NEW DELHI

There will be no greens on this golf course

A complete golf experience without the caddies or the sweltering heat, the installation created by Laura Martin from France and Indersalim uses golf to talk about peace.

Mandira Nayar

NEW DELHI: There will be no greens on this golf course. Putting on the sprawling map of the world for bigger prize money that the ultimate golfing championship can never hope to offer, Delhiites will get a chance to strike a hole-in-one to end violence next week at an unusual art installation at Alliance Francaise.

Titled "Game of Peace'', the installation twists the round of golf -- a symbol of boardroom power politics -- to give ordinary people a little control over the war and violence around the world they have no say in.

A complete golf experience without the caddies or the sweltering heat, the installation created by Laura Martin from France and Indersalim uses golf to talk about peace. Part of a festival on peace and violence, "Issues'' opens here on September 3. The idea is to get people to participate.

"We want people to come and play. There will be golf clubs and the regular white golf ball, but in the installation the ball will stand for peace. We have also talked about peace in different languages, so that people realise that there are words in other languages than English that mean the same thing. But that is only the first layer of our installation,'' explains Indersalim.

The first time that they are displaying their work in the small confines of a gallery, Laura and Indersalim prefer the back of a DTC bus for a "preview".

Fighting a losing battle for space in a world where words like beauty and aesthetics are increasingly becoming extinct or irrelevant, they want to take art out on to the streets.

"Artists are a marginalised community all over the world. Beauty, aesthetics, even ethics are words that are becoming lesser known. We talk more about speed, economy and army. We are living in no-man's land. Artists are fighting a losing battle. It is this desire to restore the lost world,'' says Indersalim.Their installation that talks about peace as a "game" tries to put forward their view on the whole militarisation process from the war in Iraq to the recent bomb blasts in London.

"There is a surprise element in the installation that we want people to experience when they come. Golf has always been a game of the rich. It might be catching on in India, but it is still played by only a few people. We have this opportunity to do something, so it is our responsibility to do something to bring people to their senses,'' says Laura who has also been involved with making a statement to end dowry through her art.

Apart from the installation, the festival "Issues'' that will conclude on International Peace Day on September 13 brings together other mediums of expression to talk about peace.

Making the peace point through film, art and the old-fashioned way through the written word with a workshop by Zubaan Books, the festival hopes to reach out to as many people as it can.

Samina Mishra's `The House on Gulmohar Enclave'-- a personal film that deals with the question of Muslim identity-- and `Paradise on a River of Hell' -- a movie that talks about the erosion of the `political' stance of Sufism -- will be screened.

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