Kochi Muziris Biennale
KOCHI Muziris Biennale, launched with all sorts of pomp and splendour, appears to be building up negative publicity, thanks to the suspicious designs of the organisers. Since the very beginning it had invited the wrath of world famous artists hailing from Kerala. Reputed sculptor Kanai Kunjiraman is one among them. Keralites were taken by surprise to see that this time even artist MV Devan was not invited to participate.
People of Kerala in general and Kochi in particular were taken by surprise when the organisers displayed the pictures of the banned organisations from all over the world. It was reported that this exhibition displayed the pictures of the flags of even outlawed Indian Mujahideen. It was also reported that they were planning a “New World Summit”, a pet name for the congregations of such organisations. But, when reports came in that Indian Intelligence would take action and Sangh parivar newspaper Janmabhoomi carried the photographs of the flag, Indian Mujahideen flag picture was removed. But other flags are still there. The congregation is named an “alternative parliament” !
Another show was a modified auto rickshaw displayed near the backwaters. One European, reportedly a Portuguese, was talking to the visitors about Thalappana Namboothiri, a Kerala Brahmin who was killed as per the order of Vasco Da Gama for cheating him. The story goes like this. When Gama held negotiations with the Samrin King of Kozhikode for import and export business, Namboothiri was the interpreter. But, it was alleged that he misinterpreted Gama’s words to Samrin for safeguarding the interests of the Kozhikode empire; an angry Gama lost his temper and asked his men to kill Namboothiri.
Then his nose was cut off and a crow’s bill was stitched to in its place. Acknowledged historians have not endorsed this story. But, still the European kept on explaining the story in an arrogant manner as if colonialism still prevails.
It is reported that the former Leftist government led by CPM had allotted Rs 25 crore for this extravaganza. But, Organiser learns that only Rs five crore have been sanctioned so far.
Senior Kerala artists are not all happy about Biennale procedures. MV Devan, former secretary of Madras Lalitha Kala Academy told Organiser that Biennale is a show of artists from Mumbai. Even he himself was not properly invited. The works of Kerala artists were not at all displayed.