Creative economy key to sustainable development: Tharoor

Success of Biennale vindicates struggles, shows power of art: Riyas Komu

It is important to support and invest in creative economy for branding cities and sustainable development of a society, said Dr Shashi Tharoor MP.

He was speaking at a panel discussion on Culture, Society and Creativity -Why you should invest in culture and creativity? at Vakkom Moulavi Foundation Trust at Trivandrum recently.

“We have to create a cultural and creative ecosystem that encourages creative entrepreneurship and think inclusively as well as broadly,” he said.

He also said that it is important to create destination value to cities which will boost local economy. “When I initiated the country’s tallest flag pole for the national flag here in Trivandrum, what I had in mind was to create a cultural landmark. Now when I see people posing for picture in front of the pole, I feel vindicated,” he added.

Citing the example of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s wife striking a credit arrangement with local grocery shop while he was writing his early novels, Tharoor encouraged youngsters to be willing to go through struggles to make it big in life.

Mr. Riyas Komu, well-known artist and sculptor, and who along with artist and curator Bose Krishnamachari weathered a storm of criticism and survived waves of financial struggles in 2012 to organize India’s first art biennial, Kochi-Muziris Biennale, said all the troubles, sweat and tears stand justified now as the Kochi Biennale Foundation is gearing up for its second edition this year. “The kind of acceptance and patronage we get now is a testimony to the intent and vision of the project. And, now as officials and patrons are beginning to see Kochi as Kerala’s art capital, we are proud and happy for what art can do to a society and a place,” he added.

Mr. Komu, who is now the director of programmes of the biennale, is masterminding Students’ Biennale, curated by students. He underlined the importance of art education and need to encourage creativity as a glue of social cohesion in times of turmoil.

“Unlike our critics thought we didn’t import any cultural banyan tree from Venice to Kochi but we planted a seed which has begun to grow into a great banyan with many branches,” he said.

Mr. Bose, who was the co-curator of the first edition of the biennale and is now Biennale Director, cited the example of ‘Bilbao effect’ to stress the importance of governments making policies to support art and culture and local economy.

The panelists included three young creative entrepreneurs from the city - Mr. Kishore Mohan, creative director of Studio Dreamcatcher, Paul Anand, CEO of Biotz, manufacturers of 3D printers and Shobha Ashwin, founder of Weavers’ Village.

Mohan showed a clip of Cocoman, the character his animation studio has developed, which caught the imagination of the crowd. The Cocoman, a coconut thief, blends culture and myth with imagination and technology.

Anand, whose Biotz has launched arguably the world’s cheapest 3D printer, Makifyer, said his dream is to see children printing out their toys at home. He also spoke about the exciting creative and innovative possibilities the three-dimensional printing opens up.

Shobha, also a co-owner of iconic Karalkada, spoke about how Weavers’ Village is merging traditional handloom with creativity and design, and at the same time empowering rural women.

The event was organized by Carpus Media and Pebbles.

 
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