Akshita Chandra is a vibrant 21-year-old visual artist from Srishti Institute of Art, Design, and Technology in Bengaluru. She broke the Internet with her project on drawings based on Khajuraho temple where she juxtaposed them with examples of censorship from the present.
Akshita chatted for a bit with us over FB messenger and here’s what she had to say.
Me: Hey Akshita! Are you ready?
Me: Write a tweet describing yourself.
Akshita: I am Akshita Chandra, a visual artist from Srishti Institute of Art, Design, and Technology
Me: What would we find on your uncensored Instagram bio?
Akshita: Haha! At the moment it says ‘Akshita Chandra, Visual Communicator’ with a link to my portfolio which will soon be replaced by a link to my website that I am currently building.
Me: Okay, but how would you write this in an uncensored way?
Akshita: Umm, what exactly would you imply by an uncensored bio?
Me: *Thinks for a moment* Something that’s written without the fear of being judged by the society?
Akshita: Haha! Okay. I haven’t watched the last two seasons of Game of Thrones! I will. Soon. Just haven’t at the moment.
Me: *Secretly judges her.* Haha! Moving on- how did you get into art?
Akshita: I wasn’t one of the gifted children who are naturally born with their talents. I got into photography, thanks to my father, that led me to apply for design colleges. After my first year, I realized that I happened to be decent at it!
Me: Wow! Describe Censorship in one word.
Akshita: Constraining. Necessary to some extent.
Me: Coming back to your project, why did you choose Khajuraho?
Akshita: I wanted to bring forward this juxtaposition between a pious place such as a temple, sex and desire which has come to be associated with guilt and irreligiousness.
Wow! I felt really dumb.
Me: Interesting! What are your views on the recent controversy revolving around Udta Punjab?
Akshita: I happened to post the project right after the judgment was made. It’s interesting because what I have tried to explore in my project is also how some people act like they’re the self-proclaimed figures of censorship/ moral policing when it’s not their place to do so.
Me: Damn son! What’s your favorite uncensored movie?
Akshita: I am really excited about Udta Punjab. I am yet to see it!
Me: Haha, okay! Describe uncensored parenting.
Akshita: I guess most parents try to do things whatever they feel is right for us. But, after a point, they need to trust their child and let them make their decisions.
Me: You, my friend, are one smart chick! How can India become more accepting towards the LGBTQ community?
Akshita: I think the change is already happening. A lot of people are coming to terms with it. We need to keep having healthy discussions and, as artists, keep making art that initiates the conversation to facilitate the change.
Me: Great answer! Three taboos you want to get rid of as a woman?
Akshita: 1. The clothes we wear don’t define our character.
2. The time we move in or out doesn’t define our character.
3: Sexual assault is not our fault
She can rhyme too! I mean, how talented can she get?
Me: So, you’ll be happy to hear that this is the last question.LOL! Name one Bollywood song that you would like to censor.
Akshita: Haha, I can’t remember one particular song, sorry! But most of these item numbers that blatantly objectify women. It’s funny for THEY don’t get censored.
We look forward to seeing more artwork from Akshita. If you want to have a look at her work called Being Censitive, you can visit her Tumblr account here.
Cover Picture source: Facebook