Introducing KIPAF

PERFORMERS iNDEPENDENT (Pi) was an independent artists' collective, experimenting and exploring the traditional, modernist and contemporary spaces in the cultural paradigm. The Kolkata International Performance Art Festival was initiated by Pi in 2012 to annually open up the city of Kolkata to diverse traditions of performance, performitivty and interventions. Since then Pi has got fragmented but KIPAF has taken deeper roots.

The festival aims to be a platform for dialogue between site, art, politics and culture. KIPAF acknowledges the nascent nature of Performance Art in India, and will always play a role in the pedagogy of performance art.
The festival is be held between 23rd-26th January every year.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

EARTH PEOPLE :Ferial Afiff's KIPAF16 report

November 27, 2016


(This article was prepared as a report to the National Gallery on February 24, 2016)

In late January I participated in the Kolkata International Performance Art Festival 2016 ( KIPAF16 ). Until there at dawn and still dark, the whole view of the city looks sketchy, it just feels very cold air -disana was winter.  I stayed at home Tapati Chowdhury, the behavior of the same family as in Indonesia, parents and close attention. Immediately felt comfortable and nice course, I feel the warmth of the house in general, just the type of food being different.

In the afternoon Tapati Chowdhury invited me to join a group KIPAF16 who are doing promotions in New Market The delegation KIPAF16 start sale stylish open session , someone draws use chalk on the floor, in the middle of the open area of the market.People who were in the market immediately gathered around the image. Kapur who brought colorful, we were all given a lump to also respond, homeless children also volunteered to finish the picture.

A group among KIPAF16 seemed to walk around carrying a copy of the sheet photo captions event, a small bucket for donations. Then a stall was held, there KIPAF16 shirts, postcards documentation of performance art , as well as other skills trinkets.

1 //
The next day we met for the orientation of the entire point of showing, where KIPAF16 explore the northern region city of Kolkata. First of all met outside the Girish Park Metro station, the road to the park Hedua. In the park there is an old pool that looks more like an artificial lake, but the pool is surrounded by a fence high enough.

Photo taken from facebook page Sakinah Alatas

In the exposure they convey described how they see the city, such as the location of our meeting place (park Hedua), many city parks or gathering place for the city center; but there is always a guardrail that makes the people within, can only be viewed.

KIPAF begins to take place since 2012, at the initiation by the organization Performance Independent (Pi). Interest Pi through KIPAF is to open up the city of Kolkata as a  performance art, and their interventions. So the selection of locations mostly in open areas. Every year there are new cruising spots in the city of Kolkata, based on the behavior of people and material around that point.

As explained in the meeting in Hedua park, theme KIPAF16 is Rev Kill A Mocking Art, still holding spirit-power menduduk open space. As the blog KIPAF16, this theme has a set of questions: "What makes us pursue a priority, why is it necessary? Where do we find intimacy in performance art How do we interrogate the aspirations of a very intimate, which prompted us to action? "

So the question is followed by several derivatives: "How do we position between performance art and the performing arts? Whether a road is the space? The relationship between ketinampilan, action and authorship? "

Photo taken from facebook page Sakinah Alatas
Chirantan Mukhupadhaya ask my response on the question sets. Then I replied that a very similar thing also walked in I thought. I continue to learn and ask about how to burn ideas, prioritize various choices kekaryaan path. Questioning how to organize an idea into a concept, questioning a form of work that represents the crowds so it is not difficult to catch the audience; and development through conversations pros / cons after presenting a paper.

Tried to make the right concept without excessive or need, find a way that is close to or at least not very hard to catch the audience's work. If there is one art discipline that is not my master, then I will invite some other colleagues to co-exist.

Questions and answers on the theme of explanation, again present in my head during a meeting in Taman Hedua. Then the team KIPAF16 announced the schedule for the next four days, the locations to be visited. At the end of the meeting we were told to choose a location that we want to use to perform. 

Afterwards we all went to another park named Company Bagan. There are a large field, it appears many groups playing cricket . In addition there are various small fenced garden, with sculptures and reliefs.

Through our small road leading to the Pathuriaghata, the oldest residential area in the northern city of Kolkata. We entered a private building rather enclosed, like a boarding complex of 3 floors quite extensive. Some looked worn for office space, meeting rooms and an area for prayer. In the middle there is an open space that is wide enough. All the participants can choose the entire ground floor as an arena of performance art .

