The Explorers | Lodhi Art District
Janhavi Sharma, Young India Fellow’ 2020
In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the city of Delhi, lies a gem that has only recently been discovered.
The streets, bylanes and corners of the historic neighbourhood of Lodhi Colony are dotted with massive murals.
Sandwiched between Khanna and Meherchand Market, many of Lodhi Colony’s walls became the site for a modern Indian movement. As the brainchild of St+art India, a non-profit organisation, many global and Indian artists came together to paint the town red (literally) in an attempt to make art accessible to all. From expressing their views on climate change, sexuality, gender, politics and other issues surrounding identity and the world, these artists cut across binaries.
They have thus managed to not only create India’s first open-air museum, but have also added to the recreational repertoire of Delhi. Not only is one to see many locals, tourists and passer-byes getting clicked with the artworks, but one also feels like they’re somehow a part of that very movement which the artists aimed to curate.
This particular mural is quintessentially Indian. With the mithawali selling sweets around the corner and the flute vendor attracting the attention of the little girl, it represents all that embodies, Bharat. The cow in the centre is pleasing too, at least in the given political scenario.
I stumbled upon this particular part of a larger mural, by chance and it soon became my absolute favourite. Perhaps a pan gender and inter-racial representation of the Monalisa that culls it out of the binaries of race and gender and places it on spectrum of intersectionality to promote inclusivity and perhaps even to attack a Eurocentric view of the world.