The University of Iowa

October 7 WorldCanvass to Focus on Art in India

September 23rd, 2011

Is the making of art in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka since Independence a matter of privilege that rests with donors, patrons, and ministries of culture? Or, on the contrary, is art a necessity for life, like food and shelter, which ordinary people need to relieve the dreariness of poverty? On the October 7 WorldCanvass, we’ll explore the relationship in South Asia between different sorts of art and different levels of income (folk art, classical art, ritual art, studio art, public art) in order to answer the question of who makes and who consumes music, song, poetry, painting, dance and film.

The formal title for our program is taken from a public conference happening on the UI campus between October 6-8 called “New Culture and New Welfare in South Asia: the Arts in India.” Faculty members Paul Greenough (Department of History) and Philip Lutgendorf (Department of Asian and Slavic Languages and Literatures) will be joined by a number of international scholars of South Asian history, traditions and arts as well as playwright and theater producer Vijay Padaki.

“The Prophet and the Poet” by Vijay Padaki (Produced by arrangement with Academy of Theatre Arts, a programme division of Bangalore Little Theatre Foundation) is based on a compilation of letters and articles exchanged between Mahatma Gandhi and Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore over 25 years, with the Indian freedom struggle as the backdrop. The letters reveal how the two personalities differed significantly on the form and content of the freedom movement. The differences widened over the years. However, the maturity of their personalities maintained genuine respect for each other in spite of deep differences on ideological grounds. Padaki’s play will be presented in a public reading the day before WorldCanvass, on Thursday, October 6 at 8:00 p.m. in the UI Theatre Building. The author will be present at the staged reading on October 6 and will participate in the WorldCanvass discussion on October 7.

Discussing South Asian traditions and contemporary expressions in painting, craftsmanship and the making of musical instruments will be Kathryn Myers (University of Connecticut), Natalie Marsh (Kenyon College), Frank Korom (Boston University) and Allen Roda (New York University).

Please join us for WorldCanvass at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, October 7. Contact Joan Kjaer at if you have questions.

UITV records WorldCanvass for later broadcast over Iowa cable television systems and for distribution on Iowa Public Radio and KRUI-FM at the University of Iowa. Live streaming is provided at the International Programs website and all programs are archived on the Public Radio Exchange and available for free download on iTunes.

Production partners for WorldCanvass are: UITV, the Pentacrest Museums, KRUI and Information Technology Services. International Programs, your global intersection, connects students, faculty, staff, and the Iowa community to the world.