The Vizha aims to bring the arts to more inclusive spaces, with lead-up already seeing performances in public buses and railway stations.

From parkour to fish markets This years Uroor Olcott festival promises many surprisesFacebook/T.M. Krishna
news Music Friday, January 26, 2018 - 19:32

The Urur Olcott Kuppam Vizha is here again, now in its fourth edition. An effort initiated by Carnatic musician TM Krishna and environmentalist Nithyanand Jayaraman, it aims to bring all forms of art to more inclusive spaces. The festival presents a series of art performances, usually a mix of the so-called folk arts and classical arts, at the Urur village in Besant Nagar, Chennai.

Much to the surprise of patrons, this year’s line-up even includes a parkour performance and a beach clean-up, in addition to an experience titled “Fish Market as Cultural Space”!

The Urur Olcott Kuppam Vizha is a festival that “explores the possibilities that ​the ​arts offer in uniting people and bringing down man-made walls.” Over the years, TM Krishna has been a vocal opponent of the Brahmin-domination in Carnatic music and is known for speaking out against the exclusion of other castes in what is perceived as the "high" arts. For some time now, he has been pushing for art and music to move into alternative spaces, and away from the traditional sabha culture.

As part of his initiative to push boundaries, Krishna often performs on MTC buses and at railway stations, alerting people with a tweet a few hours before he boards the bus. As a lead up to the main festival, several events are being conducted in the preceding weeks.