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Brushstrokes: When Ganja fell in love with Mahua

Art work shows a man lying on a railway line to commit suicide. A woman wearing a red bindi and a white saree stares straight ahead in grief.

The Ganja-Mahua Chronicles is an art project that draws attention to the role that marriage plays in upholding India’s caste system. By illustrating four stories of inter-caste love, project creators Venkat Raman Singh Shyam and S Anand highlight not only the resilience of people who break caste boundaries, but also society’s violent reactions to these transgressions. The project’s name comes from Gond folklore in which an ‘untouchable’ man and a Brahmin woman fall in love but are only able to come together in their next life when they are reincarnated as ganja and mahua trees. The other three stories in the project are derived from history, movies and current events.

Take a look at the paintings and read more.

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