Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam IV
Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (VK) is an annual conference at KCC that explores our changing relationship to the environment.
The Fourth Edition of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (VK IV) explores the aspirations in SDG 2030 (Goal 17) Global Partnerships and its role and importance in the arts. How can arts organisations and a diverse range of practitioners achieve more towards shared goals and aspirations?
SDG 17 proposes that when we work together towards the same goals, we have the power to achieve more. Sharing Goals means sharing a vision. In exploring these concepts, KCC is also attempting to create a longer term impact from the annual gathering. In doing so, KCC is keen to build new networks of solidarity. We understand ‘solidarity’ is an awareness (and promise) of shared interests, objectives, standards, and sympathies which hopefully creates a sense of unity between socio-economic groups and classes. Yet it also infers to the ties in a society that bind people together as one - without attempting to homogenize. Solidarity can therefore only be achieved through fostering unity, cooperation and community, notions all contained within the idea and philosophical interpretations of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.
Solidarity in a Time of Crises
In a moment of increasing awareness about the uncertainty, yet urgency, of accelerated resource depletion, the pandemic and its economic consequences – how do we overcome our feelings of helplessness and insufficient progress?
We believe that the 2030 17 SDG’s (17 Goals) can only be realized with strong partnerships and cooperation across socio-economic groups.
A successful development agenda requires inclusive collaboration — at the global, regional, national and local levels — rather than a top down approach. Therefore these partnerships should be built upon ethical principles and shared values, and an agenda placing people and the planet at the center.
Partnerships between private and public bodies and communities bring our goals closer to achievement. To this end (and beginning) VK IV has invited a diverse range of partner organisations and interdisciplinary practitioners from a range of disciplines and backgrounds to explore these concepts and to initiate new modes of engagement and action.
Gurudas has published four books, several research papers, monographs, and articles. His Marathi Book "Anartha Shashtra" has been awarded the Maharashtra State Literature "C.D.Deshmukh award for economic literature". He is currently working on three river restoration projects in Maharashtra and is part of an expert group studying the landslides and floods in the Konkan region. He has worked on several United Nations projects. Gurudas is on the board of Ecological Society, Pune, and heads the Symbiosis Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability, at the Symbiosis International University, Pune. See gurudas-n.com
Parmesh Shahani (pronouns: he/him) is an author, culture curator, and LGBTQIA inclusion advocate. Most recently he founded and ran the Godrej India Culture Lab in Mumbai (www.indiaculturelab.org) between 2011-21. He has been a TED Senior Fellow, a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and a Yale World Fellow, and is presently a board member of KHOJ and Breakthrough India. Parmesh's recent book Queeristan: LGBTQ Inclusion in Corporate India was released in September 2020 (Westland Publications) and won the CK Prahalad award for Best Business Book of 2021, and his first book Gay Bombay: Globalization, Love and (Be)Longing in Contemporary India (Sage Publications) was released in 2008 and re-published in June 2020 as an updated edition. See parmesh.net
The frustrations they faced over a period of 15 years while working with robotic technologies, created the basis of project PATHOS: a set of tools developed to realize a high degree of nuance in robotic animation and responsive behaviors, radically accessible through a browser interface. The project specifically explores how life-like animatronics can suggest complex inner states in inanimate objects. The toolkit itself consists of a set of mechatronic modules and software interfaces that are reliable and easy to use, especially for non engineers. PATHOS began informally within the academic environment in Switzerland in 2015, took the shape of an Artist in Residence project at the Wyss Zurich institute and is now an experimental project at ETHZ, as the Robotics Aesthetics & Usability Center (RAUC). The aim of the RAUC is to connect robotics to visual arts.
Ravi is active on Facebook (facebook.com/ravig64/) and Instagram (instagram.com/ravig64/) – so please follow him there for more recent updates.
Presently he is working on a campaign to bring back cycling as a means of transport in Indian cities. For all of these, Ajay reaches out to his vast networks of organizations and individuals as meaningful partners to support each of the initiatives. Ajay also has responsibility for the ‘Star Villages’ campaign. This recognizes villages in India that successfully implement noteworthy environmental practices in their areas.