Afterwards our road to Baghbazar station adjacent to the River Ganges. Not immediately boarded the train, we walked around the station area. The carriage lane is the oldest track that surrounds the city of Kolkata, which is very important for transporting merchandise from various corners of the city. Once out of the station seemed very busy with large trucks carrying various merchandise, and out of the station no special doors, many traders and people sleeping on the floor.

Ride the Chakra Rail we headed Majerhat Station. The journey to Majerhat takes an hour, so the train in many ongoing discussions and most started improvising, playing music to take action to respond to the space inside the train.

On arrival at the station Majerhat, some people do performance art in an empty carriage lane. There are sleeping on the tracks, there are crowding each other to lean and surrounds krumunan with thread. None of the writing on the wall. While some people are still playing music.

Photo taken from facebook page KIPAF16
Soon some of the security guards present. They ask for fear of action some of the artists in the region could endanger lives. It appears some teams KIPAF16 communicate with security officers, while a procession of  performance art still underway, as did the singing. After a long time, the organizers inform that the security guard asked for some photos of the three cameras to later remove it, but the funny thing is before it is presented to the clerk files the photos are already in the move to laptops .

For me the way to negotiate with the officer Pi is quite interesting. According Tapati Chowdhury they've ever tried to apply for a license, but what happens is they throw into various government entities. He said the government should categorize confusionperformance art where.

Besides the officers usually came when there were reports from the public, vice versa, people can defend if they are not disturbed. Generally, people enthusiastically watch (even engaged) in performance art , some quite amused / represented by the appearance of the performers.
On the other occasion Rahul Bhattacharya explains how they approach the one designated point to the viewer arena performance art They will make a visit to that point regularly, observe the variety of activities that take place, then do someperformance art is simple. All of the stages are implemented, so that people who used to be in a location not so surprised when the festival takes place.

Afterward we returned to the station Baghbazar, then sat on the edge of the small port of the Ganges. Observing the activity of the bank, a lot of people sitting there.

2 //
Came the series of performance art at the start, lasted for three days solid with a total of 46 artists participated. Not including several other artists who involve themselves directly in open session . Some artists made performance more than once, there is also often respond to several other artists.

Almost all performance art has a deep meaning. Not all artists are in an obvious location, nothing appears suddenly in krumunan, and appear when you move from one location to another. There is also conducting long duration.

epanjang three days I should always be alert to catch what is happening around. What events are common in that location, or is done with the intention of the art work.

My first catch was the appearance of Anupam Saikia in Pathuriaghata. Appearance inspired Anupam issues behind suicide rohith Chakravarti Vemula, which occurred a week earlier.

Rohith a PhD student on the same campus, now his death sparked a series of protests across India. Rohith suicide note published in the newspaper, he did commit suicide as a political statement on caste discrimination they experienced. He Dalits, the lowest caste fifth, which now is not written in sequences of caste system of Varna (Hinduism).

Anupam protest the situation. White thread draped across his body like the Brahman (the highest caste), wearing a cap and gloves. Then look in the mirror while he tarnished his face, gave a bindi on her forehead and then wrote "I Have Becoming A Monster" in his body.

In KIPAF16 not only the appearance of Anupam inspired by the suicide of rohith, there are a lot of performances that raised about this.  Are continuously display the face rohith is the only way to continue the struggle, or make a move to fill space here and there quickly and shout is more uniform way, or burn-burn newsprint lot also wrapped around the body with yarn / tape / rope / bandages, paint poured a lot of red / black is the only way to convey the message?

Photos taken from the KIPAF16 page on facebook
Appearance Inder Salim in the same location the next day also took the same issues, but appear not uniform. He tends chatting audience. Open the paper with the name of rohith, put placards Hidustan Ratan. Then menegulingkan miniature trees, explaining that the tree is usually sacred. Then read the suicide note rohith while continuing to question the discrimination so much in India.

