National

Impact Of MeToo Allegations On Biennale: A Recap

The back-to-back allegations against renowned artists had a heavy impact on the Kochi-Muziris Biennale. Not less than fifty artists, writers and curators gathered in Kochi on December 13, 2018, and made a presentation demanding transparency and open conversations on the MeToo allegations.

A poster at Aspinwall House, Kochi-Muziris Biennale
info_icon

The ‘MeToo’ allegation against Riyas Komu, one of the founder members of the Biennale Foundation had a heavy impact on the biennial art show. The allegation of sexual misconduct by an anonymous person was shared on the Instagram account ‘herdsceneand’ in October  2018 which created a storm in the art world. The woman who raised the allegation of sexual misconduct had initially chosen not to name the perpetrator but only mentioned that one of the core team members of the Biennale Foundation. Later it was revealed through the same social media account that it was Riyas Komu against whom she had raised the allegation of sexual harassment. 

Komu who apologised for his actions relinquished his position from the Biennale Foundation and severed all his ties with the art show. According to the complainant, she was forcefully kissed by Riyas Komu when she visited him to discuss a project in 2015. Komu, in a statement, expressing apology stated that he was upset about that incident being presented in that manner. He also said that as an artist committed to social and political causes, he was in support of the #MeToo movement.

The back-to-back allegations against renowned artists had a heavy impact on the Kochi-Muziris Biennale. Not less than fifty artists, writers and curators gathered in Kochi on December 13, 2018, and made a presentation demanding transparency and open conversations on the MeToo allegations. The collective also demanded expediting the inquiry proceedings initiated by the ICC of Biennale Foundation against Riyas Komu. 

Though no formal complaint was received, an inquiry was initiated by the Internal Committee of Biennale Foundation chaired by the former Kerala Chief Secretary Lizzy Jacob. Later the inquiry was dropped off as ‘there was no complaint forthcoming since pursuing the matter for several weeks. However, it did not make any change and Riyas Komu never had a coming back to the foundation. He accused the foundation of ‘isolating him'. The fourth edition of the Biennale which opened in 2018 December was conducted without Riyas Komu on board.

Advertisement
Important: We are happy to announce that we have successfully completed the migration of our site @outlookindia.com to enhance your experience as valuable user. But due to the scale of operations some data discrepancies may arise. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience and understanding during this period.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement