What question do you keep coming back to in your arts practice? – One Take

five questions. multiple perspectives. different artists.

 is an interview series where we seek to peer into the minds of artists through contemplative questions about their practice, discipline, and journey. Through this series, we endeavour to foster dialogue and engagement with arts practitioners from diverse backgrounds, and offer our audiences a glimpse into their respective processes and perspectives.

in conversation with zahra amiruddin

“As a poet, I return constantly to a central, productive and even formative tension between two seemingly opposites desires. On one hand, a delight in enriching the language and the form of the poem with experimental usage, mise-en-page, cut-ups and montage, words retrieved from archives or crafted by the fresh light of today, techniques that might well seem deeply idiosyncratic. And on the other hand, a pleasure in reaching out and engaging readers and listeners in sociable ways, addressing shared urgencies.”

Ranjit Hoskote
Writer & Poet

“Am I being true to the context in which I am creating my work? Is it rooted in the here and now? For me, I never want to create work which is oblivious and tone deaf to the world in which it exists. This is not an easy thing to do and I am making mistakes, but I try to keep myself in check.”

Sheena Khalid,
Theatre Director, Actor, Writer

in conversation with zahra amiruddin
in conversation with zahra amiruddin

“What is my artistic expression, choice and reason for my aesthetics, and is my work relevant?”

Tarun Balani
Artist, Drummer, Composer

Oona D’Mello (Visual Artist) speaks about healthy conversations with oneself about sustainability, longevity, and recognition in her artistic practice.

[Hit play to listen to her full response.]

in conversation with zahra amiruddin

“Emotions are one of the main things that bring humanity closer. I always ask if my work is bringing humanity closer. Can people relate to other people’s agony and hope through my photographs? I am in the field covering human stories to stir a debate, hoping to create an impact. Am I being able to showcase my work in this direction? I need to go deeper to convey the unrealised and unreported aspects of social issues.”

– Rohit Jain
Documentary photographer and Activist

“I think the fundamental question that I keep coming back to in my arts practice is how I can make work that is engaging, entertaining even, but that honestly responds to the great challenges in the society we live in. How can I, as an artist, contribute towards the betterment of that society?”

Revanta Sarabhai
Actor, Dancer, Choreographer

in conversation with zahra amiruddin
in conversation with zahra amiruddin

“In all my work, the thing I keep exploring, is how to express woman’s freedom. I’m obsessed with feminism and the ways in which it can be expressed in our cultural context.”

– Natasha Sumant
Independent Art Director, Designer

“I’ve always been interested in uncovering the truth behind the social interactions that drive culture. As an artist, I ask myself – how can I bring a positive change to the culture I live in through my art?”

Ashwin Chacko
Storyteller, Illustrator, Designer

in conversation with zahra amiruddin
in conversation with zahra amiruddin

“My concern is to address the intention of my practice. Why am I practicing? How am I practicing? The answer to why is straightforward, to improve but it is the how that determines it. Practice can either be mechanical or a conscious one. For me, engaging consciously opens up a plethora of possibilities, doing things differently. I enjoy exploring and playing with the nuances and subtleties of the form and so, each time I’m doing the same thing, I’m doing it differently. Such discoveries are like joy rides and I ask myself – can I do this every time?”

– Namaha Mazoomdar
Dancer, Choreographer, Theatre Artist

“The question I always ask myself is: how am I creating a greater cultural dialogue through this work? When I started out I always wanted to create impact, but along the way I realized impact can also be as simple as starting a conversation or creating something that makes someone feel uncomfortable which then leads to some sort of self-questioning. Anytime I create and put something out into the world, whether it’s through design, art or writing — I want there to be some purpose to it.”

– Sohni Patel

in conversation with zahra amiruddin
in conversation with zahra amiruddin

“Some of them are: How unique and/or honest is this piece? Am I contributing something that will stand the test of time? Will I be proud of this looking back in a few months/years? But another one that I’m beginning to kind of condition myself to answer each time is – Am I having fun/enjoying the process, even if it’s not ‘fun’?”

– Ankur ‘Enkore’ Johar
Songwriter, Rap & Hip-Hop Artist