Cutains of the 21st edition of the Kalaghoda Arts Festival (#KGAF2020) exhibition was wrung down last Sunday (Feb. 9). The event organised by the Kala Ghoda Association achieved what it set out to do; make typically inaccessible art reach the masses.
People in large to very large numbers thronged the venue and had a gem of a time. “People came in overwhelming numbers. Every venue was completely full. It has been one of the most successful editions of the festival,” said festival coordinator Nicole Mody.
What made the event more lovable to the audience were things like Irani cafe heritage walks, silly stand-up comedy shows, serious theatre, queer films, hip hop dance, children’s workshops and the kind of indoor and outdoor artworks that stopped many office-going Mumbaikars in their tracks. Besides, there were several stalls selling pieces of art, jewellery and of course food of different varities.
If one exhibit featuring a tightrope walker served as a metaphor for navigating modern life with all its pushes and pulls, an Ambassador car juxtaposed values of youth today with Gandhian values by shrouding itself in both denim and khadi.
Celeb-spotters too had their share of fun. Fans of Usha Uthup, for instance, got a rare glimpse into her fifty-year-long journey from nightclub singer to renowned Bollywood playback artist during her literature session in which Uthup discussed her recently-released Hindi biography.
As a matter of fact, from its crumbling chawls to sky reaching skyscrapers, all the varied spare parts that make up Mumbai found centre stage at various points in the festival.
While some intellectual sessions reminded one about the city’s past as a clutch of islands, others urged Mumbaikars to drink in its gothic and art deco glory before the metro starts looking like “Gurgaon by the bay.”