In 2014, maraa and the Alternative Law Forum presented a series of performances, talks and exhibitions to promote fearless speech against the backdrop of a large political force working against it. The festival intended to create a space for free speech, and fearless expression, against censorship, discrimination and unjust policies and misinterpretation of laws.
In the last six months, a series of arbitrary crackdowns have taken place on the freedom of speech and expression, by labeling opinions, views and actions as ‘anti-national’. Dissent in the current political atmosphere has been stripped of its democratic value. We have also been witness to an exponential increase in the imposition of a closeted ‘morality’ on free expression. These views of nationalism and morality that claim universality, are in fact, guided and shaped by particular political forces. Through a manipulation of the law, and brute physical force, these fascist forces are attempting to fracture any resistance to their political and economic agenda.
It is keeping this climate in mind, that we are organizing Nirankusha: Loud and Clear featuring workshops, public talks, interactive sessions and performances, the festival is an effort to keep the space for fearless speech and expression alive. The focus of this year’s festival is the reassertion of the right to dissent and a reclamation of spaces for unfettered expression. Through workshops, talks and performances, the festival will create a space for conversation between different groups, particularly students around issues of censorship, identity, discrimination and free speech.