Opening Night:
Shashi Tharoor + Somini Sengupta
Festival Schedule
Closing Night:
Preet Bharara
Oct 8th Session 1A
Oct 8th Session 1B
Oct 8th Session 2A
Oct 8th Session 2B
Oct 8th Session 3A
Oct 8th Session 3B
Oct 8th Session 4A
Oct 8th Session 4B
Oct 8th Session 5A
Oct 8th Session 5B
Oct 9th Session 1A
Oct 9th Session 1B
Oct 9th Session 2A
Oct 9th Session 2B
Oct 9th Session 3A
Oct 9th Session 3B
Oct 9th Session 4A
Oct 9th Session 4B
Oct 9th Session 5A
Oct 9th Session 5B
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Past Festival

OCTOBER 7-9, 2016
Saturday October 8th, 2016
11:00 am - 12 noon
Session 1A
Husain's Raj: Visions of Empire and Nation
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Sumathi Ramaswamy in converation with Vidya Dehejia
Join Vidya Dehejia, Barbara Stoler Miller Professor of Indian and South Asian Art, Columbia University, and author, Sumathi Ramaswamy, Professor of History at Duke University for a discussion of a new monograph on India’s most famous Modernist, Maqbool Fida Husain. Titled Husain’s Raj: Visions of Empire and Nation, the book focuses on the artist’s playful pictorial vignettes of the British Empire in India, and argues that Husain shows us how it is possible, even necessary, to laugh while looking back at a painful and traumatic past.
Sumathi Ramaswamy
Sumathi Ramaswamy Sumathi Ramaswamy is Professor of History at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, USA. Over the course of her academic career, she has published extensively in the fields of language politics, gender studies, spatial studies and the history of cartography, visual studies and the modern history of Indian art. She is a contributor to the Marg books, India’s Popular Culture: Iconic Spaces and Fluid Images and Art and Visual Culture in India. She is the recipient of numerous honours and awards, including from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation in the USA and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany.
Husain’s RajHusain’s Raj forefronts the ludic quality in the work of Maqbool Fida Husain, independent India’s most iconic modernist and also arguably its most playful. The book focuses on a series of paintings in which the artist offers a postcolonial visual commentary on the erstwhile colonial world in which he had been born and raised. These works are densely packed with objects and people (British and native, male and female) and some animals as well, brought together in narrative action that reveal the anxieties and absurdities of imperial rule in India.

Husain came of age in the waning days of British colonial rule and was witness to the rising tide of Indian nationalism. This is the first monograph-length analysis of these paintings which have virtually been ignored. Instead of providing grim portraits of what it meant to grow up in such a context, he presents playful vignettes of the Raj to a new generation of viewers - many of whom would not have experienced colonial rule directly- showing us how it is possible, even necessary, to laugh while looking back at a painful and traumatic past.

Vidya Dehejia
Vidya Dehejia Vidya Dehejia holds the Barbara Stoler Miller Chair in Indian Art at Columbia University in New York and has written 25 books on various aspects of India’s artistic tradition. She spent eight years at the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries in Washington DC. In 2012, she was awarded a Padma Bhushan for her contribution to Art and Education.
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