Trans art fest begins, explores expression beyond gender

Trans art fest begins, explores expression beyond gender

Trans art fest begins, explores expression beyond gender

 The three-day ‘International Trans Arts Festival’ began on Friday with members of the marginalised transgender community, Jogappa, singing traditional folk songs and performing a ritual dance.

Mangamma Jogithi and troupe from the community performed ‘Choudike Pada’ (sangeetha), a form of traditional folk singing. They also performed ‘Jogithi Nritya’, a ritual dance in which their heads are adorned with idols of their goddess Yellamma. Lakshya, a 41-year-old artiste from Chennai, rendered a Bharatanatyam performance that kept the audience at the National Gallery of Modern Art glued to their seats.

The first-of-its-kind festival has been organised by International Arts and Cultural Foundation to showcase the talent of transgenders. Around 15 artistes are taking part in the event. Two of them flew to India especially for the purpose.

Srivatsa Shandilya, president of International Arts and Cultural Foundation, said he got the idea of holding the festival six months ago when he watched the performance of a transgender in Bengaluru. He said another festival would be held in December.

Shalini Rajneesh, Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department, who inaugurated the programme, said a draft policy for the welfare of transgenders was ready and officials from various government departments were holding discussions on its implementation.

“We need to recognise transgenders and support them in every way possible. I am happy that the Foundation has come forward and is helping the community members showcase their talent,” she said.

There is no entry fee for the festival. Those interested can call 080 23496152. The programme on July 30 starts at 2 pm with the screening of Kannada film ‘Nanu Avanalla... Avalu’, which is based on the life of a transgender.