Chatting up with Raghava KK
Among the first to arrive at the venue of TechSparks 2013, Pune, was the chief speaker of the afternoon, Raghava KK (http://www.raghavakk.com). With about two hours to go for the event to start, it was a great opportunity for me to chat up with the ‘multidisciplinary artist and storyteller whose work is shown in galleries and museums around the world.’
Sitting in the coffee shop, we discovered early on the Thanjavur connection and, predictably, a fair sprinkling of Tamil entered our conversation, about places, people, and proverbs. Another connection was his journalism stint, as a cartoonist. I could empathise with the pressures on a young newspaper cartoonist that Raghava endured, what with turfs defined by the senior cartoonists.
His life is no different from that of a contrarian, a rebel, a castaway – a common trajectory for many an entrepreneur. Well, there are certain things that are not going to change at least in the near future, such as the oft-mentioned cultural stigma associated with breaking out of the rut. The trick is to work despite such hurdles, rather than wait for the obstacles to evaporate.
Raghava spoke about taking communication beyond words, making art inclusive, letting visuals respond, and putting technology on to the canvas. Topics ranged from cocooned community to history perspective, Benazir Bhutto to Bill Gates, physics to music, education to neuroscience. As you would have realised, it is tough to put him in a box; he will get out of it like a Houdini.
During the panel, later in the afternoon, I asked Raghava how he would describe himself. ‘Hactivist entrepreneur,’ he said, possibly linking up hacker, activism, artist, and entrepreneur. His enterprise, Flipsicle, now in stealth-mode, promises to ‘explore, collaborate, collect and share pictures like never before.’ Raghava pursues many projects, like a typical artist with colours all round.
One of his current projects is a book, about which he talks in this video.
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