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Inauguration of Kalakriti Award for Achievement and Excellence

The 11th Krishnakriti Festival got off to a start here Wednesday evening with insightful lectures on art and a movie that threw light on a social practice of a tribal community from the country’s Northeast.

The inaugural session at Kalakriti Art Gallery in Banjara Hills also saw Conferment of the 2014 Kalakriti Award for Achievement and Excellence to the Decentralised Cotton Yarn Trust (DCYT) for its efforts to resolve crucial issues facing the handloom industry by including spinners, dyers, weavers, farmers and ginners in a collective working environment.

Krishnakriti Foundation Managing Trustee Prshant Lahoti nanded over the award to Uzramma who heads the decade-old DCYT which seeks to revive a once-robust industry that embraced local culture and customs while celebrating nature.

The five-day festival ending on January 11 features top-notch dance, music, cinema and painting alongside talks, seminars and workshops. Being held in six venues of Hyderabad, Secunderabad and Cyberabad, the programmes are free for the public. The January 7-11 event is conducting a major art camp simultaneously, the proceeds of which will go for charity.

Mr Lahoti said the proceeds from an auction at the art camp would go in the form of scholarships to the education of deserving and needy young art students and budding artists from across India. “Our philanthropy reaches to students through institutions in Hyderabad, Baroda, Santiniketan, Delhi and Bangalore,” he noted.

Ms Uzramma, in her speech, said 2005-founded DCYT’s mission has been to replace the capital-intensive mass-production mode of cotton yard production with small-scale localized yarn-making, compatible with the small scale of cotton farming and hand-weaving.

We see the indigenous cotton textile as a low-carbon and clean industry for which India can earn international credit for emission reduction,” she added.

The function was followed by two talks: ‘Negotiating the World with Rabindranath Tagore’ (by art historian R Siva Kumar) and ‘Understanding Origin of Art’ (by ontologist Navjyoti Singh).

Later in the evening, a film on the hand-painted shawls of Ao Naga wnbai men was screened at Annapurna International School of Film & Mediaf This was followed by an interaction between the audience and Ruchika Negi, Delhi-based director of the 52-minute movie ‘Every Time You Tell A Story’, which narrates an over-the-centuries change in profile of Tsungkotepsu, the traditional head-hunter’s shawl, which used to be an honour for the Ao Nagas tribesmen and is now a standardized product available in the market.

On Thursday, classical danseuse Mallika Sarabhai and her troupe will present ‘Sampradayam’ at Shilpa Kala Vedika in the evening.

In the afternoon (3.30pm) at L V Prasad Eye Institute, poet Ashok Vajpeyi will speak on artist S H Raza, while scholar Nirmala Biluka will speak on narrative scroll painting traditions and their influence in contemporary art practices.

At evening (6.30 pm), documentary film ‘Nine Months’ will be staged at Annapurna International School of Film & Media, followed by audience interaction with the documentary-maker Merajur Rehman Baruah.

The earlier recipients of the Kalakriti Award for Achievement and Excellence are actor Dr Shankar Melokte, cricketer V V S Laxman and medical expert Dr Mahesh Joshi.

Founded in 2004 in memory of art patron Krishnachandra B Lahoti, the foundation focuses on ‘art for education’ encourages innovative work in visual arts. Since 2008, it has been collaborating with French Embassy to send Indian students to that country for annual residency programs.
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