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Dalit Artists of Mithila, a film by Radhika Bordia

Eggers Hall, 341

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Presenting the film by this name, produced by Radhika Bordia and co-directed by M. Habib Ali and Kaushik Kumar Jha, followed by a discussion led by Professor Emerita Susan Wadley.

Since the mid-to-late 1970s, Dalit communities in Mithila (N. Bihar, India) have used styles and subject matter distinct to their own indigenous traditions to create art vastly different in style and subject matter to the widely known Mithila art made by high caste artists.   The screening of this video documentary created to accompany the first international exhibition devoted to the art of Mithila’s Dalit artists, currently at Radford University, will be followed by a discussion, including slide-projected examples of Mithila art  now in Syracuse University's permanent collection. 

Professor Wadley, a faculty member at Syracuse U. since 1970, focused her research over the years on rural India, especially rural Uttar Pradesh. But in the early 2000s, intrigued by SU Art Museum’s extensive collection of early Mithila art from rural Bihar, she turned her attention  to understanding its changes in style and subject matter after its transfer from clay walls to paper in the late 1960s. With this presentation, she pivots our attention to Dalit art from the same locales, art that provides significant stylistic and topical contrast to the older and dominant high cate tradition. Dalit art is based on distinctive religious beliefs and traditions that are clearly revealed in their art.


Social Science and Public Policy



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MAX-Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs, MAX-South Asia Center


Juanita Horan


Contact Juanita Horan to request accommodations