrato Mandal, Deepak Dhiman, Adhidarshan T, Sawan Taank, Jugal Kumar, Lakshya Bhargav, and Avril Stormy Unger are being showcased in the exhibition. LT III would also feature performances by the following performing/performance artists on 1st July: Pragna Das (Kathak Dancer), Radhapriya Gupta/ Noni Mouse (Experimental Music), Naaz B (Drag artist), Zameer Kamble (Group Theatre Performance) and Aritrika Mitra (Guitarist), Sneha Das (Movement Artist), Anup Let (Visual and Performance Artist), and Santoshpur Anuchintan (Theatre performance) on 2nd July.
The exhibition’s inauguration took place on the 24th of June, where the selected visual artists’ works were unveiled. The opening event featured a captivating performance titled “হাত দেবেন না , pls” by Sangram Mukhopadhyay.
The performance allowed attendees to immerse themselves in the artistic expression of queer experiences. Following the performance, a stimulating panel discussion titled “Why do we need the boxes?” was moderated by Sujoy Prosad Chatterjee. The panel included Adman Kanchan Datta, activist Bappaditya Mukhopadhyay, scholar and poet Abhirup Mukhopadhyay, and actor Solanki Roy, who engaged in a thought-provoking conversation about the societal constructs and labels that hinder personal freedom and expression.
As of today, on the 28th of June 2023, “Learn Togetherness III” continues to captivate audiences with its diverse range of events and performances. The exhibition includes film screenings, discussions, talks, and selected performances that explore the theme of “What is in our Gait? The Performative & Queer.”
On the evening of the 28th of June, attendees will have the opportunity to attend a film screening of “HOME” by Sujoy Prosad Chatterjee from 6:30 PM to 7:00 PM. Following the screening, there will be a compelling conversation between the director and actor Joy Sengupta, delving into the intricacies of the film. To further enrich the experience, Sujoy Prosad Chatterjee and Joy Sengupta will also engage in a poetry reading session, infusing the event with artistic expression and emotional resonance.
The exhibition will continue until the 5th of July, 2023, providing ample time for visitors to immerse themselves in the thought-provoking artwork and engage in the various events and performances. “Learn Togetherness III” not only celebrates the diversity and creativity of the LGBTQ+ community but also acts as a catalyst for dialogue, understanding, and social change.
In conclusion, as we mark the 28th of June, Pride Month in India holds great importance in promoting inclusivity, acceptance, and equality. “Learn Togetherness III,” curated by Sujoy Prosad Chatterjee, serves as a testament to the power of art in advocating for LGBTQ+ rights and creating a more inclusive society. By embracing diverse perspectives and artistic expressions, we can continue to challenge societal norms and foster a more accepting and equal world for all.
*Feature image: A snippet from the display of Lakshya Bhargava’s artwork Where Did It Go (2023)