Welcome to See-Saw
Welcome to See-Saw. See-Saw is an attempt to collectively reflect on the many layers of identity and prejudice through a range of multisensorial artistic engagements. Artists from various art forms came together to deepen their inquiry into strongly-held beliefs, assumptions and stereotypes by delving deep into themselves and their everyday lives and networks and challenging the boundaries of their creativity in the process.
LISTEN TO THIS AUDIO CLIP
TranscriptionWeek 1 Hi Jessi Amawasa, Have you thought about body wash? What a weird invention, right? Someone looked at the shampoo bottle and thought what if I put it on my entire body. But of course, they were scared of uncontrollable body hair and had to come up with something entirely different. If you have to find a product that clearly distinguishes between the upper and lower middle class, body wash would be that product. Cars used to be that product before, the ones that segregated the middle classes. Now even the lower strata have cars for either their business or help them earn money as transport providers. Being one of 3 siblings in a lower-middle-class home meant all the three had to share the same soap till it got over and we got a new one. Usually, the soap stays for 15 days depending on the brand. The long-lasting one as televised and promised was the lifebuoy soaps that lasted a month. The first time I encountered body wash was in a hotel room in Chennai. Tired from the journey I hit the bed and woke up to get to an event venue. I don't travel much so I tend to forget things, I had packed my toothbrush and everything but forgot the soap. I step into the bathroom to find these weird two bottles of liquid. I thought they were the same thing and maybe they kept two bottles for two days of the stay I had booked for. So the first day, I had used the shampoo to bathe myself, and only the next day I figured out that it was body wash. As I was following last week's warm-up exercise(of finding things in my house), my hand stumbled on a bottle of body wash that I had kept from a recent hospital visit. It is so funny that this small bottle of body wash is asked to wash the dirt of two people(patient+attender). I went out and brought a sop to use in the hospital. Since my wife didn't use the body wash either, she packed it home, because she paid for it. That's something my mom does in restaurants, carries the Peppermint Coated Fennel Saunf in tissues. And just like the Saunf in your mouth, you never know how much body wash is too much body wash. So I always end up using lesser, always thinking that anything which washes my body should come for more than 15 days. I don't know about you, but I have always imagined the lives of rich people and what would it look like. Would it be worlds away? Would it be more bright, since lower-middle-class homes can rarely see the horizon and so the sun rarely finds the need to visit them? My wife on the other hand comes from a family that wants to call itself middle class for the sake of humility but is not. Since my family has come a long way from sharing soaps and towels, I am beginning to understand body wash. Finally figured how much is good enough. Yet, there is this unexplainable guilt of spending too much money that could be fixed with a Lifeboy Soap. Does this make any sense?
DESCRIPTION: This is a sound compilation of the voices of some of the participating artists. We hear snippets from their various notes and artistic responses in english and hindustani. There is a piece of music playing in the background.The audio transcript is provided above.
DESCRIPTION: A collage of many artworks - comprised of layered images, notes and sketches- appears momentarily on each page as the pages flip.
This website is a start of a conversation which we hope doesn’t end with us. Given the theme, especially in an extremely pluralistic society like ours, we are aware that this is in no way exhaustive. Though we were conscious to invite artists marginalized by caste, religion and gender, our aspirations towards greater inclusivity are still extremely lofty. We welcome you to join us by exploring this website, sharing your thoughts, disagreements, and maybe leading a similar initiative centering more perspectives, ideas, and artistic forms.
There is no right way of navigating this website but we recommend you look through the About page. The exploration of the website grounded in this information could help you connect better but you are most welcome to free-float!