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Date(s) - 12/02/2018
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Alliance française du Bengale


St+art India Fondation presents
Panel Discussion
In the framework of Bonjour India festival


St+art India foundation is a not-for-profit organization that works on art projects in public spaces. The aim of the foundation is to make art accessible to a wider audience by taking it out of the conventional gallery space and embedding it within the cities we live in – making art truly democratic and for everyone.

Established in 2014, the foundation has since executed 9 festivals across India, in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Goa creating iconic landmarks in these cities.


Kolkata is regarded as India’s intellectual, artistic and cultural capital. As the former capital of British India, Kolkata retains a feast of colonial-era architecture contrasting starkly with urban slums and dynamic new-town suburbs with their air-conditioned shopping malls.


Kolkata, often known for its cultural and intellectual wealth, has many facets wrapped in it. There are certain stories and realities that go ignored by virtue of their status as they are at the periphery of society. One such reality can be seen in the Sonagachi area of Kolkata. Visited by many but spoken about by only a few about the complexities inherent in the profession. Through this project, St+art hopes to introduce a new medium to those who fight for their lives and rights in the form of art. “The Unseens” project aims to link two parts of the city by openly speaking about few emblematic stories through portraits of people the artists have been in touch with. Art and social cause will come together in a city which is famous for its artistic flavour as well as for difficult realities such as the Sonagachi. Aravani Art Project (India) and Chifumi (France) will be collaborating to highlight the transgender community through their artworks.


St+art India along with Aravani has identified walls for the artists to work through areas like Park Street, Park Circus, Near Howrah station and Rabindra Sadan- sites with visibility and impact and at the same time in the area of Sonagachi where these portraits and the narrative of the project originated. Poornima Sukumar, from the Aravani Art Project, during the recce, visited the red-light district (Sonagachi) of Kolkata along with interacting with many members of the transgender community. Having spoken to them at length, she has decided to work with a group that is very forthcoming with their views and assertive of their rights. Portraits of these transgenders will be painted by Aravani Art Project in collaboration with Chifumi. He will frame them through patterns belonging to local art and craft.


Raised in France and currently living in Cambodia, Chifumi uses traditional patterns and hand gestures (mudras) in his work. Aravani will open up with their expertise on the world of the Unseen of Calcutta – sex workers and transgender – in a celebration of life and dignity. The collaboration will take place by blending their unique styles and approach to create spectacular canvases which are the expression of culture, art, and social matters.

CHIFUMI (France)

Born and raised in Eastern France, Chifumi currently lives in Phnom Penh / Cambodia. His work is characterized by big painting of hands dancing on walls, he use the body gesture to express different meaning through the cities where he travel. From Paris to Kathmandu or Copenhagen, his large murals always use contextual and local elements that he combines together and create a sensible approach of social art. Since 2015 he is also the founder and curator of Cambodia Urban Art, a festival in Phnom Penh that have for goal the development of urban expression in Cambodia.


The Aravani Art Project is an artistic collective that creates spaces for people from the transgender community to connect with other communities and cultures in their local neighbourhoods. Through public art and interventions, the Aravani Art Project reclaims the streets on which so many transgender people suffer violence and discrimination. In collaboration with fellow artists, photographers, filmmakers, neighbours, friends and family, we mark these spaces with the colours of life in celebration of the  community. The Murals become the vibrant remnants of conversations between cultures that strengthen community bonds and build friendships across differences.

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