Artistic licence with Waswo X Waswo

We have all heard of artistic licence but to see it live is something else altogether.

By (People Watch)

Published: Sat 11 Apr 2015, 9:50 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 7:57 PM

American artist and writer Waswo X Waswo, was so frustrated about the way things work in God’s Own Country, which is Kerala, that he decided to use his artistic licence to tell the world about it last week.

An indophile and a resident of India since 2001, Waswo recently exhibited his works at the high-profile Kochi-Muziris Biennale, participating in a show titled Sleeping Through The Museum. Only, we are guessing that neither he nor the organisers of the event knew of the complications that awaited them when the show concluded in end March. In fact, they are sure to have spend sleepless nights trying to solve the issue

 A day after the event, Waswo was getting organised to return home after the exhibition when he ended up in a heated dispute with the state’s notorious labour unions and their bullying ways. All he wanted was for them to load his works onto a truck parked 10 feet away and the loaders demanded a 10,000 rupees as fee for the six boxes. Not one to back down in fear of bullies, Waswo tried to make them see reason but when it drew a blank, he did the unimaginable.

The angry and frustrated artist proceeded to systematically destroy his art work, all the time video recording it and talking about it, eventually uploading the video on You Tube.

“This is a testament to the unions in Kerala, and what they do to business; and how they destroy business in the state,” Waswo says in the video. ”The unions here basically function as mobs, surrounding a truck and refusing anyone to load or unload until their demands are met...asking as much as 60,000 to Rs80,000 rupees to load one truck. Intimidation and threats of violence and property damage are employed. The only way I could get them to even start a negotiation was to threaten to destroy my entire show rather than ship it. Thankfully, this started a process of negotiation and an eventual agreement on more equitable terms,” he wrote.

The artist’s version was seconded by another reputed fellow artist, Subodh Kerkar, who said he too faced a similar situation and had coughed up over 1,20,000 rupees between December and March while he was at the biennale displaying his work “Janela: Migrating Forms and Migrating Gods”.

While we have every sympathy for the workers of the world, we hope the worker’s unions in Kerala rethink the way they approach their work. And we are hoping the government does something fast to avert a repeat of this year’s disaster or the state is likely to go from God’s Own Country to God’s Own Nightmare, in no time at all.


Daddy Cool

You have to wait patiently for the best things in your life and once you get that precious thing you learn to nurture and protect it with complete determination. India’s most successful cricket captain,  Mahendra Singh Dhoni, was away in Australia playing his heart out at the World Cup when his wife gave birth to their first child, a daughter. While other players, in other parts of the world, have been known to leave mid way to be with their family at such occasions, Dhoni soldiered on, saying he was on “national duty” and that he would meet his daughter when the call of the nation was accomplished.

The team did a great job at the world cup, notching up six back-to-back wins even though they did not carry home the coveted cup but back home, Dhoni was seen last week holding on to his most precious prize yet: his infant daughter Zia, while the couple were at the airport in their hometown of Ranchi.

She might have not seen her father the moment she opened her eyes but little Ziva is already comfortable being with Daddy Cool who was spotted carrying her close to his heart, in a baby sling. We were charmed to see the usually unflappable captain place a protective hand over tiny Ziva’s head, possibly to shield her from the dozens of cameras that emerged just as soon as the celebrity duo were spotted at the airport.

We are sure Ziva will be kept away from prying eyes for as long as the fond father wants her to be away from the flashbulbs but we are sure he also knows that as the daughter of India’s most valuable brand, Ziva will get used to being followed by cameras wherever and whenever she is seen in public.

Even as you read this, Dhoni will have had to say an unwilling goodbye to his darling daughter to head for the heat and dust of IPL matches that will go on till May 24. We are sure she will bring him great luck in the face offs with the world’s best cricketing talent.

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