I have always had a penchant for language and literature.

Updated: Jun 25, 2019

Artist of UNSEEN 2.0 - Alolika A Dutta | Writer / Poet

UNSEEN 2.0 is an unconventional form of exhibition which is a digital art exhibition curated by Platform For Artists . This enables artists across the country to participate, showcase their work and connect with like minded people. The entire idea is to broaden the scope of exposure which the artists would probably not get at an offline event. We have sixty diverse artists from across the country who are a part of this one of it's kind art exhibition.

Here is a set of questions team Platform For Artists asked Alolika about her everyday routine, her art interests and more.

Tell us about yourself.

I'm an 18-year-old writer, poet, and spoken word artist from Bombay, India. Most of my work surrounds politics, culture, history, and law.

Apart from poetry, I write analytical pieces about political, cultural, and legislative events. I have had my writing published in LiveWire.in, FeminismInIndia, Mental Movement Magazine, Coldnoon, Thought Catalog, and Medium.

What are your art interests?

I have always had a penchant for language and literature. From free verse poetry to essays, my journey as a writer has been both, exhausting and fulfilling. I have tried my hand at painting, as well. Among the performing arts, I have learnt Bharatanatyam for a span of two years and I have written the script for a play.

What are your views about the current scenario of art in our country?

Currently, our country is witnessing a groundswell moment of activism and a large portion of this activism manifests itself in the form of controversial writing and radical art. While censorship is at an all-time high, it is also true that art still has a place in society and a place in political discourse. In fact, art has defied political restrictions and continued to influence society, despite being heavily regulated. Today, as artists who write about the status quo, we need to mull over certain questions. These questions are crucial in understanding the dual responsibility of the state and the artists with regard to free expression. Artists often complain about not being taken seriously and it has often been said that art is only a superficial form of resistance.

However, do you want your art to be taken seriously? Do you want your art to play a decisive role in society, to be the voice of the people, and to bring about actual change? If yes, are you prepared to bear the consequences that come with being taken seriously? While artists would like their art to guide political and social reform, they must understand that the stakes are high. Being a strong voice with respect to controversial issues places the art at an elevated position of relevance and opinion, however it also births the possibility of artists facing repercussions similar to those faced by rebellious voices in the media. So, do you really want to be taken seriously?

What are you working on currently?

Currently, I'm working on a piece about the intersection between empathy and art. It is a little out of my comfort zone, but concepts such as empathy and emotional intelligence have fascinated me for long.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

The News. And, from books, articles, even poetry. Since I almost always write about politics and history, being aware can come in handy.

Which kind of artists would you be interested to collaborate with?

I'd love to collaborate with illustrators and other writers.

What's the first thing you do when you wake up ?

I check my mail. And, I run a glance through my calendar just to be on board with what I had planned for the day. I used to check social media as well, but I have been resisting the urge of late.

Which is the most used app on your phone?

It's probably a tie between Gmail and Instagram. I run an activist account on Instagram, which is called @whatresistancelookslike. I love the account, but I have to admit that it's tedious to consistently create content. Nevertheless, I love every second of it.

Which is the one song you can't get out of your head?

Currently, it is ‘No Plan’ by Hozier and ‘Queen of Peace’ by Florence + The Machine.

You de-stress by?

To be true, I de-stress by planning. Preparing to-do lists, planning my calendar, organizing my schedule, and charting out a strategy to achieve a task tends to de-stress me. I think this is mostly because I tend to stress when I'm disorganized. So, preparing a systematic structure makes me calmer. I seldom invest in art when I am stressed, because my writing, regardless of whether it is poetry or prose, requires research. So, it is not very useful for de-stressing. Apart from planning, I love to go for a walk outside. Or, sit at the park all by myself.

You can check more of her artwork on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/platformforartists/

To connect with Alolika, follow her on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/alolikadutta_/

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