Eshwari Ramsali (Class of 2018) - fusing art and ideology | Aga Khan Academies

Eshwari Ramsali (Class of 2018) - fusing art and ideology

On our calendars, May marks a month of celebration, new beginnings and farewells. For our Diploma Programme (DP) 2s, these are their last days as school students, and their excitement and anticipation is palpable. Among them is Eshwari Ramsali, who will be attending University College Utrecht in the Netherlands to study political science.

“Honestly, it still hasn’t hit me that I get to go to the college of my dreams,” she said. “It’s so surreal.”

Two years ago Eshwari wrote an entrance assessment test at the Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad but was not sure if she would be able to join.

“I was dismayed because I loved the concept of an IB education,” she said. “The Academy made it possible for me to be here.”

Eshwari joined the Academy in 2016 and used every opportunity to learn and to express herself, diving into visual arts and global politics courses. She attributes a lot of her personal and intellectual growth to the discussions she had in her Theory of Knowledge (ToK) class.

“It upsets me that I will never have another ToK class,” she mused.

After her creativity, activity, service (CAS) summer internship in Dehradun, Uttarakhand, Eshwari stayed on to do an internship at a film production house, working in production and postproduction on documentary films.

“I like to call it the summer I became a feminist,” she said. “Feminism, for me is a social movement whose success lies in providing equal opportunities for all sexes and genders.”

For Eshwari, it is natural for film and feminism to go together. She describes art and politics as her academic crushes and appreciates the IB for having the accoutrements that allow for interdisciplinary approach to learning. Her extended essay combined visual arts and global politics to write a compelling piece on freedom of expression and art activism. Eshwari’s display at the 2018 Diploma Programme Visual Arts Exhibition also espoused the mingling of subjects, presenting work with powerful feminist overtones.  

“Eshwari has exemplary artistic calibre,” said Senior School art teacher, Vijayraghavan Srinivasan. “She has a meta-narrative quality in her pictorial composition which captures recollecting past memories and incidents, fusing them with self-discovery."

The DP Visual Arts Exhibition is a red letter day for Senior students and they work long hours to see it come to life.

“Personally explaining my art and concepts to viewers and seeing realisation dawn on their faces was incredibly rewarding,” Eshwari said. “The exhibition was so important for so many different reasons, and being a part of it with some of the most talented students of the Academy made me happy.”

Eshwari remembers not being confident about her decision to join the arts programme at the Academy, but she’s pleased that she did. Through the programme, Eshwari got to work with professional artists and sculptors, and also discovered artists and filmmakers whose work inspires her and helps her identify herself. Vijayraghavan describes her artwork as insightful and contemplative, and also explorative.

Though she is an exceptional artist, Eshwari wants to study political science so she can pursue a career as a humanitarian lawyer or work in development. She intends on taking courses in art history, so that she can seamlessly step back into the art world, should the opportunity arise.

“The idea of being intellectually stimulated even well into my 50s really excites me.”

Somewhere between learning about the IB and her last ToK class, Eshwari fell in love with the Academy.

“I love that my classes are filled with students from all parts of the country,” she said, “irrespective of their financial standing or cultural background. I strongly believe it helps build our vision of pluralism.”

We wish her and all the rest of the Class of 2018 the best of luck in all their future endeavors!