Medicine Corner!

COMING SOON!! To an Indian city near you …

A multi-city arts project from Wellcome Collection UK

Tabiyat: Medicine and Healing in India
An exhibition at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), Mumbai
12 January – 28 March 2016

A contemporary arts exhibition at Akar Prakar Gallery, Kolkata
18 January – 15 February 2016

BLOT! A workshop and live performance
The British Council, New Delhi
22 January 2016

Three cities. Three landmarks on the Indian arts scene. Three ways of exploring India’s diverse medical cultures from the popular to the professionalized, the exotic to the everyday, the mainstream to the marginal.   Medicine Corner, the overarching umbrella initiative, presents a cutting-edge introduction to the entire spectrum of health, healing and wellbeing in India as well as its astonishing plurality of healers, remedies, therapies and tonics.

Tabiyat: Medicine and Healing in India, the centerpiece exhibition on the history and modern practice of medicine, will open in Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji (formerly Prince of Wales) museum. Organized around four generic locations – Home, Shrine, Clinic and Street – Tabiyat draws on a range of historical and contemporary works from Wellcome Trust’s rich collections (being shown in India for the first time) in addition to material from Indian museums and private collections.

Jeevanchakra, to open in Akar Prakar Gallery, Kolkata, is a contemporary arts exhibition that revolves around the life cycle of the human body and its contacts with medical practice. It includes works by contemporary artists Gauri Gill, Nilima Sheikh, Sheba Chhachhi, Mithu Sen, and Paula Sengupta.

BLOT!, a Delhi-based media arts duo, will present a workshop and performance that examines India’s vast, parallel systems of informal health practice. In their one-day performance at the British Council, Delhi, BLOT! will raise critical issues of access, affordability and equity.

Medicine Corner is an initiative of Wellcome Collection in London, a key destination for the incurably curious.  Its Indian offering is a trifecta – a run of three surefire hits – that is guaranteed to delight, dazzle, and engage audiences. Don’t miss!

Project Head and Curator of Tabiyat: Ratan Vaswani

Thanksgifting 2015

My Thanksgiving this year turned south and Sufi.  As always on Turkey Day, my thoughts flew to feasts (I confess an unhealthy obsession with pecan pie), family, and colonial encounters (good bad ugly). Which are hardly unique topics; such seasonal preoccupations are universal on T-day.  But because this year it coincided with my time in Hyderabad during Heritage Week – a series of organized walks to tombs, gardens, monuments in the city – I’ve also been thinking about accidents.

Accidents of history, accidental journeys, accidental heritage – what we leave and what we take away, what we call new and what we call old, what’s serendipitous and of our choosing.  And the fact that Thanksgiving owes itself to one of navigation history’s major accidents. Some four hundred years ago, a Genovese explorer in search of spice routes landed in the Bahamas thinking it was India – proceeding to massacre both the lands he mistakenly named, and its ‘Indian’ peoples! No Thanks there, Columbus. Continue reading