Update November 2009


Responsible tourism networking event at the ITB Asia in Singapore on the 22nd OCT saw people from more than 25 different countries gathering to interact with like-minded people working in Responsible Tourism. The event also became very unique by providing a platform to organise an art auction. WIT conference attendees drew doodles on a canvas which was later transformed into a stunning visual by local artist Sarbani Bhattacharya based in Singapore. An initiative by Issu.E.Rasers, the proceedings from the event went to Himmapaan Foundation based in Thailand. The RT networking event was organised in partnership with The Blue Yonder, Wild Asia and Traveltocare.com

Art auction at ITB Asia Responsible Tourism Networking                                     

Responsible tourism networking organised in partnership with ITB Asia saw a very unique art auction on the 22nd OCT 2009. About 250 participants who attended the Web In Travel conference joined together to draw many strokes and doodles in black and gold colours, ranging from hearts, tractors, arrows, palm trees, smileys to bees. The 264th stroke was done by local artist Sarbani Bhattacharya, who later moulded the kaleidoscope of strokes. The art work was later successfully auctioned at the RT networking event to help raise funds for Himmapaan foundation based in Thailand.

Jassriet Mahal, founder of Issu.E.Rasers, Yeoh Siew Hoon, founder of WIT (M), Artist Sarbani Bhattacharya (R) with the completed art

Note from Jassriet Mahal of Issu.E.Rasers:

My-Strok@WIT successfully brought focus on the ecological impact of tourism, raised resources for the Himmapaan forest restoration project in Chiang Mai province of Thialand and promoted a local artist.

While the 262 individuals were doodling, they invariably asked what this was all about and why we had chosen Himappaan. Some even said that they would now contact the foundation during their visit to Chang Mai.

It was interesting to see the energy that evolved around the canvas......with the doodlers joking with each other and encouraging their friends to come and doodle too. I think it brought out the child in the adults and self-recognition for some of the talented participants. Most doodlers kept coming back to check on the progress of the canvas and what had happened with their stroke.

My-Strok is one of the projects of Issu.E.Rasers. My-Strok's objective is to create community art as a platform to bring focus on a social/environmental issue and raise resources for a cause related to it. These art pieces are unique. They evolve with each hand that touches it. Also it is easier to work on a blank canvas, but finding depth and molding it artistically is challenging for our artist's. The community art is also symbolic since society itself is a piece of art created collectively by us individually.

Issu.E.Rasers was recently registered as a non-profit Trust in India. Its objective is to use creative mediums to increase people's sensitization and action in social and environmental concerns....so individuals become “issue erasers”. Various pilot projects (including My-Strok) are in the pipeline for implementation in India. We have also initiated partnership with small non-profit organizations working in remote areas to strategically build their programmes and increase their communication and bonding with the public. This will help them mobilize support for their mission and create a sustainable channel for resource flow.

In Singapore, Issu.E.rasers is still a volunteer initiative but will soon be formally constituted as a social enterprise.

My-Strok@WIT 2009: Notes from the artist Sarbani Bhattacharya

When I got the canvas yesterday, 263 people had evolved a piece of kinetic art with their creative strokes in black and gold. There were stars, spirals, hearts, cartoons, smiley faces, trees, flowers, birds, boats, cycle, tractor, airplane, arrows, words…. My challenge was to find and mould the deep meaning in all these strokes.
                                      Strokes and doodles by participants at WIT wconference

In my final work, I drew inspiration from:

 the most popular form of expression drawn on the canvas - the heart.
 my attempt to read the markings on the surface, similar to reading a face
 the final objective to channel the proceeds from the auction into reforestation.

I selected the monochrome colour palette to show the synergetic bond not only between colours but also among the 263 hands involved in creating this piece. My choice of a translucent paint technique was to enhance these individual and collective strokes.

The amalgamation is this piece of art - a heart-shaped woman’s face evolving from a tree. To me, woman the fertility symbol grows and spreads love like a tree. Her neck is like the strong stem … her hair like twigs flowing in the air searching for light…with her eyes closed she prays for love…love for a tree... love for mankind.... and love for life…."

pic by Reza Azmi      

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