URUR OLCOTT KUPPAMMARGAZHI VIZA Art importance in social cohesiveness .

The music, dance and drama festival known as Urur Olcott Kuppam Margazhi Vizha is held in an open area facing the sea with an aim to recognise the power of art in evoking the oneness of life and the samenesses of human societies. The festival is innovative is its approach as it also involves beach clean-up drives, crowd-funding of costs, social-media promos and other complimentary events.

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Arts – Bridges the gap

1.Platform to forgotten -> Opportunity for one forgotten exquisite to perform alongside other exquisites – for Villupaattu (bow song) recited by Carnatic artists, or Paraiattam (precurssion instrument) setting the beat for Bharatanatyam thus removing artistic barriers
2.Non-exclusive audience -> Brings classical and non-classical tradition to the rural areas (fishermen, beach stall vendors, agriculturists etc ) and offer them unique opportunity to savour these forms which are generally enjoyed by urban elites
3.Promotes social cohesion -> Rural-Urban intermingling during festival given urban people an opportunity to learn about how adjacent fishing villages have contributed to the heritage of the Chennai
4.Celebrating life -> Collectively honors the good deeds (rescue work during Chennai floods) while also mourns for those who lost their lives thus enhancing emotional connect and solidarity between one another
5.Entry to all -> The festival is held in the open, on the Urur Olcott Kuppam beach and the venue is not exclusive (Zero entry fees) and is accessible to all, thus promoting equality (Artists also perform for free)
6.Change in mindset -> Women volunteers and artists eagerly participate, and play important role in decision-making thus bridging the gender gap and change in patriarchal attitude

Art used to develop crack in the bridge
1.Aesthetic tension -> Race for recognizing one’s art as more superior than others, results into tension between artists with dominant group trying to impose their form
2.Lack of promotion -> Except this event very less support (financially, politically) is available for the marginalized art forms
3.Language barrier -> Carnatic tradition is much diverse in itself, with different small multi-lingual groups
4.Forgotten cultural identity -> Westernization of culture has decreased the relevance of indigeneous Art forms where modern people see these forms as sign of backwardness, thus limiting its capability

Difference between artist and intellectual is that ‘An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way’. Thus, Arts surpass the artificial barriers created by we humans, and directly connects with one’s soul. The festival has a very noble cause, however additional efforts are needed to promote such indigenous forms which serve as a true hallmark for ‘Unity in Diversity’

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