Leveraging 'People' Power of Sustainability
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The new decade of 2020 taught us many lessons, one significant one being how to manage and respond in the face of challenge. In the field of work, working from home has now become a more accepted and somewhat preferred norm. For women, this transition is proving to be a seamless one, as, for ages they have been ‘confined’ (sometimes by custom and at times due to the situation) to their abode. But, never in the history can their role be lessened due to their limited exposure to the outer world.
Tagore was one of the global pioneers who recognized and popularized this perspective on women. In his words, “For we women are not only the deities of the household fire, but the flame of the soul itself.”
Rabindranath Tagore was born on 7 May, 1861. A world poet, writer, composer, philosopher and painter, he reshaped Bengali literature and music, as well as Indian art in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He became the first non-European to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature.
He was a forerunner in envisioning a globalized world community. Between 1878 and 1932, Tagore traveled to more than thirty countries on five continents. Tagore was a staunch believer in a dialogical world where people from different cultures would engage in communication marked by respect, reciprocity, empathy, and generosity. He believed that the ultimate destiny for humans lay in the creation of a global community by enlightened individuals from all cultures who would help engender love, peace and harmony among individuals and nations (Roy, 2015).
Though his plans to visit Australia did not materialize, in the year 1913, when he won the Nobel Prize in literature, several Western media from around the world including several Australian newspapers featured him. Brisbane courier published a long feature with the title ‘Indian Poet Honoured/ Noble Prize for Bengal ‘Prophet’. The feature was based on the article published in Daily Chronicle, London on 14th November 1913, in which the poet was described as ‘Prophet of Indian Nationalism’. In 1934, Melbourne celebrated its centenary in which one of the events was a flight competition from London to Melbourne. Among the six women participants, the only Indian was Sushama Devi Mukherjee, whose endeavor was financially supported by Rabindranath Tagore (The Scottish Centre of Tagore Studies, n.d).
This year (2021) marks the 160th anniversary of Tagore and we are glad to announce our first exhibition for the year 2021 titled, “Not Only Zamindar's wife- A relook into the women of Bengal through the eyes of Tagore”. During the period between 1881 to 1941 Bengal, Tagore was one of the first few who portrayed the educated and urban Indian woman to be fighting for human rights and equality while openly challenging social evils. She was not only a Zamindaar’s wife but much more than that.
Through this project, we plan to showcase arts based on the theme by noted artist from Bengal, further promote women empowerment and a glimpse into the fascinating culture that believed in global community and mutual respect based on authentic reciprocity.
Standing so close to the Australia Day which also coincides with the Indian Republic Day (26th January), what better way to celebrate the shared values between these two great nations and the broader global community!
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Our first exhibition for the year 2021....
Not Only Zamindaar's wife- A re-look into the women of Bengal through the eyes of Tagore...