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S2E101. Why it is important for Art To Be Accessible For All w/ Helena & Stuti, Kaalo.101 Organization.

 About Us

Kaalo.101, aims to create a socially conscious, completely independent creative space that uses art to uplift emerging Nepali artists while engaging with our surrounding physical, social and cultural environment through an accessible, communicative, and collaborative exchange.

During their journey on the “black train”, they renovated four traditional Newa houses in Patan DIY-style into exhibition spaces, residencies, studios and libraries, where they continuously explore intentional and sustainable co-creating and -existence. These spaces are used for a permanent multimedia urban art collection, exhibitions, workshops, mentorships, concerts, reading circles, discussions and experimental artist- and community-led projects.

Kaalo.101 is not only a physical space but also a safe and comfortable home for our diverse and transcultural family of versatile artists and activists. We support people with questions and aim to offer a safe environment to present any kind of contemporary art and express criticism by providing solidarity and empowerment. We value the vibe of an accepting and supporting family and don’t try to fit anybody’s ideas about art and society, but explore our own possibilities, values, beliefs and non-hierarchical coexistence.

In this episode, Helena and Stuti talk about

  • How they came up with the idea of Kaalo. 101 organization and what is the aim of their organization.
  • They talk about the art scenes in Nepal and other southeast Asian countries in detail. 
  • They talk about How you can become a professional artist. 
  • They discuss what the younger artists learn in universities and schools. 
  • They share why they do their shows and exhibition in abandoned places.
  • They talk about the decolonization of art and 
  • Why art should be accessible to all.

Follow Kaalo:

Follow Arts To Hearts Project:

Follow Charuka Arora, Founder of Arts To Hearts Project

AUTOMATED TRANSCRIPTS

00:00.60
charukaarora
Um, you tell okay hi guys Welcome to answer to hus podcast.

00:04.43
Helena
Hi guys that you are having us. Thank you so much.

00:08.17
Stuti
Um, hi Yes, thanks for inviting us.

00:10.40
charukaarora
No andre I’m going looking forward to having you guys first. Okay, before as much as like you know this conversation is I’m looking forward to knowing you guys because I also know very little I did my own research. But um I’ve been following your Instagram account for.

00:26.20
charukaarora
Couple of months now and I have what I was really interested in because I’ve never had someone from nepal I have no clue how the art scene is in Nepal and because um, it’s a southeast asian country what we’re doing in India it feels very close to home.

00:43.52
charukaarora
And I’m really looking forward to learning more about what’s happening what you guys doing what Carlo is what your individual Journeys are but before we get into all of that. Why don’t you guys introduce yourself who you are and you know what you do.

00:58.86
Stuti
You go ahead? Helena but.

01:04.31
Helena
Um, okay I’m Helena um I’m the co-founder of call one one I’m in Nepa now since 8 years and recently got the nepali citizenship which is like fantastic. Um.

01:11.64
charukaarora
Wow, that’s.

01:14.69
Stuti
Are.

01:19.63
Helena
I Come more from an academic background I studied actually up to my Ph D Art theory. So I come more from a place like of very theoretical and methodologies and looking at art like more from that perspective.

01:26.20
charukaarora
Um, wows.

01:38.56
Helena
Um, and I think it was before I came to Nepal less like connected to the practice in itself I would say it was very much in the University context. Um, but yeah since I’m here and we started Kaluan of course that changed a lot and I. Left like the Ivory Tower eventually and decided to commit to something more important which I’m doing hopefully now.

02:06.33
charukaarora
Okay, tell me something why nipal what brought you to Nepal and um, where were you before Nepal then.

02:14.47
Helena
Um, so after I finished my schooling actually I left pretty fast to Southeast Asia and was working there for the people of the ethical treatment of animals pita also commonly known and from there I moved to London yeah.

02:26.22
charukaarora
That Wow that’s even more interesting.

02:31.79
Helena
And from there I moved to London and worked as a journalist and an agency and actually it was boulevardr journalism which was really so I was writing about Brad Pitt and Angelina Angelina Jolie and these kind of people at that time and.

02:41.88
Stuti
6

02:47.14
Helena
Then I wondered like if this really was already everything what my life has to offer to me to stand at red carpets and interview people. So I went back to Germany because education of course is for free.

02:53.95
Stuti
Um.

03:00.57
Helena
So I went back and was like okay now I study I was living with a lot of artists and warehouses in London so kind of that inspired me to look more into this kind of part of society part of culture part of life. And then I stayed there and in my bachelor I was pretty fortunate to get a small prize for my research and that allowed me to travel around the word basically to find a research topic for my first master and then ph d.

03:31.45
charukaarora
Wow, That’s so interesting so you try you’ve seen a lot of things before you ended up here.

03:33.39
Helena
And I wasn’ in Japan before I was in Japan before and that yeah and I mean to be honest and all like I came to nepa very randomly. No I mean I didn’t plan anything that this could be a space for my research at Bush’ ‘

03:39.68
Stuti
4

03:52.39
Helena
And South Asia it was visa free. It was very easy to enter the country I had no clue like what this place is about no um so right? No no, no, but you know like then I got tattooed here of course and.

03:57.99
charukaarora
Definitefinity and you never thought it but out they never thought like okay this is something it could be to something or anything.

03:59.37
Stuti
Okay.

04:12.16
Helena
I met really amazing people I mean I think the scene that I got connected with like kind of pretty fast I understood that it’s a different vibe than in Germany and in Europe and you know I was working. Um.

04:22.54
charukaarora
And this is so interesting to hear so interesting. Do yeah.

04:27.67
Helena
And to be honest in university we talk a lot about post colonial studies, critical whiteness and all of these things but it wasn’t I mean it’s just Siri. No like you speak about it in a very of course wide space. No.

04:36.93
charukaarora
So yeah, definitely yeah.

04:42.16
Helena
But here kind of the negotiation with that and the discourse was very different now and I think that kind of grounded me also very strongly to be like what am I doing no like I shouldn’t be in University I should be in the practice and commit to movements. Basically.

04:56.51
charukaarora
Um, yeah, okay so what about used to be.

04:59.72
Helena
Are.

05:02.17
Stuti
Hi um, so I’m scthy. So I got involved with Carlo after I returned from the states it was during a mentorship. It was called facilitation. No I’m going to mess it up aren’t I um, it was. Movement restriction and space and then after that I did another mentorship with Galo was facilitating and like curating spaces. Um, and through that I got in for.

05:24.72
charukaarora
Oh Wow So you were basically with you were you were doing this mantorship with kalo.

05:30.22
Stuti
Yeah, yeah, so ballo initiated the member mentorship and they brought in mentors from like you know, different fields of life different disciplines and through that I got connected to like how do you facilitate a space. How do you? you know combine like art. Art with writing and through that I founded a library called Mathengi Library which is house right next to callo um, and so because of that we’ve been working very closely together as well. My journey I mean aside from that I’m actually from like an environmental background. So I majored in biology like did.

05:53.93
charukaarora
Um, okay yeah.

06:02.64
charukaarora
Um, oh wow.

06:07.70
Stuti
Well Science worked in recycling now I’m working in agriculture So water sustainability. Um, so yeah, so that’s where I am coming from but at the same time like there’s this big library that I’m also really trying to build really trying to like.

06:10.31
charukaarora
Oh my goodness.

06:24.36
Stuti
The word across on you know literature as much as art with gallo.

06:29.45
charukaarora
That’s so amazing I I remember I read about that you had 3 spaces. Um, definitely one that you’ve mentioned was the libraryy and other two old button style spaces that you’ve converted into um I don’t want to talk about that. But let’s also.

06:36.24
Stuti
In.

06:43.26
Stuti
So.

06:44.95
charukaarora
Um, can you take me back with how carlo actually happened because like heleda. You said that came here and then what next like you find yourself like you find it interesting and then what you think about something and like how did that happen.

06:53.97
Stuti
E.

06:59.37
Helena
I yeah it was I mean and it was a lot of great fortunate coincidences actually I was doing my research in a tattoo studio here and one day like this guy came in wanted to have a fullleaf tattoo and my. My friend said the other manager was like hey this guy is like the street artist. No the sadu exo and then kind of you know like of course because you know we are like ah various I mean it’s a village. No Kaman who is very small.

07:22.20
charukaarora
So today.

