Slow Looking at Freedom

You will learn many things if you look for yourself. ~ Shari Tishman


You will learn many things if you look for yourself. ~ Shari Tishman

To close Loka’s participation in the March to Freedom/75 years of Indian independence educational programme by Flow India/DAG Museums, Shari Tishman (Project Zero/Harvard) led an online Slow Looking session for a group of 13 students aged 14-17.

Shari opened the session with a photo of her visit to Loka, beginning 2019.

As a warm up exercise she then asked us all to remember a colour that we noticed today. Then we explored some art works. One of the art works was K. C. S. Paniker’s The Edge of the Canal, Malabar 1953.

From the book, March to Freedom:
‘In some remote and rural parts of India, Independence was just an announcement on the radio. One set of rulers far away were replaced by another. What does freedom mean if it feels so disconnected from our daily life?’

Shari – Our ideas of freedom often have to do with faraway places. Some connect with our daily lives. When I think of Freedom I think of colours; of people being able to express themselves. Which of the following pictures connects to any idea about freedom you might have?

Dinesh – The photo with the twigs made into a bridge connects to me. Due to the freedom of human beings many other species have to suffer because people put themselves in the centre of everything. When I look at this art work I imagine a more balanced world where not just people but all species live in freedom.

Shilpi – When I look at this bridge it resonates with me and symbolises the possibility to create new things; in a group and in unity. Together we can create something strong and beautiful and in that working together towards a higher aim lies our freedom.

Shankar – The individual branches are placed in a way that together they are hard to break. Unity is strong and this strength in unity symbolises freedom.

Madhu – We need a free mind to create something in conscious unity. For me this picture expresses a freedom of mind.

Sanatan – For me the picture with two hands holding the burning torch speaks of freedom. It is about equality of male and female; both genders being able to equally express their thoughts and ideas in this world.

Sandeep – The picture with the man free floating through the sky symbolises freedom. To be free we need to create our own path.

Shari – It was a pleasure to look closely at art with you. You formed your own interpretations, and used artworks as metaphors for constructing your own ideas about freedom. That is pretty impressive!

Charlotte Leech

Charlotte Leech is co-founder of Loka. Before Loka, she used to work as a Project Manager and Policy Maker for Art & Culture in the Netherlands. Currently Charlotte manages Loka’s communication and educational vision and researches (new) ways of learning through daily interactions and activities with students.

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