Inder Salim stated that the Republic of India has given the Bharat Ratna to officials in communities that are limited to 45 people. KIPAF16 become a place for him as a series of performance Hindustan Ratna to give it to the 45 residents of the radical Indian, who works and lives by making a difference to the movement of minority struggles throughout the country.  The first Bengal Ratna is given to Rohit Veluma on January 24, 2016, a suicide note rohith mark resistance.  As published in, suicide notes rohith:

Good morning, 
I would not be around when you read this letter. 
Do not get angry on me. I know some of you truly cared for me, loved me and treated me very well. 
I have no complaints on anyone. 
It was always with myself I had problems. 
I feel a growing gap between my soul and my body. 
And I have Become a monster. 
I always wanted to be a writer. A writer of science, like Carl Sagan. 
At last, this is the only letter I am getting to write. I always wanted to be a writer. 
A writer of science, like Carl Sagan. 
I loved Science, Stars, Nature, but then I loved people without knowing that people have long since divorced from nature. 
Our feelings are second handed. Our love is constructed. Our beliefs colored. 
Our originality valid through artificial art. 
It has Become truly difficult, to love without getting hurt. 
The value of a man was reduced to his immediate identity and nearest possibility. To a vote. 
To a number. To a thing. Never was a man treated as a mind. 
As a glorious thing made up of star dust. In every field, in studies, in streets, in politics, and in dying and living. I am writing this kind of letter for the first time. 
My first time of a final letter. Forgive me if I fail to make sense. 
My birth is my fatal accident. I can never recover from my childhood loneliness. 
The unappreciated child from my past. 
May be I was wrong, all the while, in understanding the world. 
In understanding love, pain, life, death. 
There was no urgency. But I always was rushing. 
Desperate to start a life.
 All the while, some people, for them, life itself is curse. 
My birth is my fatal accident. 
I can never recover from my childhood loneliness. 
The unappreciated child from my past. I am not hurt at this moment. 
I am not sad. I am just empty. Unconcerned about myself. 
That's pathetic. And that's why I am doing this. 
People may dub me as a coward. And selfish, or stupid once I am gone. 
I am not bothered about what I am called. 
I do not believe in the after-death stories, ghosts, or spirits. 
If there is anything at all I believe, I believe that I can travel to the stars. 
And know about the other worlds. 
If you, who is reading this letter can do anything for me, I have to get 7 months of my fellowship, one lakh and seventy five thousand rupees. 
Please see to it that my family is paid that. 
 have to give some 40 thousand to Ramji. 
He never asked them back. But please pay that to him from that. 
Let my funeral be silent and smooth. 
Behave like I just Appeared and gone. Do not shed tears for me. 
Know that I am happy dead than being alive. 
"From the shadows to the stars." Uma anna, sorry for using your room for this thing. 
To ASA family, sorry for disappointing all of you. 
You loved me very much. I wish all the very best for the future. 
For one last time, Jai Bheem I forgot to write the formalities. 
No one is responsible for my this act of killing myself. 
No one has instigated me from, whether by Reviews their acts or by Reviews their words to this act. 
This is my decision and I am the only one responsible for this. 
Do not trouble my friends and enemies on this after I am gone.

3 //
No other series of performance art that reap the audience smile. Suppose presentation "SAC Travel" by Vidisha Saini and Alex Yudzon. They  made a brief appearance each day, just before lunch. They looked really like to present a package of business outing.However, if truly listened to, an explanation many mensatirkan conditions that made the tourists to the city of exotic city.

The sentence they are open to: Travel SAC is a progressive-minded company, responsible for local-global and moving specializing in innovative product lines that alleviate the difficulties traveling abroad. 

Then they will share flops to plastic clothesline clipped on the nose audience. While continuing to tell how much fun buying the product (flip clothesline) is. How do we photographed the poor villages and see it as a tourist commodity.
I remembered with the proliferation of tourist villages in Indonesia, changing the shape of the house so that internationally, highlighting the things in their village which can roughly be exotic, in order to spoil the tourists.

As in note Srinia Chowdhury , he caught a satire on the cruelty of a brand, how an ordinary product advertised in such a way to be outstanding.

Another work that appearance also gave a smile is Mohamad Haryo Hutomo and Sakinah Alatas. They distributed a red heart-shaped balloons as you go along to the Company Chart.

