Looking ahead at a Post-Covid world, we are still in the process of assessing the impact of this brutal pandemic. The poorest and most disadvantaged have been disproportionately impacted by the economic and social crises and we have faced personal, economic, environmental, medical and political challenges.
The Conference of the Birds is based on an ancient epic poem by Sufi poet Farid-ud-Din Attar, it tells the story of the Assembly of the Birds, in a time of existential crisis. They embark on a journey in search of a mythical majestic bird, the Simorgh, and are led by the wisest bird through seven valleys to find the Simorgh/ enlightenment. Each Valley has a challenge and an exploration into who we are and what can become.
The birds travel through the valleys of love, quest, knowledge, detachment, unity, eradication and enlightenment.
The art exhibition will explore artworks by 18 artists, namely: Abhishek Singh, Bhajju Shyam, GR Iranna, Jagannath Panda, Madhvi Parekh, Mahalaxmi Karn, Lado Bai, Manjunath Kamath, Mayank Shyam, Mayur & Tushar Vayeda, Pravathy Baul, Rameshwar Broota, Ranbir Kaleka, Santosh Kumar Das, Sudipta Das, Venkat Shyam and Waswo X Waswo & R Vijay.
“Working on this exhibition has been interesting as we are presenting the works of indigenous and urban artists together. The artists have responded to the concept in unique ways and even though the works are visually very different but they are complimentary to each other in a rather sublime way,” said Anubhav Nath, Director, Ojas Art.
The Conference of the Birds is also a collective Participatory Arts project led by Simon Sharkey, former Associate Director, National Theatre of Scotland, along with Artist-Educator Erica May from Canada and Puneeta Roy from India. An accompanying movie will be exhibited at the the India Pavilion, at the COP 26 International Conference on Climate Change, being held in November 2021 at Glasgow.
“The project will use the poem and the framework of 7 episodes/valleys to create responses from several different communities across the world, to the challenges we face when dealing with the impact of Covid19. There are explorations happening simultaneously in India, Chile, Brazil, Bangladesh, Ghana, Scotland, and Canada,” said Puneeta Roy of the Yuva Ekta Foundation.