From India to US, Kolams drawn to welcome Biden-Harris in virtual inauguration ceremony
Over 1,800 people participated in the online initiative to create different Kolam designs
The traditional Indian art form, Kolam found a place in the virtual kick-off inauguration ceremony of President-elect Joe Biden and his deputy Kamala Harris.
Several pictures of Kolam tiles were woven into a video in the spirit of ‘Presidency for All’ and to showcase the multi-cultural heritage of America, a report by The Telegraph said.
In the southern state of India, Tamil Nadu, where Harris traces her roots, women use rice flour to draw Kolams – a traditional Indian art form of drawing geometric patterns, symbolising positive energy, prosperity and new beginnings.
Over 1,800 individuals from both India and the US participated in the online initiative to create different Kolam designs to celebrate the historic event, as per the report.
In fact, students from 10 public DC schools in Washington also took part in making the traditional art form.
Some beauty after the chaos: in front of the U.S. Capitol Thursday, thousands of kolam tiles are being made to welcome @JoeBiden @KamalaHarris later this month.— Indiaspora (@IndiasporaForum) January 8, 2021
Many believe kolams can help heal divides and welcome what’s next. #2021kolam @2021Kolam pic.twitter.com/ec17xADRKy
Hundreds of artists, citizens and students from across the US collaborated virtually to gather over thousands of local pieces.
“What started out as a local project ended up way beyond our expectations,” said Shanthi Chandrasekar, an award-winning multimedia and multidisciplinary artist from Maryland who took the initiative along with several others.
She added that people across all ages and communities came together to create tiles with eco-friendly materials.
According to the report, Washington DC Public Schools arts director Mary Lambert and visual arts manager Lindsey Vance joined Chandrasekar to combine thousands of Kolam drawings made by people from different backgrounds to welcome Biden when he takes office in a few days.
On the other hand, Major Democratic fund raiser Shekar Narasimhan was quoted as saying that the project reflects and honours the history of America. His niece and grandniece took part in the initiative.
Commenting on the event he said, “With the rise of diverse America, the energy behind this artwork is a reminder of what binds us together as Americans.”
The organizers were initially slated to display the Kolam patterns across the country in front of the White House, as a symbol of good beginning to the new administration.
In fact, the Washington DC Police gave permission to the organisers to display their art near the Capitol Hill around the inauguration venue but due to the unprecedented security measures that have been enforced in Washington DC, the permission was cancelled, according to the report in Telegraph India.
However, a date for the installation after the inauguration will be set up after a go-ahead from the local security, said Sowmya Somnath who is part of the Inauguration Kolam 2021 organising team. Read the full report in The Telegraph