On 2nd March, 2019, Bengaluru hosted #ArtistsUniteKarnataka, a protest event where over 100 artists from all across the state stood united against the politics of hate.
Filled with music, poetry, theatre, spoken word, film screenings, and art exhibits; #ArtistsUniteKarnataka was a response to the killings of Gauri Lankesh, M.M. Kalburgi, Narendra Dhabolkar, and Govind Pansare over the past years. On the same day, similar #ArtistsUnite events were organised across India, including a Delhi chapter at the Red Fort.
#ArtistsUniteKarnataka was also triggered by the recent events of hooliganism, where fringe groups violently stopped the staging of plays, including Abhishek Majumdar's 'Djinns of Eidgah' at Jaipur's Jawahar Kala Kendra, and Dayasindhu Sakrepatna’s 'Shiva' at Bengaluru's Jagriti Theatre.
The event, organised at Visthar, witnessed reading and staging of plays, poetry readings, dance performances, and musical performances by bands such as 'GauleyBhai' and 'Thermal and a Quarter', and celebrated artists including MD Pallavi and Abhijit Tambe. Film screenings of ‘Gauri’, ‘In the Shade of the Fallen Chinar’, ‘De Sidere 7’, ‘We have not come here to die’, and ‘Sikkidre Shikari Illdidire Bhikari’ were also organised.
Here’s a glimpse into the upbeat, energy-packed event, where artists stood united against hatred, with the sole intention of upholding the democratic, secular, and pluralist threads that hold India together as a people.