Recently Performers independent has faced accusations of illegality and of misleading people. This has (sadly) come from certain members of the group itself , spread and propagated by others furthering their vested interests. The Kolkata International Performance Art Festival was initiated about 5 years ago to build an independent discursive platform for performance art .We have had 3 very successful editions of KIPAF , many people wanted to cash in. Then, a NGO dealing with culture called Banglanatok.Com approached us through one of their organisation Art Room.. they wanted to sponsor KIPAF, tthey wanted to give 1.5 lac rupees as sponsorship , and become become the title sponsors of KIPAF. But for us KIPAF was always initiated by Pi and presented by everyone. It is one of the very few independent large scale art festival in South Asia and needs to be protected from global capital. Nearly half the group wanted to accept the sponsorship, they hijacked the email account , began a series of vengeful personal attacks and struck a deal with Art Room. But more than half of the founding members were against it, and their personal attacks helped us to develop a solidarity. We decided that as artists we will not take legal means, issue a 'show cause', or get a 'stay order'. By then we realised that in this process KIPAF had already died, its body was already sold as a relic, what we are left fighting for is the spirit.
So we decided to continue organising our festival like it is always organised, it has been a challenge because emotionally we are extremely hurt, KIPAF has been supported by so many people who have who have put in passion, time energy money, travelled long distances and made KIPAF possible through these years.
There are certain points we would like to make clear at this point. At the end of this note please find the scanned images of our registration document.
- Performers independent in a registered organisation According to the law of the land no one can make major changes in the governing body with out 3/4th majority. The Secretary, a joint Secretary, the vice president, the signatory witness, and and two other founding members are against KIPAF being sponsored, the registered members of Pi are only 10, one can easily make out how many are in favour of the sponsored KIPAF.
- THIEVES SHOUT LOUDEST | They have done an illegal act by accepting sponsorship money for KIPAF without the boards consent, and then they went on to re constitute the board, (for which they must have forged our signatures). We decided to let them be, they must be badly needing the money. If they wanted to do a sponsored festival let them. We will go ahead and continue doing KIPAF as always (at least for 2-3 more years). But they have made public allegations against us of doing an illegal KIPAF. It makes us laugh and cry at the same time.
- Why would performance artists take recourse to obsolete laws and government departments to establish a claim of 'originality and authenticity. Why are they doing KIPAF in the first place? Is this 'authenticity' being demanded by its new sponsors. the old connections between capitalism and authorship?
- All These have ensured that for us doing KIPAF this year is an act of activism. The edge of Praxis gets pushed.