“The images that mobilise conscience are always linked to a given historical situation. The more general they are, the less likely they are to be effective.” - Sontag
The multifaceted relationship between art and politics continues to be integral to both the local and global landscape. History is witness to art being used as a tool to reflect both current issues and social environments; giving it the power to support, transform and disrupt.
Here are some homegrown artists exploring political narratives through their art.
I. Snehal P Sanathanan
Snehal P Sanathanan makes social commentary laced with political satire in a signature black and white comic style. His art targets the ever-prevalent hypocrisy in popular political stances of privileged Indian society. His depictions and choices of characters carry an ostensibly absurdist tone of normalcy towards atrocities, which only further mimics the general behaviour of general Indian society and individuals with privilege whenever in an encounter with minority issues.
Find out more about Snehal P Sanathanan.
II. Sri Vamsi Matta
Matta Sri Vamsi is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Science and has been working as a theatre practitioner and graphic designer for over a decade.
Breaking stereotypes rooted in casteist disparity and drawing inspiration from individual stories, Vamsi’s work documents the stories of minority communities in the form of letter writings and theatre performances.
Find out more about Sri Vamsi Matta.
III. Siddhesh Gautum
Evidently influenced by minimalism and post-modernist thought, Siddhesh Gautum is a multi-discipline, mixed-media artist and designer.
His illustrations are based on in-depth research and traces the history of the political era that Indian society finds itself in the middle of. The illustrations sometimes have a satirical tone to them and sometimes are a representation of social issues of significance.
Fondly recognised as @bakeryprasad on Instagram, Siddhesh Gautam does not just illustrate Babasaheb Ambedkar’s legacy but also educates people by providing an in-depth socio-political context to Indian history.
Find out more about Siddhesh Gautum
IV. Jamun Ka Ped: A Web Comic
Jamun Ka Ped is a political webcomic and the brainchild of Meher Manda, a poet, and Mayukh Goswami, an illustrator, documenting the topical divisive policies of India. Documenting Delhi riots and the pandemic in a comic strip form, the webcomic illustrates India’s ground reality and challenges the status quo with its political art.
Find out more about Jamun Ka Ped: A Web Comic.
If you liked this article, we suggest you read: