Photo: Linus Lindholm.
Reading List, 2020
Wall mural/graphite, acrylic paint
Photo: Lars Rebers.
The Pro Artibus Foundation runs a 3-year artists’ residency in Vaasa since 2019 in collaboration with the Faculty of Education and Welfare Studies at Åbo Akademi University. Vidha Saumya was invited by artist-in-residence Lena Séraphin to install a temporary wall mural, Reading List, on the 7th floor in the Academill building. The project is part of the program Sharing Text that Séraphin launched as a part of her residency and postdoctoral research at the Åbo Akademy University.
Vidha Saumya is a Helsinki based artist-poet with a Masters Degree in Visual Culture and Contemporary Art from the Aalto University. She is the co-founder and co-editor of NO NIIN, an online arts magazine; and a founding member of the Museum of Impossible Forms, an award-winning cultural center in Kontula, Helsinki.
The poem Reading List proposes a list of 96 authors from India who should be in global reading lists – the list is potentially endless. The work stages a dialogue with the concept of cannon by boldly picking up nourishment from an eclectic reading list.
“As I read my way through list after list, helpfully extended towards me by institutions, visiting lecturers, and seminars in Finland, I encountered many silences. And, to mend those silences, these names were my instinctual response. Here, I urge you to make a new list or to add to this, those authors that you find missing in curatorial, artistic and institutional reading lists today. Because your silences will be different than mine.”
The mural Reading List and its installation was presented by Vidha Saumya to the first-year teacher students at Åbo Akademi University at an online seminar in the fall 2020. Vidha Saumya created together with Lena Séraphin and the Pro Artibus Foundation’s art educator Johanna Halme a pedagogical approach and an assignment regarding text as art that the students completed during the seminar Bild, konst och kulturorienterat lärande (freely translated to Image, Art and Culture-oriented learning) in the didactics of visual art course in the spring 2021.
List of authors:
Makhfi, Namdeo Dhasal, Akhil Katyal, Keki Daruwala, Amrita Pritam, Lal Ded, Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, Khushwant Singh, Kamla Bhasin, Jacinta Kerketta, Zahir Dehlvi, Mona Zote, Balamani, Hussain Haidry, Baburao Bagul, Madhavikutty, Saadat Hasan Manto, Ritu Menon, Arundhati Roy, A. Revathy, Phanishwarnath Renu, Krishna Sobti, P. Sivakami, Yogesh Maitreya, Urmila Pawar, Rashid Jahan, Ravikumar, Chaman Nahal, Iqra Khilji, Begum Rokeya, Sujatha Gidla, Kavita Kane, Kamala Markandya, Meena Kandasamy, Safdar Hashmi, Gargi Vachaknavi, Anuja Chandramouli, C.S. Chandrika, Shalim M. Hussain, R.K. Narayanan, Padma Gole, Uma Chakravarti, Gulbadan Begum, Aravind Malagatti, Ratan Kumar Sambharia, Kabir, Kiran Desai, Jyotsna Siddharth, Sharmila Rege, Nida Fazli, Urvashi Butalia, Balamani Amma, Vidyapati, Raja Dhale, Suniti Namjoshi, Aamir Aziz, Sheetal Sathe, Mahasweta Devi, Ruskin Bond, Shantabai Kamble, Mamang Dai, Temsula Ao, Nayantara Sahgal, Rajni Bakshi, Pinki Virani, Shanta Gokhale, Bama, Sarojini Naidu, Arun Kolatkar, Easterine Kire, Gieve Patel, Savitribai Phule, Abdul Qavi Desnavi, Adil Jussawalla, Suraj Pal Chauhan, Rosalyn D’mello, Chaya Koregaonkar, Harishankar Parsai, Grace Kujur, Sushila Samad, Sheetal Shyam, Ismat Chughtai, Nissim Ezekiel, Pandita Ramabai, Abraham Eraly, Irwin Allan Sealy, Madur Jaffrey, Fakir Mohan Senapati, Makhanlal Chaturvedi, Pallathu Raman, Gaddar, Vijila Chirappad, Maitreyi Devi, Gogu Shyamala, Harimohan Jha, Munshi Premchand