Women visual artists protest gender bias

A group of women artists on Friday staged a unique protest in the courtyard of the Durbar Hall Art Gallery here to decry the State government appointing three men as top office-bearers of the Kerala Lalithakala Akademi.

“The government preaches gender equality but practices absolute male bias as is evident from the appointment,” said noted artist P.S. Jalaja, one of the members of A Collective of Women in Visual Arts of Kerala, which took out the protest.

A memorandum signed by 116 women visual artists had been submitted to the government in June last year demanding, among other things, equal share for women in key positions of the Lalithakala Akademi.

“It’s unfortunate that the Akademi has not had even a single woman artist in a decision-making position in the last 60 years. And after T.K. Padmini, no woman artist has been considered worthy of any position anywhere. The way the State government has appointed the new committee shows its scant regard for gender parity,” Ms. Jalaja said.

A note circulated by the collective also took exception to the new committee featuring an office-bearer who has been accused of supporting an accused in a sexual harassment case.

While artist Sajitha Sankar expressed her disappointment at no woman artist being adequately recognised in Kerala, at the event organised by the Akademi and the T.K. Padmini Trust for presenting the T.K. Padmini Award, the secretary-designate of the Akademi just brushed it off as a “needless anxiety”, the note added.

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Printable version | May 23, 2022 2:53:19 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/women-visual-artists-protest-gender-bias/article38305623.ece