Ajay is a born activist. He is passionate about scaling up social solutions using technology, innovation and simplicity. Ajay is with the Climate Action Steering Committee of the Global Shapers Community, an initiative of the World Economic Forum. Ajay has been recognized as an EE 30 Under 30 leaders 2019 cohort by the North American Association for Environmental Education. Ajay also works on helping reduce water wastage. The Government of India named him a ‘Water Hero’ for his efforts in water conservation.Ajay is active on Instagram (@) and Facebook & LinkedIn (@) – so please follow him there for more recent updates.
Adrian Notz is a curator at the ‘ETH AI Center’ and the ‘Tichy Ocean Foundation’. He is also a mentor for the creative strategy and vision at the ‘European Center for Contemporary Art’, Cluj and ‘Chevalier de la Tombe de Bakunin’. He was the artistic director of ‘Cabaret Voltaire', Zurich (2012-2019) and headed the ‘Department for Fine Arts at the School of Design’ in St. Gallen (2010 - 2015). He has organized and curated numerous exhibitions, events, conferences and interventions with international artists, activists and thinkers.
In addition, Chen has curated dozens of museum exhibitions and other projects internationally, served on numerous boards and juries, and acted as advisor to the UABB Shenzhen Biennale of Architecture\Urbanism, London Design Biennial, Cooper-Hewitt Design Triennial (New York), and Gwangju Design Biennale. He is the author of Brazil Modern (Monacelli, 2016), and has been a frequent contributor to The New York Times, Wallpaper*, Architectural Record, and other publications.
Aric is active on Instagram (@aricchen) – so please follow him there for more recent updates.
Mrinal Mandal, a visual artist from Kolkata, is the founder of ‘Chalchitra Academy’. The primary aim of this initiative is to disseminate knowledge about various dying art forms in our country. Its venture - 'Khwabgaon', is an ongoing project with the Lodha-Sabar marginalized community. He has been working towards tapping the raw talent of the local children and has arranged regular classes and workshops to facilitate their art education. He has also incorporated skill-building initiatives to empower and build a self-sustaining ecosystem for them. He has held four solo shows and has engaged in a site-specific installation project titled 'Roots', highlighting the devastating impact of socio-political factors on ecology. He has also worked as an assistant art director with Shyam Benegal on the film ‘Bose: The Forgotten Hero’. His works have won multiple awards, such as the 'Govt. Art College Award', the 'Gaganendranath Tagore memorial Award' and the 'Gopal Ghose Memorial Scholarship'. During the pandemic, he worked as a resource person for a UNICEF funded public awareness project led by Jadavpur University.
K. S. RadhakrishnanK. S. Radhakrishnan is a well-known sculptor and is recognized as one of the most significant figures of contemporary Indian art. He was awarded a research grant by ‘Lalit Kala Akademi’, Delhi, to work in Garhi Village. Since then has had more than fifteen solo shows, including at ‘National Gallery of Modern Art’ (Bengaluru), ‘Centre des Bords de Marne’, ‘LePerreux-Brysur-Marne’ (France), and ‘Birla Academy of Art and Culture’ (Kolkata) amongst others. His work has been displayed in numerous group shows, including - the ‘National Exhibition’ in New Delhi; ‘Triennalle India’; ‘Salon International de la Sculpture Contemporaine’, Paris and many more. From the 1980s onwards, he has installed open-air sculptures across the country and abroad, including at the ‘TMI foundation’, ‘Cotignac’, France. He has curated the exhibition ‘Ramkinkar Baij - A Retrospective at National Gallery of Modern Art', New Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai. He has written a book titled Ramkinkar’s Yaksha Yakshi.
DLRC is a K-12 learning space buzzing with exploration, experimentations and creation that value nature and its every creation big and small. A space where experiences of the head, heart and hands are extended to others who have embarked on the lifelong journey of learning and doing. In our nature inspired structures, some of our ongoing programs are: Internship / Design Lab / Self Directed Learning / Higher Learning Dialogue / Teacher Development Programs. See:dlrc.in
Divya is active on Instagram (@divyapkb) and Facebook (@divyakumarbhatia)– so please follow him there for more recent updates.
