Dear Striking and other Art college students.
The strikes at our colleges are terrible and one hopes will be resolved asap, but this could also be a great opportunity to develop a , much needed, parallel form of Arts education.
During the strike at the Delhi College of Art a wonderful idea presented itself in conversation with Inder Salim.- The Foot path Faculty. For years we have been hearing about how appalling the syllabus of the Art colleges in india is, how it has not been updated.and now we have a possibility of a solution.
Last week I conducted a 2 hr class on Tilak marg,as did many of my colleagues, on the street, for about 40 eager students, outside the College of Art. I think we were all quite excited by it, and even started a reading club for some of the students,spoke about what Photography is now, and what it means to be an Artist, a rambling engaging conversation, I think.
This week I had an hour long session at FTII and only stopped because I had to go to the airport. The students were open and curious and really engaged. We spoke about how the future of Photography might just be in the moving still image, among many other ‘ideas’ I am most certainly going back next month and I hope we can explore how to move the still.
I am really quite surprised that I have never been asked to speak at any Art college except when Dr Jain set up the dept of Arts and Aesthetics at JNU. The school that I studied photography in depended entirely on visiting faculty and practitioners who taught us. That was a very big part of the learning, the conversation with editors and photographers from the field. Even while at NID , where we did have many visiting faculty, I always tried to engage with them, regardless of their or my speciality. Even today I am entirely a product of my conversations. Clearly the Art colleges are not looking to engage with practitioners, or something like that.
I will defenitely conduct some kind of a conversation programme for Art students, while my Museum Bhavan occupies KNMA Delhi for 4 months. Probably sunday or saturday classes so it does not interfere with your regular college hours. I am hoping to engage many of my colleagues in these informal sessions.
And if there are other Art colleges that would like to engage in conversations around Photography Now and being an Artist, I am happy to come and meet you on the Footpath.
Best wishes dear Artists, my first advice is to get a job.