07:30.12
charukaarora
Yeah.

07:32.36
Helena
So We kind of met again and again and I went to an exhibition and saw his work I was like fantastic. No It was like I mean stencils mainly and then we kind of got more and more connected started talking started hanging out and then we were like look we both have in the end. No space. To meet other people meet other artists exhibit Artworks that are kind of our understanding or our passion of art. You know like that are a bit more politically inclined you know where there’s no censorship in a space you know where kind of curation and the white cube is a bit. Questioned Also basically building a community of artists right without having this very monetary focus and basically what happened then we were like okay we we’re looking for a space to live also and we’re like okay no, we cannot afford it. Like in the very new part of town but in the old City. We Really love the space here because also there’s a very existing local community that is they’re very committed to traditions religious practice. You know. Conserving the heritage around us and we were like that’s a perfect space at that time. The rents were still affordable in this area so we found the house to other friends. We walked around before that in every shop is their house to rent you know like and so on and.

08:57.44
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

09:01.70
Helena
So that’s how we started and in the beginning it was just I think 5 of us it was Adia Sadu x me yeah exactly yeah, exactly exactly it was more.

09:07.11
charukaarora
So basically you came together was it like that like you came together pasted in took a space so that you all could work together like if you do your own Oco working.

09:20.26
Helena
You know we put works on the wall. We didn’t know is it a co-working. Is it a living is it a gallery nor like we just went with the floor. No we hung pieces on the walls. You know we invited people we were working there. We were living there everything a no and roof. Otherwise we could not have a for at a 2 if we would have separated living and working.

09:38.20
charukaarora
So yeah, absolutely yeah, yeah, so how how long ago was that what year was that.

09:40.25
Helena
That would not have been possible.

09:48.78
Helena
Oh my lord that’s life I think 2016 so it’s a while it’s it’s 6 year running and yeah, it has been growing. No like that’s ah the amazing thing we had an ah opening part.

09:52.21
charukaarora
So good. Yeah wow.

10:04.78
Helena
Basically a party you know where we just invited our friends and a lot of people came you know and then more and more artists were like oh can I hang my works Too. Can I do something too. Oh I would like to do this No like so that way you know it kind of Grew Grew Grew but kind of very organically no like and not really. How we imagined it to be. Yeah, yeah, other people were pushing like certain agenda. No like it turned out to be more turning more political actually than than it wasn’t the very beginning because especially I felt like my iology should not.

10:24.58
charukaarora
Pushing? yeah. Um, yeah.

10:40.13
charukaarora
Peak. Yeah.

10:40.52
Helena
Be put upon people no and they should act accordingly and but that’s kind of happened Naturally not so that was very very nice like.

10:48.61
charukaarora
What is the art scene and what is the artsy in Nepal right now I’m really interested in knowing like what what is it I have no clue I haven’t been to Nepal even though like I I’ve heard the cartmandos really gorgeous and beautiful.

10:57.72
Stuti
Um, the question.

11:04.11
Helena
That was.

11:05.70
charukaarora
Um, and there’s ah, a lot of people who show here as well. A lot of I’ve seen artists from cartmando who shown in India um, so I’m definitely I I mean looking at you guys and the work that we see here that actually means that a lot of artists and there is a creative community. But what is it like.

11:12.14
Helena
Are.

11:24.99
charukaarora
But best tell us. Yeah.

11:27.33
Helena
You want me? Duty should I say something? Okay, so the art scene and Napal I think I mean that’s a very global phenomena that the arts are very elitist.

11:30.41
Stuti
So you know what you say is you know who you be. But yeah.

11:44.92
charukaarora
Absolutely I think that’s an idea that you’re constantly being sold but that’s not true.

11:45.74
Helena
Saying no like I mean so like so you know like what I feel like we are actually I think working more on the end with activists and other people young people. I Think we’re less connected to established art institutions and I think because for for I mean my personal wish is to be but as accessible as Possible. So that means to be a lot and public spaces know not to be restricted in in our space only no because of.

12:13.18
charukaarora
It’s not that. Yeah.

12:22.30
Helena
Course Even though we Try. It’s accessible to a certain kind of crowd. No like and I think the arts in in Napallia is very hybro type you know like it’s very you know based on Cas privilege you know on Wealth On. Of course, if you’re from Katmandu or outside of the valley. Um, then usually the galleries they look exactly like they would look in the West. It’s basically a white cube. No and I mean us moving into a traditional building was.

12:39.53
charukaarora
Yeah.

12:46.95
charukaarora
Okay.

12:53.15
Helena
Ah, bit also to counter that because we were like look you know we should exhibit art in a space that kind of resonates more with people that resonates more with architecture like so.

12:53.51
charukaarora
Yes.

13:02.87
charukaarora
Um, yeah, my love that.

13:05.85
Helena
I Think it’s everywhere the same you know once we talk about established artists and people who work professionally and full time as artists that’s often a very you know like small circle that has a certain privilege know that comes.

13:18.91
charukaarora
Um, yeah, also I think um, the definition at least that’s in my own personal experience. What I seen is that um when I came into the arts I realized that this was one a there was this only 1 idea that I was being told or that I saw.

13:29.44
Helena
Are.

13:35.91
charukaarora
Probably was that this is how you can become a professional artist or a working artist and um also I think the validation that came from it was like you know when you’re you’re showing your work in a white cuicle like I think it was like for me, it felt like a very big mismatch because as.

13:38.97
Helena
You know.

13:54.56
charukaarora
Creatives as as creators, we our primary goal is to create an express and when you’re given like a Steve like a structure that okay this is how you get to do it. This is who you are this is how it’s done like you know ideas like you know you’re not if you’re not, you’re in your studio.

14:01.16
Helena
Um.

14:13.91
charukaarora
Most of the time that you’re not a serious artist or if you’re doing too much of like nearly old school thoughts versus what I um I think with like us 2 hearts I’m seeing you guys in Nepal um, visionary create like all these platforms like you could. Creating alternative ways of being an artist and just not being like artists in the sense of like you sit in your studio but also using real life skills like today artists are teaching other artists or um, artists are aware about how to run a business or um, social media or. Community or like real life skills. Um, and I think that that when I saw wasn’t really like it wasn’t there this like I feel like we’re all creating like an alternate way which is idly, not alternate but I feel like for the time I’m going to just use that part.

14:53.73
Stuti
Um.

15:10.52
charukaarora
But another way to show all of us like you know there’s a possibility like you could still be an artist and have a parallel job. You can still be an art and it’s not it. Not It’s not going to make you less or more or I think then I show you space I love that like I think this is something that I really like because. It tells a story like our heritage I come from India my my personal work as an artist or who I am especially also it has a lot of influence from my culture and heritage and and I think it adds so many layers. It’s just not showing the work.

15:40.20
Stuti
I.

15:49.42
charukaarora
On a white wall. It’s about you tell your story and I think even as anyone who runs a platform. We’re always trying to tell our stories I think it’s just an a creative process in different form. Ah tell me how did it? Yeah go ahead.

15:59.95
Stuti
Um, I Absolutely agree. Yeah, no yeah I Absolutely agree because if you’re going to like like you talked about like what the art scene looks like and what color is doing is obviously what you set right? like.

16:00.37
Helena
Yeah I shooting.

16:06.29
charukaarora
No.

16:17.00
Stuti
Bringing up a platform for artists to express themselves. Um, freely you know more freely than like it would if it was commercial art because I’ve seen that happen and also like who are we creating like who are art is creating that commercial art for like who is actually buying that who is viewing that and it’s not really the local people.

16:36.70
charukaarora
Absolutely.

16:37.41
Stuti
Um, and because of that like I think um and because of that like um, something that came to mind when you were talking about like artists expressing themselves. So we recently had the right exhibition and all the 6 pieces of work like the painting. There was also projections but like the paintings. All the artists were very true to themselves and they expressed themselves truly and that’s something that really jumped out to me. Um, you know their stories were so deep like and that made the artwork so intricate so personal and that’s not something you really see right when you’re like looking at a commercial art space.

16:59.11
charukaarora
That.

17:08.30
charukaarora
Yeah.

17:12.51
Stuti
Um, because it’s not really, you know of course you’re trying to create a story but what kind of story and who is that story catering to it’s not usually for the artist right? It’s for maybe somebody who’s actually trying to maybe going to like buy it or something.