Arriving at the park, Haryo invites the audience embraced. Meanwhile, when people hug each other, Sakinah wrap their bodies with a yellow cloth. Rim hug becomes large enough, the people continue to be invited to cuddle up in yellow cloth that they wrap exhausted. Afterwards they slightly move in a direction, so all forced to come to move.

At that time we discussed how even the appearance of such a monument move. People involved hugging also vary, ranging from fellow artists to strangers and children in the park also.

4 //
Two performances were among Ali Asgar. Along the way from Pathuriaghata to the Company Bagan, Ali took a selfie photograph using his mobile phone.

Ali approached people for photos with him, to wear a veil, lipstick, mirror and draping bring the image of the Hindu god. Some people looked comfortable as well as volunteering time with her photo.

Now almost all accounts sosmed we could see millions of people doing the same thing, a photo using the front camera mobile phone ( selfie or wefie ). Either the picture smelled philosophical statement or advertisement of an area, even the monks do the same thing in the celebration of Vesak at Prambanan.

Ali comes from Bangladesh, when she was wearing lipstick and hooded, made me imagine living as a gay (especially transvestites) in the country must be very hard.

Other appearances by Monica Nanjunda, sitting cross-legged in silence all day in the corner of the building corridors Pathuriaghata. Monica sat paved with blue tarpaulin, and a bag of rice nearby. Constant motion slowly and take the rice grains piecemeal, sometimes forming letters, or simply accumulate partial to one side. Then he scattered the rice is inserted back into the bag.

Beside it there is the text reads "You remember too much. My mother said to me recently, why hold on all of it? I-said, which could put it? Then my mother would steer the conversation so about the airport. "

When the group moved to the station Majerhat, Monica is still doing the same thing.This time under the power lines. Just shut up and play a grain of rice. If there are to interact with him, he will respond are still in silence. When  Chirantan Mukhopadhaya reached,  Monica gave miraculous grain rice.

5 //
I chose to appear in Taman Hedua. Bring chicken egg white had  my fill with Alta.Put it on the scrap of paper on the bench tiles,  under the garden light. Then the eggs I solved  using the forehead, while posing like kneeling, when the eggs  raw is broken, fused with red yellow Alta.

Alta is a red dye from the insects that live in trees ( Lac insect ),  usually used when the Hindu rituals in marriage and death. When married  bride will wear this at his feet, with motifs  before entering the house. The difference in the funeral ceremony, coloring  engraved on foot without the image, as a symbol of appreciation for the taste  of grief.

I brought the newspaper Jakarta Post that I took before flying to  India. It was still fresh news about alleged terrorist bombing in Jakarta,  Lima news of the day's newspaper tells about the various conflicts that are  taking place in the world.

When photos of this appearance uploaded on the Facebook page KIPAF16,  they menjudulinya "Civilisation and Fragility", I immediately  loved it.

It's been years I questioned about conflict / war in the world  that takes a lot of loss of life, especially religious intolerance.  Confidence someone who should have been very subtle in the core of the soul are often  forced to bubbling out, forcing others to  believe the same.

Apart from the various penampilantersebut, the thing that makes me happy  is when some spectators invite discussion, immediately after I  perform.

A father while holding her baby, also very concerned with  the development of a collection of Hindu fanatics in India. Like the development of  groups of fanatical Islam in Indonesia. We are equally concerned  imagine the next generation, whether it would be fanatical and  discriminatory in the name of religion.

The same thing was also shown by Chobi Zulfiqure and Shubho O Saha,  they sat biting a piece of paper bearing rafters  religion which in streak.

Photos taken from the article I SAW by Srinia Chowdhury blog iKIPAF

Appearance is very simple but lasting. When we browse the  internet news, we will find that these days, a lot of events  deadliest in the world due to war in the name of religion. Although  we all doubt, whether man has no conscience and  justifies the blood of other humans.

The whole story I described above is only one-eighth of the various  activities of a very solid case, for one week Kolkata International  Performance Festival 2016.

It was a relief to meet people from different countries and share the  anxiety of the same. It seems novel Bumi Manusia - Pramoedya Ananta  Toer, which tells about the condition of the pressures of life in the colonial era  the Netherlands still has not changed. The colonization continues, only  this time as a ghost who diligently change clothes, believed to exist but not  be identified. 

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