KOLKATA: Art Etc News & Views, a publication of integrated art house Emami Chisel Art, has dedicated its three issues (March, April and May 2012) to Protest Art.
The first issue (March, 2012) covered Frida Kahlo,Jane Alexander and the graffiti art of the MENA countries through a new perspective. The American Object Orange movement, which is a way to protest against the dwindling of heritage buildings in Detroit was also included along with the Russian Peredvizhniki, often called The Wanderers or The Itinerants in English, a group of Russian realist artists who, in protest against academic restrictions, formed an artists' cooperative and finally evolved into the Society for Travelling Art Exhibitions in 1870 and was active till 1890.
The second issue (April 2012) presented the Guerilla Girls -- a feminist art movement worldwide, where female artists put the Gorilla mask of anonymity to protest against male chauvinism in the art world. It also featured South African artist Willie Bester, whose art is a constant reminder of the atrocities of the Apartheid days. The protest of Chinese artists, to two German filmmakers who are documenting the Japanese protest pattern after the Fukushima-Daichi accident were also focussed. The photographic art of Rameshwar Broota, Transgressive art as a form of protest, Ai Weiwei, Communalism as a movement which started in India after the Best Bakery and Babri Masjid incidents and the canvas of Manjit Bawa after the Sikh riots in Delhi were also covered in the second issue.
In the last and final edition (May, 2012) of Protest Art, the focus has been on India and other Asian countries and at the same time, aspects of European and American Protest Art have also been included. Also in the edition are the Dadaists of Zurich. The art erupting out of the Bhopal gas tragedy is laid side by side with the stark portrayal of American torturers at the Abu Ghraib prison. The issue also brings to attention the socio-political situation highlighting the genre of poetry and songs along with the visual renditions of some of the most important artists from Bengal. An article on political cartoons and the way they have had an impact on our society -- from Shankar to Laxman and others has also been included. Then there is an article on the Dadaists, headed by Raoul Hausmann, whose voice against authority gave rise to a worldwide movement in Protest Art during and after the World War I. The third issue also takes a close look at the works of Mark Willinger, Bijon Chowdhury and Baptist Coelho.
There are separate sections on Civil Society Protest covering the whole gamut from the American atrocities during the Vietnam War to the art from colonialized Senegal, covering Mona Hotum, Purvis Young, Shireen Neshat, Dorothea Lange to Norman Carlberg. And then of course there are other sections on poster art, Urban protest in Italy, protesting through new media, the Protest art by contemporary Indian artists like Jitesh Kallat, Riyaz Komu, TV Santhosh and others.