A thought-provoking conversation with anonymous graffiti artist Guesswho on the depressing year that was 2018 and the impact it had on his/her work.
What's the nicest thing you did for someone in 2018?
I’ve tried to do a piece about the heroic efforts done by the fishermen in Kerala to rescue the thousands of stranded people in the recent flood fury. It was kind of a tribute to their selfless efforts. That was the least I could do.
Has 2018 been a good year for you in terms of productivity and creativity? What all did you work on this year?
I have hardly painted on the streets this year except a few stencils in Kochi recently.
Which film that you saw this year changed something in you?
The Square by Ruban Ostlund. It was interesting to see how the movie address some aspects of art in public space.
Which song/s did you listen to on loop this year?
The album Room no 25 by Noname
Best book you read this year?
Rashtrayana: Trouble in Paradesh by Appupen. I think it’s an important work especially because most artists chose to ignore what’s going on around them and were happy living in their own bubbles.
Please pick a few words to represent how 2018 has been for you.
It was rather a depressing and disappointing year. The country is going through the most regressive phase. But the voice of resistance and dissent from the creative community was so weak. Myself included.
What's your 2018 takeaway?
There were three instances that we saw this year where the victims themselves, women in particular came out to streets in large numbers to support the perpetrators. The Katwa incident, the Jalandhar Bishop case and most recently the Sabarimala issue. That was really frightening. These things shatters your hope. But yet there are some stories of love and humanity that you hear from here and there which is helping us not to loose our hopes. All is never lost until it really is.
What's 2019 looking like for you? What are your goals/plans/dreams for the year ahead?
The election are around the corner. And it is going to decide the future of the country. Whether you like it or not, everyone is going to play their role knowingly or otherwise. I think it’s going to reflect in my work as well.
Follow Guesswho's powerful work here.