The city recently witnessed an innovative approach of preserving our cultural heritage of Alpona and Broto Kotha, thanks to the international organisation Museum Week, Culture For Causes Network (Paris, France) and Museum Culture Marketing, New Delhi. The event was organised on April 25, 2019 at the NSHM Knowledge Campus, Kolkata.
Kolpona Theke Alpona, an event of a totally new genre comprised of three different segments, keeping in mind, the theme for this year’s Museum Week celebration, which is ‘ Women In Culture’
The first section of the programme was the traditional Alpona competition, where, participants made their artistic impression on the floor with a solution of rice paste, water and clay soil (gypsum).
It was followed by the screening of an award winning documentary film called “Broto Alpona: Handmade messages to God”, which is based on the dying Bengali art of Alpona (floor art) and Broto Kotha (hymns, chants or musical poems sung by women in praise of God or to request something from Almighty).
There was a panel discussion after the screening by the judges and the director of the documentary film. The judges even interacted with the participants to know their views on how to protect this heritage. The participants were not only the staff and students of the college but largely women from the underprivileged sections of the neighbourhood, since this year’s Museum Week theme was based on ‘the place of women in culture yesterday, today and tomorrow’. Particularly, these three segments of the society were chosen for the competition to reflect native knowledge, inclusive & participative orientation and youth participation within the women community. The competition is also a celebration of women and their expressions.