Brinda Miller, who helms an annual multicultural festival in the city, believes that cities like Mumbai need to promote art and culture. She speaks to CS about the need to take art to the public:
Change is constant
Every year, we come up with a theme but this time, we’re taking it more seriously. The theme is usually decided taking every member of the team in consideration and they all suggest something. This time, it was Parvin Dabas who suggested something to do with change. That sounded nice and there was mutual agreement on it. We like slightly broad themes, something that fits and has a message within one or two words, and what the public can easily understand.
Mumbai meri jaan
Mumbai has not only seen a lot of change, but it needs to see a lot of change as well. What Mumbai used to be, it is no more. And what it needs to be, is what we need to change. It is no longer as safe as it used to be. It is no longer as easy as it was to commute. The best thing about Mumbai is actually the people. There are all kinds of people here. The diversity has changed in itself. That’s what makes Mumbai such a great place.
Bringing art to the people
Mumbai is dying to have cultural festivals because there is such a lack of it. It’s a little bit of a fight to bring public art to the city. So far, we have had statues of leaders, but no real art as public art.
The government needs to chip in when it comes to festivals like these. They also need to support us and make it easy for us as there is a lot of bureaucracy one has to work around. A festival like Edinburgh in Scotland gets a lot of government funding. For them, art and culture is a big deal. We have such a rich cultural heritage here, but it’s taken for granted. I think we should really look at promoting our artistic skills — not just with the help of funds — but also by moral support. Even that is enough.