‘Margazhi Matram’: New festival for differently-abled

Celebrating art with less fortunate

Culture

December 5, 2021

/ By / New Delhi

‘Margazhi Matram’: New festival for differently-abled

Rajini Kaushik, founder of SciArtsRUs in Margazhi Matram. (Photo: SciArtsRUs, Facebook)

Margazhi Matram is the second edition of the annual cultural festival by SciArtsRUs, featuring differently-abled artists who rarely get a platform to showcase their talent. The event is being aired on SciArtsRUs’s YouTube channel from December 5, 2021.

In Chennai, a 5-day cultural festival is taking place featuring the artists, who are unable to exhibit their talent to the world due to their disabilities.

Non-profit organisation SciArtsRUs is hosting the second edition of their annual art festival, especially providing a stage to the differently-abled. The event is being organised under the NGO’s initiative, “Artabilities 4 All”.

The event initially was organised to promote the performing arts and is currently taking place at Dakshinamurthi Auditorium, Chennai. According to Rajini Kaushik, founder of SciAtrsRUs, ‘Artabilities’ was created as a global platform for performing artists with disabilities. In lieu of December 3, as International Day of Persons with Disabilities and the Margazhi season, they decided to organise a festival bringing all the artists together.

Rajini says that the Margazhi holds a special place in the hearts of people in Chennai. People would come and watch the artists perform while swaying along with the music. However, over the years of the Margazhi festival, Rajini took heed of a gap in the concerts. She noticed that disabled artists were facing a challenge in finding opportunities to set forth their talent to the general public.

“Margazhi in Chennai is very popular, however, I would say that there is really no programme that does inclusive performances or anybody who consciously curates inclusive performances featuring able-bodied and differently-abled artists on the same platform. So, Margazhi Matram is Margazhi with a change or Margazhi for the disabled,” Rajini told a local daily.

Organising an event for the differently-abled is also a challenge in its own way. “Whenever you have artists with different abilities, they need a companion. We also have to make sure the venue is accessible and the stage is not very small (as there is a risk of them falling). You need to keep in mind all these little things when you curate such a series,” Rajini added.

The event features rising stars and differently-abled artists from different parts of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The list includes visually impaired singers from Madurai, Srirangam and six Bharatnatyam dancers from the city of Bengaluru.

The event was inaugurated by Padma Shri Awardee Nalli Kuppuswami Chetti and art promoter V V Sundaram on December 3. They also felicitated differently-abled artists.

In the inaugural phase of the event, the veteran artists and mentors who with goodwill and a noble attitude helped in mentoring artists under the organisation’s ‘mentor-me’ programme for Indian Carnatic Classical music and dance were also honoured.

On the first day, a total of three performances took place. The first one showcased the talent of M Chandrasekaran, a visually impaired violinist, a Carnatic fusion act by ‘ghatam’ Suresh Vaidyanathan and a dance performance by blind artists from Articulate Ability, Bengaluru.

On December 4, Sikkil Gurucharan manifested a concert accompanied by two senior artists; a mridangist and a morning player. A violin concert by Mullaivasal G Chandramouli, accompanying a visually impaired senior mridangist and a morsing player followed. From December 5 to 7, pre-recorded acts from various artists with disabilities will be premiered on SciArtsRUs’ YouTube channel.

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