banglanatak dot com signs partnership agreement with UNWTO at Berlin, March 2015
Culture and Development

"Now the time has come to fully integrate culture into the global development agenda, through clear targets and indicators, as an overarching principle of all development policies, as an enabler of sustainability, as driver of growth".

Irina Bokova, Director General, UNESCO

  • 1 Art Exhibitions
  • 2 Art for social change
  • 3 Creating identity for heritage traditions
  • 4 Developing Folk Tourism
  • 5 Training Programmes
  • 6 Folk artists perform at a programme on Climate Change
  • 7 Folk for the Urban
  • 8 Innovative Designs
  • 9 Pater Gan
  • 10 Preserving Traditional Skills
  • Revival of the art forms through reinforcement of learning systems spearheaded by the Gurus.
    Traditional folk art forms are dying due to lack of practice and opportunity of performance. We have reinforced traditional learning system- Guru Shishya Parampara. Dhananjoy Mahato, veteran Chau dancer has trained the young artists emulating various animal movements like Bagh Chaal, Mayur Chaal etc.
  • Safeguarding of the art forms through promotion, creation of new audience, documentation, village resource centres for learning & practice.
    Preservation of oral traditions through textual and audio visual documentation has been done through video, audio and textual documentation. Films document Chau, Jhumur, Swang, Madhubani and Patachitra. Over 1000 folk songs have been recorded and CDs are available in the market. The folk singers helped in textual documentation of 1000 Baul songs and 500 Jhumur songs.
  • Rejuvenation through cultural collaboration and exchange.
    Promotional events have led to appreciation of subaltern culture & lifestyle and awareness has been developed at global and national levels. Folk Orchestra, where folk artists jam with the artists from across the world and create a universal language of peace through synthesizing the cross cultural threads of music is an important outcome.
  • Increased number of practitioners and increased participation of youth.
    At West Bengal, we started working with 3200 folk artists in the year 2005, now the number has been increased to 4500.Youths are coming forward to take it as their livelihood option. In Simri, Madhubani, more than 300 young girls and women have started earning from painting.
  • Poverty alleviation (MDG1) as a result of increased livelihood options and improved income.
    AFL has showcased how traditional skill is a viable option for converting into employable expertise. In West Bengal the average monthly income of the artists has been increased from Rs.500 in 2005 to Rs. 3500 in 2013, 15% earn above Rs.7000 per month. 40% of the artist community have taken their art form as their primary livelihood option.
  • Global exposure has enriched the rural artists and their art form.
    Since 2010, 100 artists have travelled abroad. Bauls and Fakirs have visited places like London, Geneva, Paris, Nantes, Tokyo etc. The Patuas have travelled to Paris, London and Milan. Chau artists have performed at Japan & Sri Lanka. These international visits have generated interest in the art forms and opened up new avenues.
  • Non monetized outcomes are improved living condition, access to sanitation, education of children etc.
    The overall living condition of the artists? community has been improved remarkably; they have better access to health services, sanitation, and education. Naya, the village of the Patuas has transformed into a village with brick houses and almost total sanitation coverage.
  • Social inclusion as a result of strengthened cultural identity, promotion of pluralism and creation of forums for dialogue and partnerships across castes and groups.
    Golam Fakir, a Baul Fakiri singer from Nadia, is the name of a journey from oblivion to recognition, from poverty to empowerment and from mere practitioner to famed artist. Previously the Fakirs were not even accepted in the mainstream society due to their lifestyle and philosophical orientation; their children were not allowed to go to the schools. In Bihar artists of lower castes have got first time opportunity of sharing stage with others.
  • Artists giving leadership in the community, negotiating their rights and enjoying greater respect and recognition.
    Village resource centres have become centre for social change of the village. The Gurus have evolved as towering personalities who are giving leadership in safeguarding their tradition and building rural enterprise. Young artists have become community leaders, and are transforming themselves as well as other young artists into cultural entrepreneurs.
  • Gender equality (MDG3) with women enjoying access to livelihood, income and increased mobility.
    The revival of the art forms has particularly empowered the women artists, who are now into a purposeful engagement, possess new strength and employ new thoughts through their creativity. The women painters as well as singers have established themselves as artists. They are showcasing their art forms across the globe and earning fame and recognition from it.
  • Transformation of deprived rural hamlets into vibrant cultural tourist destination.
    Folk art hubs have evolved as tourism destinations and culture has become a capital attracting investment. Pingla, Gorbhanga, Purulia, Madhubani have become popular tourist destinations. The village heritage festivals have sustained and now are organized by the communities themselves. It ensures a platform and market for the artists? community in general thereby leading to conservation stake for local communities and local economic development.
  • Reduced migration None of the 4500 beneficiaries in West Bengal and Bihar has migrated.
    As a result of improved income opportunity, the need to leave the villages to work as wage labourers in the cities are no longer felt thus ensuring less migration. In Purulia, the artists no longer migrate seasonally for daily labour, as art has given them alternative livelihood.

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