As we saw, lockdown measures forced Patuas to stay in the villages without the possibility of exhibiting and performing and with the risk of starving, as they were not able to travel to fairs and sell their works. Initiatives from the government helped them, but the rations received were not enough.
The plaintive prayer in Swarna Chitrakar’s painting (Right Hand ), commissioned in April 2020 by Anjali Gera Roy for the project “Folk Artists in the Times of Coronavirus”, which returns to the etymological roots of precarity as to pray and entreat, perhaps accounts for its power to touch thousands of hearts when it went viral in May 2020.
My painting She says, in principle, a question to God as to why God plagued our lives with a virus as deadly as the corona. It seeks an answer for the cause of such a disaster from God Almighty while creating awareness among people at the same time. In addition to our efforts and strength that are needed to battle this pandemic, we also need God’s blessings.
Although Swarna Chitrakar’s painting brought her and Naya considerable media attention (Adjacent Figure ) since its being shared on several social media and attracting tweets by several Indian ministers, such as then Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Communications and Electronics and Information Technology, Sanjay Dhotre, and Textiles Minister, Smriti Irani, almost immediately, it did not translate into short-term monetary compensation or long-term state policy on folk artists.
Contact/Background Information :
Name : Swarna Chitrakar.
Address: Naya,Pingla,Midnapur West Bengal. INDIA.
Age: 52 Years.
Marital Status: Married.
Art Experience :
Swarna picked up the basic skills of the art as a child from her father. Belonging to a poor family, life was harsh and she was married off at a young age.
Economic stagnancies made Swarna’s parents marry her of early. Once at her in-laws village, Swarna faced severe abuse and humility from her husband and his family. Enduring this plight for a year she went back to her parents and started reviving the painting skills that she learned from her father during childhood. Sheer dedication and effort yielded results and Swarna’s creations started getting recognition first at the district and then at the state level. Of late Swarna has been reunited with her husband and lives a happy family life with five budding painter daughters.
A special feature of Bengal’s Patachitra is that the stories are essentially from Hindu mythology but the artists are overwhelmingly Muslim. Swarna is no exception. She says her paintings are s a classic case of communal harmony practiced down the generations in West Bengal.Patta means fabric and Chitra means painting, and Patachitra is an ancient art of scroll painting in India. Incidentally, the artists here are painters, lyricists, and singers – all rolled into one. They narrate the stories painted through songs while unfurling the scrolls.
Her biggest Dream is to have here Daughters being educated and be married Happily.