Dr. Chakravarty has been Chairman, Lalit Kala Akademi; Director General, National Museum; Member Secretary, Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA), New Delhi; Chairman, National Screening and Evaluation Committee, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI); Director, National Museum of Mankind (IGRMS), Bhopal; and Chancellor, National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA). He has headed the Delhi Institute of Heritage Research and Management (DIHRM) as Vice Chairman. He has also chaired the Bhasha Trust, Baroda.His publications include exhibition catalogues, edited journals on Art, books and articles on Family, Tribal Identity, Indigeneity, Education, Rock Art, Folk and Tribal Art, Khajuraho, Gwalior Fort, Orccha, Bodhgaya, Ujjayini, Vidisha, New Museology, Archaeology, Indology and Sanskritic traditions. Dr. Chakravarty has reinvented cognitive categories; nurtured relations among cultures, disciplines and arts; strategised culture specific governance and diplomacy; restored vanishing links of cultural, linguistic, biological diversity; regenerated community habitats as living museums; and rebuilt crumbling bridges between culture and development. He is known for fusing theory and practice in promoting cultural survival, environmental self-determination and sustainable knowledge systems of marginalized communities.
Pauline Laravoire is the co-founder of 'AQWA' and 'Y-East' and the Director of 'Techno India Group'. She strives to create learning and professional opportunities for students in the sustainability sector. Being associated with the following community-based ventures: 'Youth for Sustainability India Alliance' and 'Learning Planet’, she has developed expertise and a passion for building greener communities.
Saket Singh Kaurav did his M.Sc. in Physics from the Department of Postgraduate Studies and Research in Physics & Electronics, Rani Durgavati Vishwavidyalaya, Jabalpur in 2007. He has worked as a junior research fellow in the Infrared Astronomy Group of the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai from 2008 to 2010. He also did an internship in the Infrared/Submillimeter Astronomy Group of Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Munich, Germany from January 2010 to March 2010. In 2010, He joined the National Council of Science Museums (Hqrs), Kolkata, a scientific autonomous non-profit organisation, functioning under the aegis of Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India, as a curator (a scientific position) and worked there till Jan 2013. From Feb 2013 to Sept 2020, He worked at Nehru Science Centre, Mumbai, and from Oct 2020 to till now, he is working at Regional Science Centre, Bhopal. He is a curator having experience of 11 plus years in conceptualising, designing, developing, and coordinating thematic and travelling science exhibitions, exhibits, educational programmes and activities for the public in general and students & teachers in particular towards dissemination of science & technology. He has conceptualised and curated four travelling exhibitions namely 'Beyond the Limit: Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar', 'Disaster: Preparing for the worst', 'Planet Under Pressure' and 'The Future of the Food: Pulses'. He has also conceptualised and curated a thematic science gallery 'Hall of Aviation and Space' at the Nehru Science Centre, Mumbai, which was part of major renovation & up-gradation, and financially supported by the Airports Authority of India. He has participated in the conference(s) and workshops. He has also published researched papers in leading science journal, and wrote popular science articles in leading popular science magazines and newspapers in Hindi and English languages for the dissemination of science & technology.
Speakers from Princely States
Director for Dara Shikoh Centre for the Arts and The Amar Mahal Museum and Library, Jammu and Kashmir, India
As Director for Dara Shikoh Centre for the Arts, Dr. Singh is an integral part of the social and cultural fabric of the region. She has a PhD in Philosophy from Delhi University, and also serves as the Director of the Amar Mahal Museum and Library in Jammu. At Almond Villa, she pursues her love for pottery and enamel design while .
Maharajkumari Veeranganakumari Solanki is an independent curator and writer.
She is interested in the way interdisciplinary forms and creative practices merge to create dialogues in public and private spaces and the convergence of images across disciplines. Further, her research and practice consider how historical and contemporary thought inform exhibition-making and artistic practices to expand the ideas of medium specificity through narration, memory, time and story-telling. Her curatorial discourse has focused primarily on art practices within South Asia and its diasporic context. Veerangana was the Exhibition Design Team Lead for the Kathmandu Triennale 2077 (2022), the 2019 Brooks International Research Fellow at Tate Modern and a resident at Delfina Foundation. Currently, she is the curator of Future Landing at the Serendipity Virtual Arts Festival, the Programme Director for Space Studio, Baroda and a core team member of Art Chain India.
