When art reclaims history


Paintings, art works on Perinad Mutiny

Reclaiming the past is not an easy exercise, especially when it’s lost in the void of neglect and oblivion. But a panchayat in Kollam is doing exactly that by documenting a 100-year-old episode from local history and reviving some long-lost art forms of the time.

There may not be many records or memoirs of Perinad Mutiny, a Dalit revolt also known as Kallumala Samaram. But Perinad panchayat office’s walls now have several paintings and artworks portraying the event. “Despite its historical relevance, Perinad Mutiny didn’t receive any attention from historians or media. Though savarna communities tried their best to sabotage the agitation, it spread to other parts culminating in a historic meeting held at Cantonment Maidan,” says L. Anil, Perinad panchayat president.

During the early 1900s, women in lower castes were expected to keep their torso bare and Dalit women used to wear strands of translucent beads in the place of clothes. “The agitation was for the freedom to cover their upper body. At a meeting in the presence of Ayyankali and other leaders, they threw away their necklaces, a symbol of their social inferiority,” he says.

“It was the students of Kerala State Institute of Design, Chandanathoppu, who created the works based on the idea,” says Mr. Anil.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 4:04:46 AM |

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