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Sunday, October 16, 2016 (3:00 - 5:00 PM)

at Rockcliffe Park Community Centre Hall
380 Springfield Road, Ottawa [at the intersection of Buena Vista Dr]

ICFC is hosting this lecture event in collaboration with The College of the Humanities, Carleton University.

Art and Indian Nationalism in the 20th Century
by Dr. Geeti Sen from New Delhi

Event Poster (PDF)

Synopsis: 20th century Indian nationalism was driven as much by politicians as painters, poets as well as patriots. This talk with visual images and some text traces India's nationalist movement from 1905 to 2000, in paintings and popular posters, and what is described as 'calendar art'.

In 1905 a painting titled Bharat Mata (meaning “Mother India”) by Abanindranath Tagore offered a new vision of India, where the country is embodied as both a woman and also as Goddess of the Nation. This conflict in her identity (woman or goddess?) continues to haunt pictorial representations through to Indian independence in 1947. Increasingly she is rendered not as a figure, but as a map, sacred territory, and this becomes an obsession in the 1940s with the fear of being a divided territory. This holds equally true in the second temple built to Bharat Mata, in 1982 in the holy city of Hardwar, where she is imaged as a map. In this temple, she is also absorbed into the pantheon of Hindu deities where she becomes an amalgam of all the goddesses of Indian culture. Does she represent the nation of different sects and communities, or does she now represent the majoritarian religion of India?

About the Speaker: Dr. Geeti Sen is a cultural historian, professor, art critic and editor trained at the Universities of Chicago and Calcutta. She is a prominent figure in the Indian art scene and has lectured in many parts of the world. In the 1970s she was the art critic for the Times of India, Bombay and for India Today, Delhi and Assistant Editor at Marg, the prestigious art journal from Mumbai. From 1990 to 2006 she was the Chief Editor of publications at the India International Centre, New Delhi. In 2009 Dr. Geeti Sen was selected by the Government of India to assume charge as Director of the Indian Cultural Centre in Kathmandu.

Dr. Sen is the author of many books which include: Feminine Fables, Ganesh Pyne, Bindu, Your History Comes in The Way of My Memory, Paintings from the Akbar Nama – A Visual Chronicle of Mughal India, among others. Each of these books interprets art with an interdisciplinary approach, integrating art practice with the wider concerns of ethics and social values in India. Her awards include the Smithsonian Fellowship, the Homi Bhabha Fellowship, the Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship and a grant from the Asian Cultural Council in New York. She has lectured at six national institutions in India, and has been invited to lecture in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, the United States, Egypt, France, Spain and Russia. In 2006 she was invited for talks as Fulbright Visiting Specialist to teach at Mary Baldwin College in Virginia, USA.

Register for this event

The content of, and views expressed in, the lectures and audience discussions are entirely those of the speakers and individual members of the audience.  ICFC has no responsibility or liability for any views expressed and comments made and interpretations thereof.
Please join us for an informative talk and networking over tea and snacks at:

Rockcliffe Park Community Centre Hall
380 Springfield Road, Ottawa
[at the intersection of Springfield Road and Buena Vista Drive]

You are welcome to bring family and friends to this event.
Admission: $12 per person [for non-members]
Annual Members of ICFC have pre-paid for all events.

MEMBERS: We urge you to renew your ICFC membership.

Members pay an annual fee of $45 (single) or $90 (family of 2), and enjoy the entire series of five events for one year. You may renew your membership online, or at an event. We accept both cash and cheque at the door.

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Summary of 2016 Events
Date Speaker Topic
Oct 16, 2016 Speaker: Dr. Geeti Sen, Cultural Historian, Professor, Author and Art Critic from New Delhi Topic: Art and Indian Nationalism in the 20th Century [Event Poster]
Sep 25, 2016 Speaker: Mr. Chandra Arya, Member of Parliament Topic: Fostering Closer Canadian and Indian Parliamentary Relation
[Event Poster]
May 29, 2016 Speaker: Mr. Harry Sharma Topic: Canada-India Centre of Excellence (CICE) [Event Poster]
April 17, 2016 Speaker: Dr. Radha Jetty Topic: Northern Exposure [Event Poster]