CHENNAI: Corona crisis. Pandemic. Lockdown. The world has enough and more negativity now. Businesses may be shut, employees may be asked to work from home, but for performing artistes, this is the time to shine as social media comes as a ray of hope to all those who wish to explore their creativity. Tapping into this is city-based entrepreneur Shreya Nagarajan Singh. She has organised a 15- day Instagram session called ‘What Happens Next?’ from April 20, where artistes, curators and technicians from across the world will discuss what life is likely to be like post-COVID-19. The sessions will be moderated by Shreya and her team.
“Through this festival, we would like to address what is happening to the arts field. How are curators going to function post COVID-19, and what will artistes do?,” said Shreya Every day, a speaker will share their thoughts for 15 minutes. On the first day of the event, Melissa Jiminez, general manager of Trinidad and Tobago-based MusicTT, spoke about the challenges faced by artistes in the country due to the coronavirus. “The main problem here is that artistes are not part of the formal sector. They do not pay taxes and that is why they do not get access to benefits provided by the government.
The way ahead for the artiste community is for them to become part of the formal sector and pay the state so that they can have access to pensions and any kind of compensation in such situations,” she said. Melissa added that application for some of their scholarship programmes is being r worked given that social distancing might become a norm. On the sidelines of the session, Melissa told CE that she would like to see those in the creative arts field to explore other ways of creating revenue.
Another speaker, Australia-based artiste and curator of the Sangam Festival, Priya Srinivasan, said, “My work has always focused on feminist ideas using arts. I will talk about that during my session. I will also talk about the situation in Australia due to the virus. The Sangam Festival, in which artistes from across the globe participate, was scheduled to be held. We have to re-schedule it. We are now considering doing it online, if doing it in public spaces is not feasible.”
The session will also feature contemporary dancers, hip-hop dancers and authors, among others, from cities like Chicago, Melbourne and Netherlands. These sessions will be live on the curator, Shreya’s Instagram handle @ shreyanagarajansingh. Reach out to Shreya on Instagram for more details.