17:22.85
charukaarora
Absolutely yeah, and yeah and I think um I think I think there needs to be a space for all of us. We all make very like um.

17:35.39
Stuti
Yeah, very sure. No.

17:38.18
charukaarora
All kinds of work someone makes decorative. Someone may make political and even not even as an artist I feel like like for example for me, my work has transitioned a lot in the past couple of years because I possibly have had so many major life moments I lost my mother um like constantly and at that withset.

17:43.49
Stuti
Yeah, um.

17:54.18
Stuti
Sorry.

17:57.19
charukaarora
Impacts you as an artist what you want to say um and everybody will have a very different story and I feel like we all need to understand that all our stories as as important as any other we all have the right to be in that space and I think a lot of. In the beginning I think a lot of artisty like like for people I’ve interviewed like you know we have this constant pressure that you have to say something serious so you have to say something um, value to be taken seriously like you know if like there is. Particular style a particular way that you need to weigh yourself only then you can be taken into like serious accountability.

18:39.73
Helena
Um, and I think you know there’s another element to that in Nepal that never came across to me as much in other places I mean especially in Germany as this idea of creating Nepali art.

18:50.85
charukaarora
Oh.

18:52.87
Helena
No, like what what is like nepali art. No like there’s a very tough stronghold about how Nepali art should look like what kind of content it should have and like.

19:05.80
charukaarora
So well.

19:07.96
Helena
Often artists we work with they are being told or you’re not creating the Bali art. You’re copying something from the west especially in street art. But this comes from people that exhibit their work so lately in these white cubes and like kind of also come very from this very education. Ah you know western discourse. And they don’t look really into local practices like you know theres so much work on walls like all over the city right? So there is a very strong connection of contemporary street art and tradition in Nepal no like studio wrote recently an article about like wall paintings in lumanton.

19:38.99
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

19:45.58
charukaarora
Oh Wow make.

19:47.25
Helena
Ah, religious for religious devotion usually and so you’ not like I think that is a very big problem in Nepal all this nepaliness. No if you would be in Germany like being like oh I create german art and everybody would think you’re a fascist or a nationalist right.

20:02.30
Stuti
Um, but.

20:02.85
charukaarora
Not.

20:04.38
Helena
Ah, in Nepal this is a kind of legitimization. No, you’re a nepali enough. You know you’re creating like kind of deities beds like this you know, but I think this is so limiting for young artists. No because of course we’re in a transcultural society nepal is not an isolated space. You know.

20:11.60
charukaarora
Yeah, yes.

20:21.81
Helena
I Think it’s time to acknowledge. You know that transaltuation is like the future you know like and and I mean of course I would say that because I also moved to Naal no like but I feel also as an aalino.

20:31.97
charukaarora
You understand? Yeah, definitely yeah, but have you been to India you have you see so quite but you’ll see a little bit of the same ideology here as well. Honestly, a little bit I may not select I think that is something that I think.

20:40.20
Stuti
The.

20:40.59
Helena
Um, yeah I’ve been too Indian not not much.

20:51.95
charukaarora
Me I don’t know the reason why but I do I do relate to what you’re saying okay tell me Toie You do you? also come from the parkmandu. Okay, okay so you you moved to the Us you did all these things and then you came back.

21:01.76
Stuti
Yeah I do born and raised Kashman Do yes yes.

21:12.17
charukaarora
And also for you Helena how did um I’m sure like from traveling the world and for you being in the us you’ve been exposed to like all sorts of things and like we all know like there’s there’s a jewish distance in the not particularly in the art scene but in general also um, how does how. How was that for you. Um, this this cultural difference difference in perspective mindsets like how ah what does? what What’s your opinion on that.

21:44.00
Stuti
So for me, um I am not really an artist I wouldn’t say that I just dribble something you know doodle sometimes but um I do really I did really like going to the museums there and of course there’s like firstly there’s this big gap like and Helena touched on this as well. Um, about like this art needing to be nepadi and it’s not as contemporary here. So if you go to like our art exhibitions. It’s usually like very, it’s really yeah religion centric or you know it’s very much tied into like this.

22:08.24
charukaarora
And I’ve seen those.

22:17.88
Stuti
Napali like but not just nepali but like mostly like high cast like you know patriarchal notions of like you know what art should be or would look like but when I went to the states obviously I went to like um. Different types of museums and there I really did see like personal expression. Um in art that I hadn’t seen back home at that time because I went when I was 18 So I I was young as well. But when I came back like of course there was again, lots of symbolism. Like religious symbolism and art or cultural symbolism and art. But with Kalu I saw that that was kind of shifting um, especially for younger people because here they do get a very traditional training as well. I mean I mean I don’t know if it’s changed now now but like um, you know. I don’t know it’s like I mean maybe Helena can say more about that like you know what are the younger artists learning in universities and schools and what are they? you know, bringing out to the world. Um, but yeah with Kano then I saw like okay there is this shift towards like artists actually expressing themselves. Really like very much experimenting as well. Not just with their art but with themselves as well like what do they actually like right? What do what kind of materials. Do do they want to work with like is there something more than just you know a canvas in front of them like I know Kalo has done a lot of work with like.

23:49.10
Stuti
Resin and like so sculpture clay like all of that as well. So yeah I did see a big divide. Um, but with Kalu like I think that gap is narrowing which is great to see that.

24:00.70
charukaarora
That That’s so wonderful movie for up. That’s a wonderful dream and we yeah go ahead. Absolutely go.

24:05.15
Helena
And I’m should I add to that? Ah so I mean I think for me, it’s 3 things like 1 thing is like.

24:09.53
Stuti
Um, do it.

24:17.80
Helena
Oh of course people believe there is no opportunity for artists in Napal I see that a bit differently because I really believe it’s because it’s so small. Everybody knows everybody and if somebody is really good. You can.

24:27.13
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah.

24:32.35
Helena
Know of get access and be able to exhibit or find a space that would be interested to exhibit you and support you and second thing is I think also like I mean Germany you know when you talk about cultural heritage I don’t know even what that is right. So like I think contemporary artists here have a chance to feed off and learn very much from people and professionals working in the heritage and that’s like very much in proximity to where they live you know like there’s a big connection to that.

24:51.96
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah.

24:55.31
Stuti
3 Will.

25:04.33
Helena
But you know like when I came here like so these were very positive things. No that kind of resonated with me but something that I figured is like in the west you have very strong counter movements to institutionalized forms of arts and all like.

25:18.63
charukaarora
Yeah.

25:21.79
Helena
Ah, so people and know like who questioned the white cube who question like the Colonia energy. You know that comes with all of that that question the art market in there by.

25:26.84
Stuti
In each.

25:35.20
Helena
Ah, there’s not really a lot of people questioning that you know and I think because people maybe don’t see the options yet. There’s not a strong move and for example, calling out people if a gallery keeps exhibiting abusers or predators. Let’s call them predators because that’s what they are.

25:37.68
Stuti
Remove.

25:52.42
Helena
Or there are a lot of people very questionable people in institutions educational institutions. They are not being called out. No and that’s something in other places you would less likely to encounter. No like um.

26:05.42
charukaarora
So yeah.

26:09.41
Helena
I think in India the metoo movement was also pretty big and that part not really you know because then again, yeah, it’s like a small you know it’s a small. There’s a lot of dependency and there are a lot of power dynamics and I think it’s very hard to counter certain people in.

26:10.24
charukaarora
Yeah, hey.

26:19.82
Stuti
We.

26:26.20
charukaarora
I Yeah yeah I think that’s I think that’s something small thing and like there’s there’s always a good and a bad to both when you’re in a smaller space. Everybody knows everybody so the access to like you know when you have something to say can reach to a wide audience.

26:28.11
Helena
Positions of parliament right? and.

26:35.29
Stuti
And yeah.

26:42.15
charukaarora
But the coin is that when you really have something to say that is not in alignment with what people want to hear that becomes a problem.

26:45.47
Stuti
So yeah.

26:47.46
Helena
Yeah, yeah I mean and all like people the way like other art institutions. They said about us like we’re dark alternative and underground or like our focus was just working with queer people.

26:56.14
Stuti
Thank you.

26:57.93
charukaarora
I Oh my goodness I Even if I did I think it’s a.

