Tag Archives: Culture

Janet Echelman’s 1.8 London soars high up in the wind

“Look up”, said my friend, as I pushed my way out of Oxford Circus station. Looming over Oxford Circus, suspended 180 feet above ground, awestruck, I see a colourful netted art sculpture floating in the wind.

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Janet Echelman’s 1.8 London, was one of the 30 light installations at Lumiere London Festival held during 14th January-17th January 2016 in West End, King’s Cross and Mayfair.

Thousands of people gathered below the web-like structure, were constantly looking up to the sky and back into their smartphone screens. A Lumiere London volunteer helped my curiosity, guiding me to the app that enabled me to interact with the artwork. Onlookers could alter colours and patterns creating a ripple effect, each unique and unlike the previous.

In those few moments, many strangers expressed, together, with 1.8 London as their platform, creating unique patterns with each other. In her TED Talk, American sculptor and artist, Janet Echelman reveals that forces of nature and their cycle of interaction inspires her to create interactive artwork to bring people closer.

1.8 London was inspired by the 2011 Tsunami in Japan. Its title is based on the number of microseconds that the day of the earthquake was shortened by. “The sculpture’s form was inspired by data sets supplied by NASA of the tsunami’s wave heights rippling across the entire Pacific Ocean,” says Echelman studio.

It is netted out of high-tensile fiber, originally created for NASA astronauts’ space suits, that billows and changes shape with the wind. Janet Echelman says that her art is influenced by fishermen’s net that she witnessed when she travelled to India.

There was an element of wonder in the air, eyes filled with reflections of the colour from the sculpture. People spoke to each other in hush hush, interpreting what it said to them. Children tapped their phones rigorously while constantly looking up, “Look look! I did that.”

Yuuna Kubota, 23, a Japanese student at City College, remarked “It is good to honour a tragedy by bringing people closer, remembering the disaster in the form of art.” Unlike Yuuna, not many people in the square knew what 1.8 London really was about. But, that did not keep them from admiring this beacon of colours and hope.

On a wintery night, Janet Echelman’s 1.8 London was by far my most beautiful connection to this ever luminous city, London.

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Feminism Low

I have been on a low tide of late.

Little heart break. Little depression. Little Guilt. Little regret.

I take pride in being Feminist.

But…

Of late, the feminist part of me doesn’t seem so bright.

The constant experience of being a girl in India could be a big reason. My poor choices could be another. The emerging rape culture is yet another. Being judged by other women makes me saddest (Read saddest). The downfall of modern feminism worries me. Our views have turned sexist in their undertones. But, I don’t know if that is the flaw in feminism at all. There’s so much anger, Indian Feminists tend to get sexist, also, why not? Do you see what’s happening out there? Not all men are rapists, sure. But, there is clearly an issue with some men.

I have begun to worry more and do very less. Today scares me. I am just low.

 

In all of this. I came across this video. It’s beautiful. Cannot thank them enough for making this, feels appropriate. No matter which country you are from, Watch this.

Indians, HERE.

Cultural Abyss

                                                                     I come from India, the country of diverse cultural backgrounds. India consists of 28 states, where each one of them has a unique ethnic milieu. India is called the ‘Land Of Diversity’.  India has numerous religions, languages, festivals, beliefs, customs and traditions. It has a vivid historical past. The lands of India were once ruled by Kings and Queens. It flourished economically, culturally and socially. Then came the travelers who brought with them their culture. India was also once a colony and that was a great time of struggle. Later came a revolution which changed the face of the country and democracy was born. There’s a lot to learn from India’s past and we still are in the course of improvement. But as it is said ‘A population without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.’

                                              I take pride in my country and its culture because every day in India is a festival, every tongue is a language, every celebration is a tradition, every trend is culture, every deed is a custom and every belief is faith.  I was taught from the very first day of my school, “Unity in Diversity”. Those were days when I couldn’t precisely comprehend its significance, but today as I write, these three words  shape my outlook and the foundation of a better tomorrow for the human race.

                                                            The world is in a state of chaos because accepting foreign cultures has become a major challenge. Respecting other cultures is what we need, to overcome this cultural unrest. It is strange how a religion, race, color or language has become an Identity of an individual. Culture is man-made, and man made it to bond his folks. You see, Culture at it roots means Unity, Oneness!

                                                            We follow culture to amalgamate, so why does it now divide us? The governments of the world face a major issue of accommodating cultures which leads to uproar in people, but do we people respect culture and not just a face of it? The world wars, the civil war and the revolutions occurred because Culture stirred the need of a change. It demanded people to recognize and respect each other. Terrorism, a problem that the world faces, is just another face of cultural disruption.

                                                        The youth can certainly make the best of ethnicity to build a better future as they have the accurate knowledge, vigor and resources to do so. I believe that culture is not religion, custom, race, color or a language, it is ‘Faith’. All the Holy Books say that faith is nothing without action.  And to engage in action, we have to engage with all our fellow human beings, and this is how a better tomorrow and be created. The world has placed culture on levels of a hierarchical ladder where one is superior or inferior to the other. Whereas, Culture should actually be the ladder! This ladder will take us to the better future awaiting us!

                                                         ‘Peace’, the state of tranquility is achieved when the mind, heart and soul rest in dignity and unity. I believe that strong and vibrant cultures themselves nurture tolerance and justice. No matter which region we come from, what religion we follow, what language we speak, we all in our hearts must believe that we belong to one culture and it is ‘Humanity’.

                                          The youth not just has to believe in the power of culture but has to involve its application. It is one thing to believe and practice our culture, it is another thing to really go down to the ground and see how our faith can be translated into use for people who are asking for help.  If we inculcate the power of Humanity and believe that culture is one, tomorrow will be bright. Respecting cultures and unification of diversity will drive us where we, the Humankind deserve to be.

                                      The youth is you. The youth is me. We can do it, as one!