Creating art villages in Rajasthan's tourism hubs

Rajasthan Tourism is promoting ‘arts villages’ to stop migration and draw tourists to the villages. The idea is to offer alternatives to the people living in villages through creative economy

Creating art villages in Rajasthan's tourism hubs

Archana Sharma/IANS

The Mandawa Art Village project aims to promote local art and culture and stop migration from the village.

"Through art, art workshops, art experience, creation of open-air gallery, we are developing a new form of artistic tourism which will generate jobs in the village, offering a better life to the villagers," says Amita D'Alessandro, the French co-founder of Mandawa Art Village.

"The idea is to offer an alternative choice to the people who live in the village through creative economy," she added. The project’s co-founder is Virendra Singh Shekhawat, who is also the director and founder of DPC, a Delhi-based photography club.

"We want to transform it into an international art village to offer another attraction to the tourists who visit Mandawa. Restoring, preserving and promoting local old art forms is also one of our aims," Shekhawat said, adding that foreign tourists coming to the art village will be taught pottery making, photography and many more forms of art and craft.

One of the major attractions are walls painted by international visitors. Rocio Del Perez Solar, an artist from Peru, visited the village in 2019 and painted four walls. Eva Potacka from Morocco also painted the walls here and her style of painting is using colourful pastels and extensive use of stencils to give a Moroccan feel to the art works. One of her artworks is inspired by the cows in India, said Shekhawat.

Artists from across the globe will be invited for collaboration and they can even adopt the village and showcase their country in the village, he added.

The village, situated 4 km from Mandawa, is well known for its painted havelis and the project will ensure that the rural economy gets a boost, Shekhawat said, adding that "reverse migration is the need of the hour and we are working in that direction".

The Mandawa Art Village, four km from Mandawa in Rajasthan, is also an attempt to stem migration to the cities. The idea is to create sustainable art villages in the spokes of tourism hubs so that villages also get a fair share of the tourists and are able to earn livelihood by additional opportunities created, informs Shekhawat, adding that villagers have already started donating their rooms to run photography classes, pottery classes, etc.

Rajasthan Tourism and the embassies of Peru, Ecuador and Mexico are partners in the ongoing project, the founders inform.

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