ArtEast is an initiative to raise pertinent questions through Inter/Sections in art, livelihood, social justice, climate change, communication, history – past and present, issues that have a far reaching impact on our everyday lives.
An underlying focus of the festival is on art, history, livelihood, migration, documentation and conversations. Conceived at the NE Desk of National Foundation of India (NFI), it began as an attempt to try and present India's Northeast region and its neighbourhood from a more contemporary perspective. The project seeks to go beyond the region and the usual traditional dance/music extravaganza that has been the norm.
Launched in the spring of 2017, in collaboration with Sasakawa Peace Foundation and India International Centre, ArtEast is a fringe art festival presenting emerging and leading local and international artists in all genres of the performing and visual arts.In the last 4 years ArtEast has commissioned and produced over forty-five local productions across genres including theatre, music, cinema, expositions and installations. ArtEast partners with amateur and professional artists to produce fringe art and invests in art education for young people.
ArtEast organises a diverse range of “Festival PLUS” activities to enhance engagement between artists and audiences including lecture demonstrations, masterclasses, workshops, symposia, exhibitions and meet-the-artist sessions.
One of the festival highlights has always been the traditonal tea-tasting sessions. In 1823 the first Assam tea was sent to England for public sale that led to the Brahmaputra Valley becoming the Empire’s favourite garden. It’s a story that can unlock many doors to the present challenges that region faces.
ArtEast is one of IIC’s calendar highlights and has been widely covered by the national media . It has helped connect artists and performers, writers and scholars, practitioners and craftspeople between regions to ideate on art and livelihood.
Each edition of the festival is followed by publication of a journal.
Each edition of the festival is usually followed up by a series of lectures or expositions to ensure continuity. After the inaugural festival we started a year long lecture series titled Beyond Borders featuring one keynote speaker every quarter. Currently, River Dialogues has been going on following the 2019 edition on the Brahmaputra.
Since 2020 ArtEast is being presented in collaboration with India International Centre, New Delhi and New Imaginations, O P Jindal Global University. Our design partner for the festival is Aspire Design.
Meet The Team
Filmmaker/ Visual Artist
Chief Programmes Division, IIC, New Delhi