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Academic discussion on art and culture held in line with International Artists' Day at JN Manipur Dance Academy
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, October 25 2020: DESAM, AMMIK, Film Forum Manipur, Manipur State Shumang Leela Council and Theatre Centre Manipur joined hands to observe International Artists' Day along with an academic discussion on "Art and Cultural Cultivation" at JN Manipur Dance Academy today.

Commissioner of the Department of Art and Culture, M Joy who attended the observation programme as the chief guest briefed about the significance of observing the day dedicated to artists.

The day is observed in recognition of the contributions made by the artists and at the same time reminds us what can be done for them in return, he said.

He also highlighted that people of all classes may find the work of artists interesting and fascinating, however only a few understand the real value and support them by collecting the works as priced assets.



Academic discussion on art and culture held in line with International Artists' Day at JN Manipur Dance Academy
Academic discussion on art and culture held in line with International Artists' Day at JN Manipur Dance Academy


While highlighting the helplessness on the part of the Art and Culture Department to support the artists sufficiently, the Commissioner stated that they have to depend on project fundings from outside owing to the State's meagre budget allocation.

He appealed all for collective efforts in preserving and promoting the State's valued art and culture.

Citing examples of how Koreans care about their culture deeply, he expressed regret over the fast changing lifestyle and growing emotional and physical gaps between parents and their children and grandchildren in the State.

"There is a growing need for retention of the rich and valuable indigenous culture starting right from our homes", he said.

The Commissioner also sought recommendations from today's discussion programme and assured to extend possible help from the Department's side.

Renowned playwright and Theatre Centre Manipur's president Naba Wareppa said that a real artist should have a very deep knowledge about himself or herself as well as about the surroundings.

Talking on the artforms such as Shumang Leela, dance and film, Naba put forward the need for finding whether State's oriental and unique culture is richly portrayed through these artforms or are they being overwhelmed by western concepts, design and values.

Expressing concern over excessive indulgence in western values and views, he also called on all for timely intervention and promotion of own culture.

Director of JN Manipur Dance Academy, Pukhrambam Bilash Singh; secy general of AMMIK, Mayengbam Dhananjoy; chairman of Film Forum Manipur, Samjetsabam Mangoljao; lifetime president of Manipur State Shumang Leela Council, Ph Gunachandra Sharma; and president of DESAM head office, Nangmeirakpam Edison also shared the dais during the observation programme.

The discussion was hosted by DESAM's secretary general, Leishantham Lamyanba Meitei while Wareppa Naba; lifetime general secretary of Manipur State Shumang Leela Council, Sougrakpam Hemanta; AMMIK advisor Dr Hamom Nabachandra, artist Dr RK Joykumar Singh; director of Progressive Artiste Laboratory, Nangmeirakpam Tiken Singh; cultural activist, Ningthouja Lancha were the panellists who spoke on the topic.

Delivering the keynote address in connection with the discussion programme, DESAM's secretary for cultural affairs, Oinam Surjakanta delved into the importance of observing the day in detail.

Oinam Surjakanta while highlighting the use of cultural exchange, need for participation and values that can be inculcated from it, said that cultural exchange is a global phenomena and it is a platform where a community create a conducive environment to highlight their best positive sides and to inspire others to endorse their innovative culture.

As such, culture changes and leads the community into a new direction with time, he said.

The previous culture started losing its value whenever a new culture came thereby pushing older culture to the brink of extinction, which is not encouraging at all, he said.

The fast growing information and communication technology is further facilitating cultural exchange, he said while adding that devaluing every culture by absorbing a new culture will be 'unwise' as it will lead to a culturally dependent community.

Domination by other's culture is akin to cultural colonization and cultural imperialism starts to exploit the community culturally and economically which in turn hinder the pace of the community's development, he said.

"Considering the possibilities, we should strive hard to know values of our own culture, preserve and cultivate it," he said.

Culture reflects a community's way of living, behaviour, level of thinking, their capabilities and they are reflected through art including literary works, song, dance, paintings, festivals, games and sports, he said while adding that a culture of a community goes hand in hand with its civilization.

Art filled with goodness and positive values can change a whole community and thus the discussion on "Art and Cultural Cultivation" was conceived, he said.

Going further on art, he also quoted "All Artwork are the products of their culture" and "Arts are the reflection of their culture".

He also said that an artistic expression can alter a community's belief, thoughts, food habits and overall culture.

Art can cause cultural exchange and at the same time can store an entire history, he said while adding that these are all creations of artists.

"It is through artists that we can preserve our unique identity and thus the day is observed with utmost respect," he continued.


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