Here are some homegrown creatives who are using their platforms to amplify the struggles and strengths of the Dalit community and their allies.
Here are some homegrown creatives who are using their platforms to amplify the struggles and strengths of the Dalit community and their allies.L: Mahabali R: Bakarmax

Celebrate Dalit History Month With 4 Powerful Visual Narratives Of Strength & Resilience

April marks a significant period for the Dalit community as it celebrates Dalit History Month — a time dedicated to honoring the resilience and achievements of the Dalit community in India. Despite enduring centuries of systemic discrimination and social marginalization, Dalits have persevered and have been at the forefront of movements for social and political change. In this context, artists and designers have emerged as vital storytellers; using their creative platforms to amplify the struggles and strengths of the Dalit community and their allies. Here are some powerful and evocative homegrown artworks that shed light on the ongoing battle against caste-based discrimination; acting as as a creative voice in favour of social justice.

1. Siddhesh Gautam

Siddhesh's illustration vividly portrays the tragic loss of creativity among Dalit, Adivasi, and lower caste Muslim artists due to mainstream appropriation. It emphasizes how their original artistry is distorted and homogenized by dominant forces, erasing their unique perspectives. The artwork critiques the pressure on artists to conform to external visions, often imposed by Western white or privileged clients; disregarding the artists' motivations. By addressing these systemic challenges and historical exploitation, the illustration calls for a more inclusive creative space that respects and nurtures the authenticity of marginalized artists.

2. Mahabali

Mahabali's art celebrates the legacy of Babasaheb Ambedkar; emphasizing the profound impact of his literature on understanding caste dynamics. It encourages readers to embrace his words, which serve as a guiding light towards education, agitation, and organization. By advocating for a powerful revolution aimed at dismantling oppressive Brahmanical structures, the artwork honors Ambedkar's wisdom and courage. It underscores the importance of reading Ambedkar's works as a transformative path towards social justice and equity and urges individuals to educate themselves, engage in activism, and work towards a more just society.

3. Bakarmax

This video by Bakarmax presents a satirical take on the concept of "playing the Dalit card"; addressing the denial and discomfort surrounding discussions about caste in India. Through humor, it exposes the hypocrisy of those who argue that there is no caste system while simultaneously invalidating authentic Dalit experiences. The spoof card depicted in the video serves as a humorous commentary on how people navigate and respond to activist narratives related to caste; shedding light on the complexities and contradictions inherent in societal attitudes towards caste issues.

4. Rahee Punyashloka

Family Vacation
Family VacationRahee Punyashloka

Through the mixed media series 'Family Vacation', Rahee Punyashloka delves into the complexities of Dalit life in India, with a particular focus on the absence of memories and the fractures within Dalit communities. Through blank human silhouettes where pictures should be, the series symbolizes the denial and erasure of Dalit experiences by a society which often refuses to acknowledge the existence of casteism. It serves as a poignant meditation on the impossibility of remembrance and nostalgia for Dalit individuals and highlights the challenges they face in living their truth amidst societal denial and ignorance.


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