A Colorful Mural Art Project In A Bangalore Underpass Is Promoting Trans-Inclusivity

The Aravani art project, led by a group of transgender and cisgender women, has been utilizing art to address the real-life experiences of transgender individuals.
The Aravani art project, led by a group of transgender and cisgender women, has been utilizing art to address the real-life experiences of transgender individuals. Special Arrangement

Art for art’s sake or art for mere aesthetic pleasure is a myth that probably sounded good during Oscar Wilde’s time and before that but in this day and age, we are all aware that art is a powerful political tool. We also know how important it is to celebrate diversity and multiplicity of identities in a multicultural society, especially minority identities that have been repressed in mainstream history for far too long. And that’s where art steps in not only as a potent and beautiful way of self-expression by minority identities but also as a socio-political tool for representation and inclusivity.

The Aravani art project, led by a group of transgender and cisgender women, has been utilizing art to address the real-life experiences of transgender individuals.
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With that in mind, let me share with you a wonderful art project that has been recently unveiled at Bellandur, Bangalore. Aravani Art Project and Brookfield Properties came together to create the project based on the theme of 'Naavu Iddhivi,' meaning 'we exist'. It was created by collaborating with members of the LGBTQAI+ community. The canvas of the project is the recently built underpass in Ecoworld, which has been a sight for sore eyes for the traffic-ridden employees of several offices at Ecoworld, ever since its inception.

Now, its appeal has increased tenfold as the underpass walls feature 16 portraits of members of the transgender community lauding their real-life stories of rebellious existence in a society where gender discrimination still exists in volumes. Each persona voices unique identities and challenges. The initiative speaks volumes to the idea of promoting gender awareness and well-being through art.

"The concept of 'Naavu Iddhivi' or 'We Exist' was designed over two months and executed in 45 days by a team of 18 people, including 12 transgender artists trained by the project."

Poornima Sukumar, founder of Aravani Art Project, in a statement to Deccan Herald

The Aravani art project, led by a group of transgender and cisgender women, has been utilizing art to address the real-life experiences of transgender individuals. They have created murals in various areas of the city. Poornima Sukumar highlighted that the project at Ecoworld has enabled the collective to realize its vision on a larger scale.

This social initiative created art inspired experiences that engage and recognize all members of society and carry affirmative social messaging for the community at large. The small anecdotes within each portrait serve as windows into the diverse lives and experiences of individuals. Better Together encapsulates the essence of unity, transcending gender boundaries and emphasizing the beauty that emerges when we come together as one.

Poornima Sukumar, in a statement to the Hindu

Follow Aravani Art Project here.

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