Feature: Artist Anusha Gautam
Anusha Gautam (she/her) is an 18 year old South Asian, Indian, Dalit woman. She was born and raised in Delhi and is currently pursuing her BA in English literature along with a minor degree in Journalism from Lady Sri Ram College, University of Delhi, India.
"Since my childhood, I was very expressive," Anusha shares. "My parents always encouraged me to keep participating in every sort of creative event that used to happen in school (dancing, singing, sports, painting) and various other competitions."
"As I grew up, art and expression became very much of an integral and distinguished part of my personality.
"I identify myself as a self-taught artist. I do art with oils, acrylic, watercolor, and I also try to keep an open mind about learning new techniques."
"Every time I paint something on my Canvas, I learn something new and that is what I find most exciting about being a self-taught artist. I get to explore everything by my own self."
"This mural has a great significance in my life and to my family. Since I belong to a lower-middle-class family with a mother [who has] supernatural powers - working day and night to maintain our house [despite] her disabled self - and an amazingly hardworking father who tries to bring us every happiness and comfort in [the] world despite [being in] bad economic circumstances. So as a family of 4, we have learned to cherish the small joys in life.
"One such joy was our TV which we lost to a [fraudulent] mechanic and [to this day], we haven’t been able to buy one. My parents miss the days when we used to have movie nights every weekend. They [would] watch this empty white wall facing our sofa until one day, I decided to paint it, [trying] to fill the empty space."
I know it's lame to say that I filled the void but I see this painting as a hope that bad times shall pass too. This was our story from Tragedy to Art.
Aside from making art, Anusha also enjoys Cinematography, Photography, makeup, singing, and playing Basketball.
"Currently, I’m running my own art page on Instagram. In [the] future, I plan to start my own online business where I'll sell out prints of my paintings.
"I also run personal level campaigns on my social media account about "sex-ed”, "gender equality", "feminism", "caste discrimination" and "LGBTQIA+ awareness."
"The term 'Sexuality' was never a part of my vocabulary when I was a child. Some reasons [for] that was, I live in a country where even talking about 'sex' in public is looked down upon. [In] schools there [aren't many] provisions for educating students about 'Sex', 'sex-ed' or 'sexuality.'"
"Even after so much hushing of this topic, I came across it in class 8th while having a conversation with my friends who told me about this boy who got harassed by a group of fellow male students because he was probably 'gay/ bi/ trans' they used to call him by a Slang name (chakka) used for insulting the trans community. This is only one such incident that I mentioned.
"The major reason [for] all [these] happenings is 'Unawareness', 'insensitivity", inadequate laws to protect LBGBTQIA+ students, and carelessness of administration."
"Talking about my equation with Sexuality is a kind of sweet & sour relationship, as an 18-year-old teenager I'm still figuring out a lot for myself including my sexual preferences. So till then, I would not like to put myself into any box. I'm basically free to love anyone irrespective of their gender. For me, gender is not any kind of boundation to love."
To support Anusha and her art, you can follow her on Instagram (@_kalacore)!
Sacrosanct is a community blog that amplifies the voices and art of LGBTQ2IA+ BIPOC. As a digital space for marginalized folks to self-define, self-actualize, and heal, Sacrosanct is firmly situated at the core of intersectionality while also providing mental health and community resources made for and by LGBTQ2IA+ BIPOC. To fund these LGBTQ2IA+ BIPOC artists for their contributions to the platform, consider leaving a donation here and follow Sacrosanct on Instagram and Facebook.