Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) hosted its first DEFdialogue on July 21, 2017, with Subodh Kerkar, installation artiste and Founder of Museum of Goa.
In our everyday life, we’re usually so busy in our personal and professional routine that we often forgot to take a pause, simply to notice, read or discuss topics that don’t fall into our “everyday life”. Initiated as a space to encourage dialogues on a myriad of contemporary topics and issues, and get people to put on their thinking caps, DEFdialogues is a platform that will invite experts from various fields — ranging from art, history and travelling to gender, healthy eating and alternate schooling — to sit down with a small group of people to share about their work and inspire others to think about or appreciate the world around them.
At the first DEFdialogue, Kerkar spoke to a group of people about ‘Reclaiming Gandhi through Art’, a project initiated by him. In the hour-long session, he talked about Gandhi’s philosophy and how the Father of the Nation earned respect not just in India but all around the world, so much so that he was often represented in American pop culture, Nazi Germany souvenirs and Italian news media, to name a few. Mahatma Gandhi has been a symbol of love, empathy and non-violence. “Even the act of littering the street is an act of violence,” Kerkar said, echoing Gandhi. Through his upcoming exhibition ‘Reclaiming Gandhi’, Kerkar wishes to permeate Gandhi’s core philosophy among the larger community. The project is a significant step towards claiming art and technology for social change.
To reconnect people around the world to Gandhi’s philosophies, he has designed an app — which will be officially released on October 2 in Goa — that will enable users to point their phone cameras towards any world currency to give life to a 3D-Virtual Gandhi and take selfies with it or click their friends and family posing alongside the Virtual Gandhi. The visual will be accompanied with a quotation of Gandhi in the language of the currency note. Kerkar’s plan is to put Gandhi’s face on every currency in the world by turning the notes into digital codes. To begin with, the feature will be available on Indian currencies.
He further shared how he plans to document the work of other artists on Gandhi and get 1,000 schoolchildren to dress as Gandhi to participate in his upcoming installation.
DEFdialogues are organised on a regular basis in the Delhi office of Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF). It’s an inclusive space, open for all for free. If you want to attend our next DEFdialogue, write to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com