Samuha is an autonomous collective. It is an artist-driven and artist-run initiative. Each artist-member is a time-share holder of the Samuha space. Every member has ownership and rights within their time slot.
Samuha is about self-reliance and self-promotion. It is about building a community of individuals who have a common desire – to share and learn from their peers, to explore and educate their public on art and its practices.
We have no hierarchies within the community. Artists, irrespective of their fame, seniority or discipline, share the same rights and powers at Samuha. They work in the same space with equal dignity.
Samuha's financial partnerships are limited to its members. However, artist-members can individually source or seek grants for their own work or for aspects of the collective space. Samuha will not attempt to gain a grant or fund as a collective.
Samuha is not about building institutions. It aims to remain a free body and is envisioned as a research art-work. The knowledge gained in the process of envisioning, creating, driving and delivering this work is its true contribution.
We are a free body that will run only for as long as its members own their specific time-slots of 18 days per member. At the end of that period, Samuha will only exist as an experiment in the past and a potential model for others to carry into the future.
Samuha’s core vision is to enable the art-community to use and expand on our work so that more and more such self-sustaining collectives and community-driven programs can happen. We hope that we will create a prototype that can be replicated or morphed to suit various initiatives in the future. We secretly hope that this prototype will be used in variations across the state so that art can permeate into smaller towns too.
Funding for Samuha
Samuha will remain un-funded – this is its conscious decision. It is meant to be something that is owned in the truest and most basic sense by the participating artists. The artists who are part of Samuha are here because they are willing to contribute monetarily and ideologically to it. Being a self-sustaining and self-reliant initiative is key. The basic space and its running is something that will come from the monetary contributions of each artist. Samuha will not reside in a place that is above the cost of what we can, as a community, afford, even though the possibility of funding for that may exist. Our membership was decided entirely on trust and belief in Samuha’s ideologies, and not on the quality of an artists’ work – we do not want to become a curatorial body. Additionally, Samuha does not want the responsibility of infrastructural objects that will remain as residue at the end of this idea if funded.
Along-side all these processes, we were offered support from some of the art institutions in the city – Bar 1, 1Shanthi Road Gallery and IIACD. We potentially could have shared a common space with them or perhaps shared their institutional resources, under their banner. However, since the members had joined Samuha because it is an artist initiated autonomous body, it seemed that though the merger would be pleasant, it would defeat our desire to remain autonomous. We are really grateful for their offer and respect their contribution to the art community, and encourage our members to seek and create alliances as individuals and as part of their intended art-work at Samuha with these and other such organizations so that a closely knit art community will emerge.
Co-Initiator & Co-Facilitator