1Shanthiroad studio/gallery

RELOOK [41] – Visual World of Difference: Representing Ambedkarite Consciousness – a lecture by Y. S. Alone

On Sunday 17 June 2018 at 6.30 pm

About the talk

In colonial India, Brahmanic hegemony has produced meta-narratives of the nationalist imaginations having its roots in the intellectual politics of homogeneity of tradition. The intellectual politics of homogeneity of tradition denied the multiplicity while making tradition as of projecting the nationalist aspirations. The nature of understandings has produced monologues of privileges and the space for articulations gets reduced to the nationalist imaginations which make representations timid and devoid of ‘others’ or for that matter the lower castes. The claimed post-colonial subjective realm hardly produced any capacity to address the difference as well as offered a constructive critic of hegemonic thinking as being practiced by the Indian natives and completely bypassed the issues of representations. The hegemonic historicism has produced a metanarrative of thought process devoid of any interrogation, making the world of dominance. The ways in which modernity is produced in India is embedded in traditionalism and hence modernity in India remains cosmetic in nature and has not empowered any transformations. Dr. Ambedkar was the first who presented critic of Brahmanical discourses, Imperial discourses, and Marxian discourses. He offered a very different idea of critique. Inspired by his ideas, the followers of Dr. Ambedkar began to engage in visual culture by producing imageries that have been representing the Ambedkarite consciousness. Apart from raising Ambedkar statues, the newly converted followers also started revisiting the symbols of the Buddhist past and adopted them with new fervo​u​r, ​and ​thus started aiming at creating a distinct cultural identity. In the case of gallery art practices, very few dared to be different. The lecture illustrates on Ambedkar, Neo-Buddhist imagery along with some distinct examples of gallery art practices.

About the speaker
Prof. Yashadatta Somaji Alone is a Professor in Visual Study in School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University New Delhi. He has published several research papers in journals and chapters in edited volumes on Ancient Indian Art and a critic of Walter Spink, Ajanta caves and Buddhist caves in western India, critic of modern Indian art, popular neo-Buddhist visual culture, in addition to the above, research papers on the interpretative frame-work of Dr. Ambedkar and social sciences has been published. His research interests include ancient Indian art, Buddhist art, modern Indian art and popular visual culture, critic of post-colonial paradigms, Neo-Buddhist visual culture as well general social sciences. Prof. Alone is currently involved in conceptual formulation of ‘protected ignorance’. He has lectured widely in India and abroad mainly China, USA, Germany, Spain, Sri Lanka. He was nominated as ICCR chair visiting Professor in Shenzhen University China and was also invited as visiting professor at Autonoma University Madrid, Spain, Renmin University of China Beijing. He has been engaged in popular lectures as part of social movements. He has been advisor of National Council of Educational Research and Training textbook on History of Art for class XI. He has published book-‘Early Western Indian Buddhist Caves: Forms and Patronage’, Kaveri Books, New Delhi, 2016.

RE-LOOK – Lectures on Indian Art

This series of lectures presents exciting new research being done in the areas of art history, art practice and visual anthropology in India, each for the first time in Bengaluru. Distinguished art historians and scholars are invited to give illustrated papers on their recent work and interests. The lectures take place at the popular artist space 1.Shanthi Road, situated in the heart of the city. The lectures are conceived and programmed by Pushpamala N, supported by Somberikatte, and hosted by 1.Shanthi Road.


Somberikatte is a Kannada word meaning idler’s platform- usually the platform around a large tree where people gather to gossip and exchange news. It is a fictional institution, sometimes a forum, sometimes a film production company or the name of a photo studio,​​created by the artist Pushpamala N. www.pushpamala.com