27:03.80
Helena
Or you know like we’re always anti. You know, like to to opinionated and I’m like look you know like I mean these are mostly people that have never entered the space because of course they are not really interested. No um.

27:06.42
Stuti
No.

27:19.74
Helena
And you know like I mean me personally I stopped going to most of the other institutions because I cannot tolerate looking at exhibitions of pre predators and where everybody knows I’m like I’m I have a very hard time like kind of overseeing this? no like ah.

27:27.56
charukaarora
Yeah.

27:34.21
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

27:37.94
Helena
So I think yeah, we’re we’re kind of not removed from the art community because of course I know them and we have a friendly connection but we don’t collaborate you know, especially me and all because kind of they give us always this label of young struggling artists.

27:44.75
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah.

27:54.77
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

27:56.10
Stuti
Equipment.

27:57.91
Helena
And I’m like here we’re young maybe in comparison. But struggling I don’t know you know like some yes I’m no no um.

28:02.10
Stuti
So.

28:08.75
charukaarora
But I think ah the most actually what is what I find very interesting. Um is that let’s say ten years ago or maybe a couple of years ago so like there was only this one kind of community. And not I didn’t feel represented about that I didn’t feel belonged to it. Um, and so there will be like that there needs to be ultimate like there needs to be several spaces for all kinds of belongingness what you may feel connected and what you want for yourself. I may not want that and that’s completely fine.

28:24.82
Helena
Um, in.

28:42.52
charukaarora
We All need to coexist. Um, as long as people I think like if we don’t have more and more representation and people create what we’re all looking for.. It’s very hard for us to fit in this one box that very I think the upcoming generations. Are finding it very hard to connect to or if you’re keeping up I see this is something I’ve seen in the west a lot I think um even with the traditional white cubes like a lot of people have started and I think that’s that’s particularly small businesses. Small gallerygry owners Young Galley Owners who may be in the traditional. But.

29:02.90
Helena
Um.

29:19.60
charukaarora
They are changing the way that they’re looking at things they’re becoming more Approachable. You know they’re becoming more experimental more inclusive which is a great which is a great step I Think like all these initiatives need to like happen from all ends because ultimately it’s going to benefit. I Think the traditional system was the one that was benefiting, benefiting artists released and we need to constantly like build this ecosystem for artists because ultimately they are the source of everything and anything that’s happening right Now. So.

29:48.49
Helena
Exactly exactly and I think you know it’s also fine to acknowledge difference and be like okay we cannot collaborate but we can still be friendly with each other and polite right? doesn’t have to be always like this aggressive relation. No like but yeah I mean.

29:59.74
charukaarora
I Yeah yeah, yeah, and I think that’s also ah like we all have different opinion. We still accept. We may not appreciate but you.

30:07.83
Helena
Yeah, exactly exactly? um.

30:13.53
charukaarora
You accept the existence of each other and you move ahead. So think Elby City tell me something what about? How has the library come to life and what is I want to understand how how do you guys work together.

30:15.40
Helena
Um, exactly so on our end that works very well.

30:20.24
Stuti
Moving.

30:32.30
charukaarora
What is a typical color working like show like take a deeper. Let’s talk about the library then we’ll talk about you guys and why how are you collaborating? How do you work together and because I see a great analog between you two as well.

30:40.80
Stuti
Um, ah, um.

30:44.20
Stuti
Um, thanks, um, so with the library it started December Twenty Twenty one so end of 2021 and before that it housed some art books um through the mobile library napa which is like just a rotating library that has like a lot of books on art and there was like.

31:02.34
charukaarora
So I do I Love this idea.

31:04.47
Stuti
Obviously you know Yeah so now it’s actually in like the central university here in Kashwin du but like before that like we had that and then I just had this idea because um. Likewise with arch like even literature is quite inaccessible here right? like for people especially like those maybe reading english literature and I grew up in a house full of books and I didn’t realize what a big privilege that was until like you know I started talking to people and like you know, just the fact that people had to. Buy books in order to read them. There wasn’t really like a robust library so that made me you know, take this mentorship with goddo actually and it was like about curation like how do you facilitate a space. How do you build a community right? Um, and through that like I created this the mathanki library and so you know. This was very recent at riot and I think it worked really well is that we would have artwork and there was like a small pop-up library with black books distro as well. Which is an anarchist like library book infoshop. Um, which is also located in Laipurin but near where we are. Um, and so you know you had people interacting with the art space that like you had people interacting with the books and I think it just creates like a really nice like collaborative environment for people just to sit down and you know just to creative people are creative in so many different ways right? Some people prefer writing some people prefer.

32:29.35
Stuti
You know, art music and all of that coming together I think like I think that’s really coming along well and I think that’s how it works like um in this exhibition we did in the abandoned space like we had the library then we had obviously the artwork the projections and at the end of the day we would have like these musical like performances.

32:37.30
charukaarora
This very interesting and.

32:48.88
Stuti
From different people and I think you know? yeah so the trifect of that you should come. You should come over? yeah.

32:49.34
charukaarora
I Oh Wow you guys don’t way more fund memory management I have to um and let me just.

32:54.34
Helena
I yeah yeah and the the amazing thing is it was all in an abandon space. So we went in that space like two months before the exhibition and we cleaned it up. It was completely trashed and all like and it was just an empty standing little warehouse.

33:04.82
Stuti
And.

33:08.19
charukaarora
Um, Wow with this.

33:12.90
Helena
Um, and that really changes the whole calculation of accessibility you know because you go you, you actually bring up the energy to go to bring your work to a space where people have not I mean seen this kind of event right? And so how the neighbors respond are is like.

33:16.49
Stuti
So in.

33:32.33
Helena
They’re like oh what are you doing? Why are you doing this who are you? what does that mean? what? why they why this and you kind of reflect the whole time. No then about your own work. Also, how do we explain? Of course I can like explain every artwork in a very intellectual, very elaborate way.

33:35.35
charukaarora
Yeah, absolutely.

33:35.93
Stuti
Um.

33:43.69
Stuti
So the.

33:49.20
charukaarora
Um, and.

33:51.11
Helena
But that’s not how you explain works to people that just come by and are like what is that and like why why? what does Riot mean the exhibition was called Riot. So how do you? How do you explain the idea of a riot to people that come from a kind of.

33:53.96
charukaarora
Um, yeah, you know oh my goodness.

33:58.26
Stuti
Look.

34:08.32
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

34:09.19
Helena
Possible war conscience and without them being like oh you know like so okay, it’s that kind of thing and we’re like no you know and it’s like about yourself also about your personal rights how you express yourself? No and that. These are the conversations that I think are really fruit foil because you know then I really fear we are making an effort. We’re not expecting people to come but we are coming towards them. No so we had 1 exhibition. Also.

34:26.19
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

34:36.39
Stuti
No.

34:37.40
charukaarora
Um, yes.

34:39.49
Helena
Suti was part of that under the under the baghmati bridge ah connects Kamanu and lalidur and that’s like a space where people go and pee. You know they they walk there towards work. You know it’s like at the river and the river is in a terrible condition. Of course.

34:40.89
Stuti
I am.

34:48.26
Stuti
So.

34:55.73
Helena
So yeah, kind of you force the elite the art elite to these kind of spaces 1 no but also like there is a lot of people passing these artworks and we never put like statements so everybody makes their own like thoughts about this.

35:00.30
charukaarora
Down.

35:08.65
charukaarora
Um, theized.

35:10.40
Helena
People destroy it which I really encourage too if I feel like doing that and know because it’s a communication or but usually we remove art from any form of communication in the white cube. No because why is it a white Cube describe it very neutno.

35:22.66
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah, yeah.

35:26.17
Helena
Nothingness it kind of removes everything from the context from the city from the people. No and nobody can touch it. No I think that’s an amazing thing about public art people kind of feel entitled to go to it and kind of change it even or destroy it or do whatever with it? no.

35:33.96
charukaarora
Um, yeah, but yes.

35:44.20
charukaarora
Um, why not? you know what is even more interesting. Not only audience. But I think on the flip side as an artist. What I see like because I’ve never had this and I oh it’s It’s even like even the thought of just giving me two like.

35:44.77
Helena
And I think that’s a way now because that’s all I mean you know that communications. Oh.

35:59.75
charukaarora
Um, I think as artists we’ve become so attached to what we make and like you know, yeah and I think with the white Cu which this oh it becomes very it also attaches to your ego and like it. Yeah, like where you become. Ah, it’s so preciousious and like this and that and the moment someone you make your art and you know anybody who has.

36:10.88
Helena
Um, yeah, yeah.

36:19.73
charukaarora
Communication your relationship with your viewer is such that that if they want they can destroy it trash it. It makes you like it I think it grounds you I’m just thinking about it now and just reflecting like it’ll ground you in such a different way your relationship with your work changes so much. And I think it’ll give you I think the wide Cuba like the tradition formats like the more serious you become like you more? Seriously, you start to take yourself the more afraid you become of what you want to say versus when you already know that whatever you’re going to say may be discarded.

36:47.23
Helena
That.

36:52.96
Stuti
Of.

36:53.73
charukaarora
Rather say what you have to say than just keep it to yourself I Love this. So.

36:55.80
Helena
Um, yeah, and I think to be honest I think you know the wide cube and the art market too. They give the artist as the author a lot of power and that’s the power of truth right. You are inscribing with your statement as certain. You know this is the way what it means this is what it is now but to be honest I think you know the author should be removed from the artworks first of all, no like because we for example, we never use kind of labels know in our gallery too. It’s like first of all.

37:09.27
charukaarora
Scale.

37:28.73
Helena
People can ask of course who is this work like you know like what’s the context that’s fine. But first of all look at an art piece without 2 a 4 pages of statement right? because that.

37:37.64
charukaarora
So yeah.

37:42.76
Helena
That that is so much like implication of power and all like and that is not what art should be. You know the potential of art is everybody can look at it make their own meaning out of it. And know make their own context see it from their personal background positionality. Whatever it is and I think that’s how art should be used to know and not be like oh you know it’s a kind of social cultural Capital You know. That only we have in our hands and then we share it with the word. However, we we see it fit No um, no, it’s like I think you know and that’s what the problem of the art market and all these galleries is no like they kind of of course who wants to give up power. No um.

38:26.34
charukaarora
Um, yeah, so.

38:29.77
Helena
But then everybody loves talking about decolonizing the arts. No I mean what does decolonizing in a white cube that’s I would really like to know no like of the documental. Also the Tuan alley here you know what does decolonization mean in this context. No love.

38:44.41
charukaarora
Yeah,, that’s very interesting and I think um like I said I think these are all experiences we all need to like these are questions that we need to keep keep asking ourselves and um, how we all individually want to react and like contribute to that whole narrative because um. Ultimately I think we all if we all work in the same alignment and in the same direction. It’s it’s it’s not benefit of one but I think it’s a benefit for all and especially I think for long time artists I think artists should always have the choice.

39:06.89
Helena
Um, and.

39:20.24
charukaarora
How they want to represent their work at the end of the day I think that I think artists should have always had that power which they’ve not only had in in quite some time and I think with social media A lot of things have changed. It’s it’s you in artists the power of saying what they want doing what they want.

39:21.76
Helena
Are being.

39:31.62
Helena
Been a.

39:39.27
charukaarora
Experimenting and also having direct feedback of what they’re making.

39:41.69
Helena
I think you know there’s a difference. So if you have an artist of of course my marginalized communities people that don’t get the standing of deciding who they are yes 100% you know I will not impact how their work is presented and how they want that.

39:53.77
charukaarora
And that.

40:00.14
Helena
A white says Mayor comes towards me and it’s like oh you know I want this this is I don’t give them that space and all I have to be very sorry then I believe then an artist has kind of go into this reflection process maybe with other people too and think about that don’t know.

40:07.70
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

40:16.52
Helena
Because subconsciously of course we reproduce structures that are beneficial to us and all like but then let’s kind of think about that in other cases as I said marginalized communities of course because they don’t get any of this space.

40:16.92
charukaarora
Um.

40:20.55
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

40:30.21
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah.

40:33.61
Helena
And any of the saying in these institutions. So then the changes but I think if you come from power if you come from Privilege you should be ready to question yourself and challenges the challenge the ways How you want your work to be presented and all like in terms of accessibility in terms of.

40:46.16
charukaarora
Um, yes, yes.

40:52.83
Helena
Have reflection and all of that.

40:55.68
charukaarora
I loved I loved that you like I think these are very very important things that um, not only Nepal but I think in all parts of the world like I said a column needs to be there and like you know the guilla lovers if they wouldn’t have been here um like.

41:06.22
Helena
Are.

41:12.25
charukaarora
We all play such an important role to make a better future and we all need those challenges. We all need to create spaces to have those conversations that will that are not monitored that then and also platforms that are targeting the specific audience so that they are uplifted because they need that support that.

41:19.45
Stuti
Wow.

41:31.65
charukaarora
Has not been given to them forever and it’s it is our duties. It is our responsibility to play that part. Okay, tell me something. Yeah.

41:34.79
Helena
Um, second.

41:39.62
Helena
Um, I mean you you see pretty pretty well what happens? No if for example in the documenter. No like all these incidents with the party office and with other people what happens if the Y Cube takes this lately of decolonizing and involves people. They are not.

41:58.40
Helena
Ready and not capable of facilitating in a post fascist still fascist Germany right? Where people you know like I mean like this whole Israel ah Palestine context you know, like then that completely failed no like and I said.

42:12.34
charukaarora
Yeah.

42:15.92
Helena
And I think it would have been a different thing if of course the curatorial work would have been a different one if there would have been different communication different form of facilitation. So it’s very difficult to change and always people say oh but I should work with them because I can change the institution. No, you will not change the institution.

42:32.77
Stuti
Couple of them.

42:34.63
Helena
And um, the institution is so strong that is bad on white supremacy that is bid on exclusion. You will not change that show me rather make your own space now from the ground and not from ground 0 no is like there. It’s not a fact enough.

42:36.80
charukaarora
Um.

42:42.87
Stuti
O o.

42:44.54
charukaarora
You? Yeah yeah, yeah, yeah, and you have to be each make you have to be changed made you have to take those risks and I think I think I do agree to this one Sometimes if you don’t seem resonated. Um.

42:51.67
Stuti
But but.

42:53.96
Helena
Yeah.

43:01.92
charukaarora
You have no choice but to create something for yourself because it’s not there and you have to take it upon yourself to create something that does not represent you. But I think very find themselves the more courage we all put up together like you know to just to create what’s missing. Um I think you’ll all have so much more.

43:09.21
Helena
Are.

43:21.80
Helena
Are.

43:21.82
charukaarora
Um, capacity to find ourselves and like challenge ourselves and work and all of those things I think.

43:26.34
Helena
Yeah I think you know like for us, you know, already to believe in power of community instead of Authority and leadership and to believe in kind of relations based on trust rather than relations based on fear and this kind of dependency. You know. I think that’s for humans already a big shift. No to do. But I think if we manage that then we’re like oh you know like I can rent a house with 10 friends together I can put up some Artworks I can make bull shit I don’t need you know like this established institution Necessarily no.

43:45.34
charukaarora
Let’s be good. Yeah.

43:45.41
Stuti
Yeahluber stuff.

43:53.69
charukaarora
Yes, yes. Yeah, yeah, okay, tell me something what is what does like how you guys work together. How are you at Carlo and the library. What is the typical. What are you doing outside of Scarlos like how just one last bit before be.

44:04.14
Helena
Um.

44:13.76
Helena
Is.

44:16.65
charukaarora
Ready to the rapid fire.

44:17.30
Helena
Um, student you want.

44:22.18
Stuti
Um, so I am well I don’t know where to start in that question. Um, so the library. Um, so yeah, so there’s the library of force and with that like what I mean there’s so many points that you know you guys have been talking about I’ve been listening and it’s like There’s so much that you can do with a library um that firstly involves like you know, breaking that bubble right? because what kind of people are coming to the library like how do I make it more inclusive. How do I kind of like burst that bubble and make sure that people have access to that library and then that’s when you know you reach out to. Palo you reach out to like you know you try to do these art exhibitions like that Kalo has been doing like you kind of hop on that bandwhaagon and do a pop-up library. Um, just to spread the word across so that’s one another is like there is ah what you said in the beginning when you were doing your introduction.

45:07.80
charukaarora
A.

45:09.69
Helena
Um.

