Grinnell College to Host U.S. Premiere of 'The Tales of the Tribes' on Nov. 7

October 30, 2017
Rashmi Varma

As part of the exhibition “Many Visions, Many Versions: Art from Indigenous Communities in India” at Faulconer Gallery this fall, Grinnell College will host the U.S. premiere of the film “The Tale of the Tribes,” and a talk by British scholar Rashmi Varma, among other events.

The U.S. screening of “The Tales of the Tribes” film will start at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 7 in the Faulconer Gallery, Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, 1108 Park St., Grinnell. The film, a 35-minute series of five short animated folktales from India, is a collaboration between traditional indigenous artists and digital media artists, exploring tales of mythical origins, village life, local cultural values, and the relationship between humans, nature and the supernatural.

Also on Nov. 7, the gallery will host a talk at 4 p.m. by Rashmi Varma, associate professor of English at the University of Warwick, United Kingdom. In her talk, titled “Primitive Accumulation: Indigenous Art in Late Capitalism,” Varma will narrate the story of how Gond painting came from villages of central India to global art museums, and the value of learning about indigenous cultures today. Her talk is co-sponsored by the college’s Center for the Humanities and the Institute for Global Engagement.

“Many Visions, Many Versions,” which continues through Dec. 10, includes works from the Gond and Warli communities of central India, the Mithila region of Bihar, and the narrative scroll painters of West Bengal

The exhibition includes 47 paintings — on paper, canvas, particle board, and fabric — by 24 Indian artists.

The paintings are divided into four broad categories (myth and cosmology, nature, village life, and contemporary explorations) and demonstrate responsiveness to contemporary global concerns as well as deeply rooted cultural traditions. “Many Visions, Many Versions” is organized by BINDU Modern Gallery, and is toured by International Arts & Artists (IA&A), Washington, D.C. It is curated by Aurogeeta Das and David Szanton with assistance from curating consultant Jeffrey Wechsler.

In addition to the film and Varma’s talk, the Faulconer Gallery will host several events to support understanding of India’s art and culture in late October and November:

Yoga in the Gallery with Monica St. Angelo, Mondays and Thursdays, until Dec. 14, 12:15 – 12:50 p.m.  Enjoy a free 30-minute yoga practice of warming and invigorating poses and a final period of relaxation. All levels welcome. Mats provided. Co-sponsored by Live Well Grinnell. (No yoga Oct. 16, 19 or Nov. 23)

20 Minutes @ 11 with Shuchi Kapila, Tuesday, Oct. 31, 11 a.m.

Shuchi Kapila, a native of India, is assistant vice president and senior international officer of the Institute for Global Engagement and professor of English at Grinnell. She will respond to the painting “The Marriage of Rama and Sita” by Gopal Saha, relating it to the 2008 film, Sita Sings the Blues, considering Sita’s rejection of misogyny in society in the original story and Sita as a modern heroine in the film.

20 Minutes @ 11 with Patrick Inglis, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 11 a.m. Grinnell College Assistant Professor of Sociology Patrick Inglis, author of Upward Servility: Getting By and Falling Behind in the New India, to be published by Oxford University Press in 2018, will speak about works in the exhibition.

Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week (closed Nov. 23, Thanksgiving Day), and admission is free. The Faulconer Gallery is in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, 1108 Park St., Grinnell, 641-269-4660.