Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, University of Hyderabad, organized a special lecture series on “Mithila’s Female Artists Paint Issues of Social Justice and Gender” on 14th October 2021 by Prof. Susan Snow Wadley, Professor Emerita of Anthropology, Syracuse University, USA.
Prof. Ajailiu Niumai, Head, Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy chaired the event. Prof. Wadley delved into the insightful evolution of Mithila paintings over the years and it’s major two styles i.e. Brahmin and Kachini styles. She spoke about the role of several westerners, indigenous people and institutions in propagating the art of Madhubani paintings to various parts of the world like Japan, USA and the like. She asserted that it is a source of empowerment for indigenous women.
Prof. Wadley then threw light on feminist orientation of these beautiful Madhubani paintings which vividly documented the social ills faced by women and made an appeal to challenge the patriarchal norms of the society.
The Mithila paintings despite its existence dating back to 14thCentury subtly threw light on social concerns like gender inequality particularly dowry, female infanticide, abortion,patriarchy and the like. Mithila paintings made powerful calls for gender equality, fertility and the like. It is an astonishment that these paintings have never aged as it seeks to raise gender inequalities and injustice that exists in the Indian society.