45:16.82
Stuti
That you know there’s been a lot of gatekeeping in your side of town and like in your art community as well and that’s true. Um for art communities in Dutchman too as well as like the literature community right? like who is giving you know like who is publishing books like what voices are they bringing out there.

45:33.80
charukaarora
So yeah, yeah.

45:36.48
Stuti
Um, who are they you know, bringing to the forefront like and then who is facilitating spaces who’s curating those spaces and that’s something that you know you want to think about you want to make sure again that. Reaching out to as many people as possible and not just to select few because obviously it’s easy right? like in that sense because you you have like your own friend circle you have that Echo Chamber. It’s all fun. But what is it actually bringing about any change in the art or in the literature community and that’s something you need to think about.

45:55.80
charukaarora
So yeah, have saluted so.

46:08.81
Stuti
Um, so yeah, so that’s something that I rack my brains about but other than that like I’m mostly like you know running around doing other things as well. Um, but yeah I also write when I have the time which is hardly any these days but um.

46:20.30
charukaarora
Oh wow, That’s so nice.

46:25.44
Stuti
Yeah, so like yeah so the hope is that Kano and mathingi library can collaborate with those like public spaces a lot more because we had an internal talk as well like with other people in the community like in the art community the politics um you know different like you know in the left community here. You know what are we actually doing something that can we do more than what we are doing right? and that’s something that constantly inly asking ourselves. Um, so I’m sure like you know riot was just another like it’s a step up a ladder which.

46:50.52
Helena
And.

46:52.75
charukaarora
And and absolutely and I think I think the day we start asking that ourselves like I think just how we can do better than what we’re doing today today I think that’s more than a wonderful start like just keeping atic.

46:58.66
Stuti
Hopefully the latter will be for everyone eventually.

47:01.90
Helena
Ah.

47:12.80
charukaarora
I think that gets us through so many so many things that we can’t even imagine what about you Hena yeah, good good ahead.

47:15.13
Helena
And.

47:17.38
Stuti
Something that I have ah sorry sorry oh something I’ve appreciated about like Helena and Kalu is that even when starting the library I think like maybe whoever’s listening in right? like. If you do want to start something it. It can be like really small right? like the focus isn’t on like because what we think about like the art community like the literature community I think it’s like a little bastardized when it reaches like napal or India because we think very great, very lofty like was white were these.

47:35.76
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yes is.

47:43.70
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah, how am I so agree with that for sure and also I think this so yeah, this so in kind of shame I think that’s what I think Helena mentioned you guys mentioned your abandoned space.

47:45.49
Helena
And.

47:50.40
Stuti
Library is yeah and so like you know it can you start with a room. Yeah yeah.

48:01.92
charukaarora
I Think this is something that I’ve seen a lot with my friends in the Europe and in the us where they actually there’s no inhibation. There’s also not any social innovation that if they pick up a space people who will come trash their space or like you know, call the police so like things like the social structured also like that.

48:09.13
Stuti
Um, yeah, yeah, no yeah for short.

48:18.66
charukaarora
But I don’t think like in India it would take a lot more courage to go into like or maybe I haven’t never done that so I I don’t have that but is the societal structure in fresh that yeah and also also given also like to study and the same because you know.

48:26.60
Stuti
Um, it just takes the first like five minutes. Yeah, no, even with like the library right now. Yeah sorry.

48:30.60
Helena
Um, you know.

48:37.68
charukaarora
I’m sure like Helena mentioned like the exhibition that you put it would have taken a lot more courage because the way it was styled it will like it it it triggers people and like then you’re picking up a space and I think Southeast Asia countries like they’re very like the very responding to their situation like the moment they start feeling unsafe. A lot of trouble comes your way. So I think which is something that has not seen in ah in a lot of spaces in the west but people just pick up a space and they don’t feel like they’ll trigger someone like and more of this needs to happen because that way like.

49:00.67
Helena
Um, yeah, all.

49:02.24
Stuti
O o.

49:12.99
charukaarora
That’s how accessibility and expression is expanding more than anything else.

49:13.59
Stuti
O.

49:13.80
Helena
Um, but do you know it’s exactly that I mean when we go into a space. It is a very long process of communication with the neighbors and making them feel safe.

49:18.31
Stuti
Oh yeah.

49:23.81
charukaarora
So yeah, yeah, exactly.

49:25.50
Helena
Actually you know like because there is like hundreds of people coming over a weekend and and like I mean we clean up every evening and know after the event like the sing butts and no, we don’t let the people go towards the neighbors too Much. You know like so it’s you know like. Based on a lot of respect and we’re not taking that water when we’re not allowed to all of these kind of things and that gives them also the kind of thought you know like oh these these people I mean they have tattoos and they look kind of weird or whatever. But.

49:49.45
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

49:53.77
charukaarora
Um, yes in it.

49:57.49
Stuti
So.

49:58.77
Helena
They are proper. You know they know how to behave in our neighborhood and they respect our private space. No and I think that changes all calculation. No.

50:04.46
charukaarora
I Think yeah and also I think like the thing you meant ah mention a lot of people especially in the Southeast Astia We are also very judgmental on the way people look a perception of artist or perception of um, anyone who’s doing it. Responding or revolting or having like some kind of opinion. That’s not a mass Opinion. So like you know these are very Common. Um attributes that scare people away and they they they feel. Yeah.

50:26.64
Helena
Um, yeah.

50:29.91
Stuti
You know to be completely honest with you should I Yeah um so even with like the library right? like and these spaces like I feel like.

50:31.50
Helena
Um, ah and that no no say go for it.

50:46.74
Stuti
People are hesitant to clean up at first right because it’s like what are we doing here right? like it’s not something like it’s that idea that you have to literally create your own space that can then accommodate you right? and I think that’s like a very valuable lesson for any person starting out something like you can like. You know some days you do need to get down and dirty and like you know, put that effort in and like that’s something that I think so so like when people start putting that the work like the actual work in those spaces they do feel more responsible like more responsibility towards it. And I think like you know, even with that abandoned space like I was in there all the time but when I was there like it was like okay this is like a collective effort to like make sure that we’re creating a space from scratch for people to come in and it’s not just like something that kao does or I do. It’s like. We’re bringing people together and I think that’s a very powerful message in and of itself. Um, and you’re right like in south asian cultures like in Naba like you know, maybe some people have grown up with mates that’s probably not very prevalent in the west like even the act of cleaning itself. People do get very hesitant. Its like a switched social like.

51:53.93
charukaarora
Yeah, if they don’t get yet. Yeah I Yeah yeah.

51:58.56
Stuti
Corrupt structure like thought that we get. So even that fact is like okay, everybody’s equal here. Everybody puts in that work and everybody gets that satisfaction of like having done that work and put that effort in o.

52:11.35
charukaarora
Um, yeah, also sense of ownership like that’s very important people participating they need to know like I think what for me I think my biggest ereg of it like Arttro hat has always been like what I saw prominently here in India and around my surroundings was like.

52:12.14
Helena
Um, and I think yeah.

52:27.67
charukaarora
A lot of time people were with this artist around me work with this idea that they needed to be picked. They needed to be helped. They needed to be given a platform anything and everything they needed to be given and I came from a very like I came from design and tech and I’ve done a lot of things that started business closed them. I Never believed in all those things and I was always at the mindset that you know if I need something and I am completely opposite like if I need something My first Instinct is how do I create it instead of like you know going and I I saw like this was such ah something that was holding back So many people. But.

52:59.35
Helena
Um, and.

53:05.27
charukaarora
People don’t have ownership of their own lives and their own careers. The moments artists like anyone or even artists we understand look at this if I want to be her I take hold of who I am what I want to be get my hands dirty make those mistakes and finally I’ll find something rather than keep waiting someone to come.

53:08.40
Helena
I.

53:23.36
Helena
Um, and.

53:25.17
charukaarora
Validate dictate and tell me who I have to become I think this like and it’s those small changes you put up anation you clean that organize that market it put it up. Get those nails like it. It really gives you a sense of purpose like you know I have done.

53:26.69
Helena
Yes.

53:40.20
Helena
Yeah, yeah, exactly and I mean to see that happening I mean I think we were 15 people in the team for this one and to see this happening is for me the most powerful thing. No no like how.

53:43.18
charukaarora
I’ve made this possible.

53:51.76
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah.

53:55.31
Helena
People take ownership and how responsible they feel and everything is and fantastic. No. So I think for me like this really you know like we did 2 other abandoned spaces before the whole pandemic schism is that happened and. But I think now like I mean so lately I want to do new exhibitions and events outside of these walls. No like and for me like we’ll have now like a residency south asian it’s a south asian collaboration between Bangladesh India Pakistan.

54:14.73
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

54:29.93
charukaarora
Ohio.

54:30.28
Helena
Nabal and the uk Diaspora so 20 people will come in September so we’ll also make ah concerts on public spaces and then we’ll have and the next one is like 4 european artists. Collaborating with 4 nealli artist on a massive wall and we’ll also do an exhibition and shutter spaces and all these shop spaces. Um, and I mean the biggest. Ah.

54:49.23
charukaarora
Um, yes, yes, yes, we had a project like this and also which was a which was a blast like and you should also check out someone I think you will really like is a raly project. Ah you see it on Iny Yardfed like they’ve been doing a great work with transcend transgender people. They build a community. Oh god I love what they’re doing amazing work. Yeah.

55:06.95
Helena
I know them as is yeah they’re amazing and I mean for us to know like also like because the. Place where we’re Located. It’s like turning out to be Okay, we’re always talking about decentralizing the arts. But what’s happening actually now in the past everybody’s moving to Pattern. So I think we have to. Bit our farewell to pardon sooner or later and remove our cells from this calculation and go to spaces in the city where there is no representation of the arts because we have done a lot of work in the streets here and that’s.

55:42.71
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

55:49.20
Helena
Fantastic I loved my time here. But I think now we have to make the move and we got a small land like outside of the Village Valley and I really I mean I want to build something there. That’s more going towards co living and then have a space for the gallery. Basically.

56:02.51
charukaarora
Um, um.

56:06.23
charukaarora
Um, yes.

56:06.38
Helena
Let’s say in proximity to the city you know because but I I don’t think we should be I mean I Love Pattern Pattern is wonderful. No, but now ah with all the art institutions moving here I’m like what’s the purpose of us being here actually is there because there are so many people doing art. No.

56:19.41
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah, you’ve already done your job and.

56:25.30
Helena
So we should go to a place where there’s much exact. That’s how I fear no and for us it would be also interesting. It would be a new community. It would be a new neighborhood. There are so many ugly walls that need to be painted and abandoned spaces to be cleaned. Um, yeah and I think.

56:41.94
charukaarora
Um, you you I me to come to cartmando and if um now.

56:44.40
Helena
Yeah, know like the yeah yeah yeah I mean Kaman to but I think the biggest so know like what I figure especially in the residencies and now especially in the south asian residencies that people from Pakistan and India can meet in this space without any problem. No.

56:50.12
Stuti
Um, good thing.

56:58.51
charukaarora
Um, yes, yes, yes.

57:01.72
Stuti
E.

57:03.48
Helena
And I think that is in compare in the south asian comparison nippa is maybe 1 of the most liberal and progressive spaces. No and that’s why I mean as you said no in India it might not be so easy to go to an and independent like abandoned space and take it on you know, like with all this party.

57:11.60
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

57:23.13
Helena
Politics and nationalism going on there. You know we have that to yeah exactly no, but here it’s kind of possible. No like and through communication not everybody will love you but people will let you be know exactly.

57:24.92
charukaarora
Yeah, who will build um most probably they will they.

57:36.96
charukaarora
Um, yeah, but they’ll bear you yeah I think this tolerance I think in the past one in 2 years in yard. The idea of tolerance has been a very big point. Um, because the.

57:49.26
Helena
Um, everywhere in the world I mean look at look at Youros like Neo fascism is on the rise and all like as a burn ground. No and it’s happening everywhere like where leaders like Don Trump can become and know like even in South Asia kind of

57:53.50
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

58:01.38
Stuti
Fifty Fifty populous

58:02.10
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah.

58:06.25
Helena
And like so you know like I mean we have to counter that in a way and make our small bubbles also and come for create communities care for each other love art. Yeah, but it’s more. It’s so much more than art.

58:15.75
charukaarora
Um, um, and it’s like a boy you go out. You let’s come back to your yes.

58:22.90
Stuti
Thank you.

58:22.67
Helena
You know it’s not art. You know art art is there and art I love art of course, but you know that’s not the baseline of it. No the baseline is I I mean I trust Dutyy I love to work with dutyy you know like I respect and appreciate.

58:29.38
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

58:34.87
Stuti
Thank you.

58:36.88
Helena
You know that’s the Baseline and then art comes in the calculation and that’s fantastic. No, but I mean human relation is a bit more important than putting a nice painting on the wall.

58:42.53
charukaarora
Yeah I cannot age human relation for me I think art is all about relations. There’s nothing like I I think I do this and I do the work that I do is because I love I think art is that common ground that unites me and makes me meet like people I think it’s it’s it’s this.

58:48.85
Stuti
Doing.

59:02.14
charukaarora
Filter that I know that I can have this conversation that I will cherish for the rest of my life with someone because we have ah we have like a certain common interest that is just not art. It’s like it’s a filter that’s like or not but it it gives you deep I think we spoken for the first time but I don’t think I we we can have a conversation like this with anybody we need.

59:05.94
Helena
Where is.

59:20.80
Stuti
And.

59:21.64
charukaarora
Like you know I think that’s what art unites and it’s not only art in the sense of painting I think with to see your writing and like I think I have a team that you know I I am based out of India I have some a team that works out of Pakistan and I I deeply resonately love um.

59:22.60
Helena
Um, exactly yeah.

59:40.67
charukaarora
That diversification and like how we can irrespective of where we come from who we are. We can unite on a common crown and find that collaboration and enjoy and and celebrate I think I think why do we have to see ourselves all all like.

59:49.99
Helena
Are.

59:58.42
charukaarora
If we see ourselves as common interest all over the world I think we can be such powerful allies.

01:00:02.77
Stuti
Something that I’ve also realized because we’ve worked with so many young people like young artists Young writers young you know musicians is that a little bit of kindness goes a long way like for all these upcoming you know artists across the board.

01:00:02.91
Helena
Um, yeah.

01:00:17.99
charukaarora
Um, absolutely.

01:00:21.60
Stuti
Um, just because I mean just thinking about like our childhoods and how stifled we were or like how it was very difficult to pursue something create like a creative field right? and to see like you know just people coming into the spaces that you know like the library or like Kalo and just. Telling you know Helena like you know I feel heard I feel respected I feel welcome in this space that I may not otherwise and I think that is also very important like that’s one of the most important works that I think Calu is doing because I hear that a lot for people coming in right? like of course they like seeing the art where they.

01:00:46.14
charukaarora
Um, yeah, um.

01:00:59.10
Stuti
You know they really enjoyed that aspect of it as well. But just the fact that they have a safe space. Um with all the things that they struggle with right like when you’re younger when you’re trying to be an artist when you may not have that support but then having a space where you see like people like you thriving and like imagining yourself.

01:01:04.94
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

01:01:13.54
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

01:01:17.96
Stuti
As an artist you know I think that’s very important and I think that’s very um, yeah, like it’s very hard touching like heartwarming to see that as well. Um, for whoever comes in that space and I think that’s what we were talking about. Yeah, exactly the coal that keeps the fire burning.

01:01:29.25
charukaarora
Um I love that That’s a yeah, come on right? Thank you guys. This has been so good I am.

01:01:29.25
Helena
Um, that’s a few enough.

01:01:37.75
Stuti
Ah, thank you.

01:01:38.94
Helena
Um, thank you so much.

01:01:43.78
charukaarora
I have had I I think it’s been an hour I don’t even delay. It’s been. It’s gone so quick but I have a rapid 5 before I let you go so you what will do is because we have to a few I asked the question you’ll take you both of you have to be quick just give me what comes to your mind. Okay.

01:01:53.66
Helena
Um.

01:02:02.56
Stuti
I’m scared. Yes, so.

01:02:02.63
charukaarora
Are we ready, but it’s just it’s just a fun way to end this conversation. Okay, so yeah, we go ah hall Now you first and then so to you on so second and then I’ll ask another question. Okay.

01:02:15.66
Stuti
I read.

01:02:17.98
charukaarora
Ah, be 1 thing you want to convey through your work in the arts.

01:02:22.16
Helena
Um, if you want to change anything start everywhere.

