Modern Literature in Translation - Centering the periphery | Aga Khan Academies

Modern Literature in Translation - Centering the periphery

09 September 2021

On Wednesday,  8 September 2021, the members of the Modern Literature Chub (MLT) had an interactive session with the eminent writer, art curator and film producer Ms.Ina Puri on the theme ‘Centering the Periphery’. The session was thought-provoking and riveting where students had the opportunity of leading a one-on-one conversation with the guest speaker and explore their thoughts.

Ms. Puri, alluding to stalwarts from diverse creative forms, responded to a wide array of questions from students. Naissa Gowala(DP1) wanted to know the driving mission behind Ms.Puri’s radical initiatives in promoting unknown artists and creating public awareness by seeking legitimacy to marginalized art forms in the mainstream art discourse. Bhaavik(MYP4) was curious about the ways to preserve the integrity of indigenous art forms in the face of rampant globalization. Talking of multiple forms of creative expressions, Samiksha Shukla’s question examined the nature of personal, artistic search in navigating meaning, style and essence. Her other question was about the process of writing a biography and the aspect of verisimilitude. While responding to the question on pluralism posed by Sarah Nathani (MYP5), Ms.Puri reaffirmed the value of inclusivity and democratic empathy. To the question from Ashutosh(DP2): ‘How do you see art as a medium of dissent in today’s world, intolerant of democratic imaginations?’, Ms.Puri responded wittily : ‘When you are in the kitchen you have to be prepared to face the heat.’ Though she hinted at creative suppression in today’s society, she firmly advocated that one must thrive and stand for one’s beliefs and face adverse criticism with dignity.

The session, curated by Mr.Sudeep Ghosh and conducted by Naissa Goawala(DP1) witnessed enthusiastic participation from all. Here are a few observations from the audience:

“Today's session was beyond captivating, and at the same time assisted in my comprehension and allowed me to understand the IB expectations for an assessment, giving me a clear scope on what exactly to aim for, in the upcoming formative, and I'm looking forward to more of such classes.”                                                                                            
Bhaavik Blessed (MYP 4K)

 “This experience has allowed me to view art and critic from new, refined lenses. I was able to make numerous connections with my IB subjects and concepts learned in the Language and Literature class such as intertextuality, power and meaning. My main takeaway from this session was a phrase stated by Ms. Ina Puri that stirred my thinking, ‘Every art is a personal journey, and every person has a story. When you tell this story in your own voice it becomes art’. It was truly a pleasure having Ms. Ina Puri with us, and enrich our learning with her thoughtful responses and golden experiences. This session has opened new doors of wisdom, concluding with the insightful thought that the center and the periphery are both things that are part of our imagination.”                                                            

Samiksha Shukla (DP1) 

“It really helped me to get an insight into multiple perspectives about the impacts of art and culture.”                                                                                          

Ashutosh Kumar (DP2) 

“Ms. Puri, highly appreciative of the inquisitive minds of the MLTians, shed light on the importance of shifting their focus from the product to the process and from the process to the promise shown by artists. While emphasising on the fact that Art knows no marginalization nor mainstream, she underlined the need to value people and not theories. The key take-away for the MLTians was undoubtedly the wisdom that when we shun classification, inclusion reveals itself. We wish the MLT club more such enriching moments and building their personal knowledge through shared knowledge.”

Mr.Ajay Balaji (HoD, Department of Foreign Languages)

“Ms.Ina Puri inspired me to explore my hobby in arts in the same way she inspired several artists to showcase their artworks to a bigger audience. I’m really grateful for this session as it motivated me to continue putting in efforts to become better at things that I’m passionate about.”

Naissa Goawala(DP1)


Written by Samiksha Shukla (DP1)