Anger & Resistance No. 17: Shumona Sinha, India / France – „Anger can be a trigger of a movement“

Author Shumona Sinha / Photo: Patrice Normand.

Print issue SPEX No. 375 focuses upon anger and resistance in pop culture. For this reason SPEX invited artists from all over the globe to answer the question: Is Anger An Energy? Read the full-length interviews online only. Today: Shumona Sinha from India / France.

What does anger mean to you? And how important is resistance for you?
Anger without a rational cause and without a defined destiny is self-destructive. In a political context, it can be a trigger of a movement, a symptom of a new energy, but it has to be canalized and controlled to serve the purpose. Life shouldn’t be a long series of „resistance“, but unfortunately it is and the old battles, that we thought over and won, are coming back to threaten our concept of liberty and freedom. So yes, resistance is very important.

How and against what are you protesting?
I didn’t know that it was understood this way that I am protesting against anything, but the only act I perform is writing. Through my writing I am trying to mirror our society, denouncing the abuse of capitalist phallocratic society (where women can also be misogynistic), the xenophobia and ethno-superiority, the upsurge of religious fundamentalism of all the religions.

„if we keep our mouth shut and accept their aggressive ignorance, that’s the beginning of the base of fascism.“

Taking a look at the current state of the world, does your urge to take a stand, to speak out, to act get stronger?
Yes, of course. But there’s a trap also, because as a novelist I should keep a certain moral distance so that my books wouldn’t become a political propaganda, which is really not my objective. As long as I present myself as a novelist the concern for the literary quest must be there.

Is there room for more than symbolic protest within the realm pop culture? How can pop culture bring about change, even beyond the already converted?
There are lots of writers and artists that are expressing their „resistance“ and „protest“ through their books and artwork, directly or subtly. At the Vienna Fest this year I saw installations on „exil“, „identity“, „colonial ravage“; a transsexual drag-queen singing with her team politically engaged songs, they’ve been great protesters that take action on Donald Trump.

I think it’s really important to cross the red line between „elite/pop“ and „popular“, like the people who love Tony Morrison and people who love Kim fucking Kardashian. It’s a huge task, but there must be some way to reach our hands and wake these people up who are stuffing their heads with junk-food-culture. I’ve really seen the upsurge of the mass, ignorant, aggressive and xenophobic, who are basically of this category of junk-culture. It’s not elitist to define them as they are, because if we keep our mouth shut and accept their aggressive ignorance, that’s the beginning of the base of fascism.

As an example, I have heard of a musical program in a small village in Mexico where the young artists deconstructed the national anthem. First it shocked the conservative crowd, then they accepted and liked it. In France, Gainsbourg did it with the Marseillaise – and broke into reggae: „Aux armes et caetera“.

What is the most urgent cause of your art?
The women’s condition and the fight against the religious fundamentalism.

Alle Kurzinterviews mit Künstlerinnen und Künstlern aus aller Welt zum Thema Wut & Widerstand, die im Rahmen des Schwerpunkts in der Printausgabe SPEX No. 375 in gekürzter Form zu lesen sind, werden nach und nach online veröffentlicht. Das Heft kann im Onlineshop versandkostenfrei bestellt werden.

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