Maharajkumari Vaishnavi Kumari, Founder Studio Kishangarh.
Kishangarh is renowned for its unique style of miniature painting. A style Vaishnavi hopes to preserve through Studio Kishangarh, founded in 2010. Working with artists and their families, the studio hopes to bring a contemporary touch to the traditional art form. A graduate from institutions like National Institute of Fashion Technology in Delhi and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, Vaishnavi brought academic rigour to the initiative. That, mixed with her natural inclination towards art and aesthetics, has helped her realize that we “live in a large world but can think locally”.
Brijeshwari Kumari Gohil has a BA Joint Honours degree in Archaeology and History of Art from the University of Nottingham, U.K. and an MA in Heritage Management and Conservation from Durham University, U.K. She has worked as a researcher for Durham UNESCO Chair in Lumbini, Nepal,prior to which, she worked at CSMVS Mumbai. Born into the erstwhile royal family of Bhavnagar, Gujarat, Brijeshwari has been interested in the field of heritage from childhood where she was exposed to an environment of art and historically significant objects and artefacts.The exposure to her family trust, which maintains heritage hotels,historical temples and schools, led her to start the Bhavnagar Heritage. A
brand that is working with local artisans to promote the region's arts and crafts. She is currently working as the Vice President for the Mumbai based auction house Prinseps prior to which, she was working in various capacities with the Piramal Art Foundation since the inception of the Piramal Museum in 2015. A promoter for local art and craft, Brijeshwari is also working on digitising her ancestral archives and restoring various historic sites in Bhavnagar. She has recently set up the Bhavnagar INTACH Chapter and is leading as Convenor for the same.
Rani Saheba Shailja Katoch, Director Kangra Group
A passionate cultural patron, she is pioneering the revival of Kangra’s history, Kangra Miniature Paintings & Kangra Cuisine(Dham) through the Maharaja Sansar Chandra Museum, Kangra Fort, near Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh.
Rajkumari Nandini Singh Jhabua, Gond Art Patron, Co-Founder Rising World Foundation
Devoted to preserving different art forms, she works with tribal artisans from Gond, providing them with the necessary support to develop their trade. Nandini Singh Jhabua remains connected to her roots in Madhya Pradesh (MP) through her social and aesthetic endeavours, encouraging traditional artists to experiment with contemporary themes.. Her repertoire of artists — she also encourages Islamic art — has grown in recent times, and she is taking bespoke trunk shows to various cities.
Maharajkumar Jaidev Singh, Director Rao Madho Singh Museum Trust, Kota
A business and economics major from Cornell University, Jaidev has worked in different financial industries most recently as an investment banker with KPMG. He is passionate about hospitality, arts and culture through the historic Brijraj Bhawan Palace Hotel, a boutique property that is also home and going forward, is paving the road to put Kota on the global map. He is building inroads in promoting the Hadoti region and putting it on the map as a tourist and cultural destination.
She has received 3 prestigious fellowships: Australia Council’s International Leadership Program, Art Think South Asia and International Society for Performing Arts, USA. She is recipient of ‘Emerging Scholar’ award from Ground Research Networks and has presented papers on travel grants in Museum conferences in Egypt, Iran, Fuzhou, Kyoto and more. She has undergone trainings at Tate Modern, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester Museum and Beijing Palace Museum.
She Co-convened the first International Conference on ‘Gender Mainstreaming and Cultural Rights’ in India and the first ICOM INTERCOM conference in India on ‘Museum Management’.
She is instrumental in launching the first ‘Accessibility Program’ in Eastern India under the umbrella of ‘Art for All’ at KCC. Her agenda is to make KCC truly inclusive through in-house and outreach programs for diverse communities including people from different race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical & mental abilities and of different ideologies. She champions the importance of capacity building for young artists, performers, art leaders and educators, that reflects in the programming of KCC. She is the co-programmer of VK IV and has co-programmed previous editions in 2020 and 2021.