An art workshop for Transgenders, titled ‘Samawaya- embracing otherness’ facilitated by Kerala State Lalithakala Akademi been held at Kochi opens up a platform for the Transgender community to present fine arts talent. Samanwaya, a ten day residential workshop, embraces the otherness in canvas by equipping the participants with professional guidance. Sreemayi, one of the participants who works as an archiving assistant at CDS expresses her gratitude through a canvas painting of unchained hands longing for their rights. She said “I never knew nor had an opportunity to depict my inner self through a canvas” while passing grin standing near her portrait. .
Another participant Plinku, who pursues Women’s Studies at Calicut University, felt overwhelmed as Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, the state committee secretary of CPI, paved visit at the workshop and interacted with the participants.
Sreekutty, President of SGMFK, however expressed her concerns of lack of cultural opportunities for the community, if provided would let the minority gain further social acceptance. While expressing heartfelt thanks to the Akademi, she also pointed out of how vital it is to have consistent programs across various facets for community empowerment. Theertha Sarvika, while wholly absorbed in her mural genre of art work, was overtaken with a mixed emotion of ecstasy and honest gratitude as she narrated her joyful presence of being a noted participant in the workshop.
“This is truly one of the proudest moment in my life as I could share rare platform with eminent artists from across the state. I came here to witness the program but the invitation from Sathyapal T A(Chairman, Lalithakala Akademi ) made me a participant and I feel overjoyed”- said Theertha.
Sathyapal shared his motivational experience of organizing the unique workshop. During his talk with Queerala at the Chairman Office at Durbar Hall Art Gallery, the workshop venue. He said it’s the miserable plight of the transgender people to survive in daily life which let him think of the workshop. Sathyapal, who earlier had facilitated various workshops for several minority communities, assured representation of transgender community in the upcoming workshops by the Akademi.
“Samanwaya is an attempt to offer a platform for the socially neglected group to express their artistic talent and get polished on various fine art forms, which could later be channelized to establish themselves in the Keralite society”- he told.
While discussing the adaptable and inspiring action from the cultural sector, Queerala sincerely passed the concern, for not having Transmen participants at the workshop meant for Transgender people in Kerala, to the Chairman.