01:02:26.30
Stuti
Ah, ah top that ah, ah for me I think it’s like yeah so I think for me, it’s like kindness and empathy and listening to each other.

01:02:26.86
charukaarora
Um, well what about you.

01:02:29.12
Helena
Um, didn.

01:02:40.70
charukaarora
Not that that’s wonderful. What’s that 1 word that decides you the best.

01:02:41.66
Stuti
And would love to have that.

01:02:55.44
Helena
Um, a kind of anarchism.

01:02:56.39
Stuti
Um I I kiss it I feel like for me. Ah, oh dear, this is a hard 1

01:03:03.92
charukaarora
Ah, wait quick quick quick. Follow.

01:03:04.37
Helena
Are.

01:03:12.31
Stuti
Why didn’t I think about mine ah can I say vivacious. Um, so.

01:03:15.98
charukaarora
Um, and anything this absolutely key. Okay, if you could have a a studio or a gallery space or a library. Whatever your father team talk that is anywhere in the world where would it be.

01:03:31.19
Helena
Um, here. Yeah.

01:03:33.34
charukaarora
Yeah, but you’ve already got it What about used to be.

01:03:39.59
Stuti
Yeah, that’s true where else. Um for me I feel like everywhere is that a thing like a network everywhere. Love be so cool.

01:03:47.69
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah, no definitely I think a pop up you should keep moving that library all over the world now. Okay, your biggest source of inspiration.

01:03:54.63
Stuti
Thanks I’m dry.

01:04:02.75
Helena
Um, the people around me.

01:04:03.53
charukaarora
Why why bad you.

01:04:06.22
Stuti
The people who come in like yeah, all the like young people who come in and like get so excited about the books and like they’re talking about it. It’s really really cool and.

01:04:19.20
charukaarora
Um, okay if you were to meet younger Helena Slash the tea to today. What advice would you give her.

01:04:26.57
Helena
It will be a lot of struggle but you come to a place where you find your people who are also struggle it as much as you did and you have a beautiful community.

01:04:34.66
Stuti
I Got the hip and.

01:04:37.34
charukaarora
Oh wow, That’s a great advice.

01:04:42.70
Stuti
For me I think trust yourself, um, don’t dim your light for people that you know yeah I don’t know I feel like yeah I would definitely be like trust yourself have fun. Um, yeah, have a lot of fun before your back starts hurt. Dig.

01:04:48.52
Helena
Think that.

01:04:59.70
Stuti
Of old age dance more drink more. The hangovers are getting worse.

01:05:03.48
charukaarora
Um, love I.

01:05:07.89
charukaarora
Okay, 1 last question shout out to an artist or couple of more that you currently love you on social media so that our community can also find that.

01:05:21.30
Stuti
I’m like blanking.

01:05:21.67
Helena
Oh my Lord Satan that’s like very difficult I cannot ah the.

01:05:27.10
charukaarora
Um, oh I Love this question every time I go back I I yes was artist and I’m like oh my God I found another set that I didn’t know about So I Love this person.

01:05:38.99
Helena
You know like I’m in the wrong position to say one name so I cannot do that I give you a list of people and you put it. He.

01:05:40.82
Stuti
I feel like you need to pull out my Instagram um.

01:05:52.26
charukaarora
You have anything.

01:05:54.38
Helena
Um, no so I mean of course you know I can tell you like definitely look at the works of Sado x that’s like the co-founder of Kalu one one I think fantastic work I would also say 1 only 1 Okay so I of course what to do.

01:06:02.49
charukaarora
Okay, okay.

01:06:13.90
Stuti
Um, ah, um, maybe I’ll say some from the a man. Everybody was so good. Oh a writer of no I’ve just been reading a lot of classics. Ah.

01:06:14.44
charukaarora
Um, you can also mention a item if you have anything of your heart is gay by for me.

01:06:30.10
Stuti
Dear I’m really blanking. Let’s see 1 artist or writer that I’m really biing with at the moment this is like this is not a contemporary or a south asian writer is that okay.

01:06:40.34
charukaarora
Um, author writer poet performance artist anything anything. Oh yeah, thattemporary sure.

01:06:43.54
Helena
No, That’s not okay, but. Are.

01:06:55.40
Stuti
No, just because I think reading is what oh dear. Okay, okay, okay I’m gonna give a shout out to um, my library. No I’m just kidding. Ah really I’m really blanking here I need to think.

01:07:06.87
Stuti
You can just I can reward myself and then you can like add it in post production.

01:07:10.94
charukaarora
Ah, okay so I will once so they gives me the artist I will link her in the show notes or him and make sure you check out So I will also know who that person is I’m going to wait for this you. But yes, yes, absolutely.

01:07:13.64
Helena
Um.

01:07:14.25
Stuti
Stupid. Actually we we wait I have like a couple of of young writers that were like you know I mean maybe this will be a shotra for them like we have a songs of revolution. This is a book that was curated by Anki Karki and Bijata and then we have shesh tappa who also came out with his portic collection. So yeah.

01:07:20.99
Helena
Are.

01:07:28.82
charukaarora
A okay.

01:07:39.90
Stuti
Shout out to them who else has written a book. Okay I think that’s all I remember the young author Opragan Arian was also a young writer up and coming that when to writers there you go? yeah.

01:07:39.51
charukaarora
Um, but yes.

01:07:43.14
charukaarora
No problem. Oh Oh I’m going to look all of them and like all of them on the show. As for all of us. Oh My God Thank you So much. Guys. It was fun knowing you also like it’s been a fresh breath affair to have this conversation I Really appreciate your honesty and thank you so much for sharing.

01:07:52.91
Helena
Um.

01:07:54.78
Stuti
Great.

01:07:55.51
Helena
In.

01:08:07.60
Stuti
Thank you so much. Thank you for having us. Yes, we appreciate you come visit soon. We’ll be waiting. Yes, so sure.

01:08:07.80
charukaarora
Your walk your ideas your thoughts with me I Really appreciate this.

01:08:10.87
Helena
Thank you, You are appreciated. Thank you for the work.

01:08:17.24
charukaarora
Um, okay, but 1 last thing. Yes, yes, absolutely when you come down. Really you let me know.

01:08:24.35
Helena
I don’t leave this courtyard. You know.

01:08:30.34
Stuti
I’m glued to the seat.

01:08:30.93
charukaarora
Um, I pretty much have the same situation. Okay, tell me something before I let you go I forgot where can people are listening to this episode find you support you participate all of that.

01:08:47.56
Helena
I think for me, it’s just Instagram kind of one one is like the we publish everything there people should reach out. You know we’re always wecoming residency artists who like anybody wants to callrate anything. No just say hi. And will be connected.

01:09:05.79
charukaarora
Oh wow, That’s wonderful.

01:09:07.98
Stuti
So ah, for me that would be martinhani dot library so mit t ngi dot library. Um, and yeah, so if anybody’s coming in from India I’m always in need of books books. You can’t find in above.

01:09:21.20
charukaarora
You don’t carry your books come here.

01:09:23.68
Helena
Since.

01:09:24.89
Stuti
Please reach out to me. Um, but no like um if you’re interested. Actually we do reading circles we do workshops. So if you’re interested like you. We could also do like crosss country reading circles and workshops. That’s always a lot of fun. Virtually yeah so.

01:09:37.50
charukaarora
Oh wow! Yes, definitely we are publishing 2 of our books. We’re also doing a magazine that’s be fine.

01:09:41.92
Stuti
Ah, if you wanted like oh that’s amazing. That’s amazing. So yeah, definitely follow us send. It’s a message. Um and keep in touch.

01:09:52.21
charukaarora
I Thank you guys I Hope to see you soon again.

01:09:55.47
Helena
Thank you? Yes, we will Bye bye.

01:09:57.46
Stuti
Thank you bye.

CATEGORIES:

Rabia Khan

Rabia is a writer, a wife and a mother. she belongs to the city of Peshawar, Pakistan. She works as a content writer for Arts to Hearts and writes for emerging artists that are finding their ways in the world of art.
She has done her bachelors in Communication & Media Studies from Fatima Jinnah Women University and secured 3rd position.
She is friendly, honest, down to earth and a very hardworking person. She makes sure that she does her work with utmost dedication and with perfection. Her goal in life is to become a successful writer and wants to open an organization where she can help the underprivileged people to make their life better.