Women’s Bodies In Early Indian Art, Global Stereotypes About South Asian Art, and More With Dr. Seema Bawa

Jul 3, 2023


In this episode, historian Dr. Seema Bawa talks about the common misconceptions about South Asian art, whether it is possible to read gender roles in early Indian art, and how artists view feminism differently today.

‘In Perspective’ is The Swaddle’s podcast series where academics reveal little-known facts about Indian history, society and culture. 


00:00:48:07- What common stereotypes about South Asian art are still prevalent globally? Are they misplaced?

00:05:30:13- As opposed to the olden days when art was linked to people of elite classes, in contemporary India, are marginalized people getting space and/or recognition for their art? 

00:08:39:05- How has the feminist art movement evolved in India? Should there be emphasis on the gender of the creator of a piece of art? 

00:14:26:18- What kind of gender narratives do we see in early Indian art? Was there a fluidity of gender roles and desires? 

00:19:37:21- In what ways has the female body been portrayed in early Indian art? And does the portrayal of female divinity offer an empowering narrative?  

00:24:22:04- In what ways did colonization interact with early Indian art?  Was there a misinterpretation of our art, and what it said about India as a culture and nation?  

00:28:50:13- Does art enable marginalized communities to  communicate and give us access to narratives which might otherwise have been inaccessible? Is enough recognition given to the work of marginalized communities in that formal art realm?   

00:31:50:11- Why is it important to engage with art as a society?


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