Village Idiot

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Hi, my name is Ashok Panikkar! And, after decades of dealing with very smart and successful people, I have concluded that, despite being the stereotype of the global citizen, I’m a village idiot. Indeed, I’ve acquired this distinction in the most convoluted way.

My work is designed to help intelligent and conscientious citizens look beyond commonplace understandings of democracy, human rights, diversity, and party politics. They are intended to be a reality check for citizens who tend to take vital institutions, the larger society, and the democratic nation itself for granted. The Village Idiot, through all its projects, hopes to engage with the genuinely curious on the vital issues of our age.

Here are a few random questions to start our journey:

  1. How have globalization, social media, and the rise of the right-wing affected our assumptions of how the world works?
  2. Is there a problem if our views have remained the same, despite the immense upheaval in the world?
  3. Do we still believe we have all the answers? Are we even sure we know what the questions are anymore?
  4. Are we quite certain who the ‘bad’ guys are? Are we really sure that our people/ group/ tribe/ allies are as ‘good’ as we imagine?
  5. Do we tend to embrace stories and voices that we trust? Do we shy away from those that offend us?
  6. Are we capable of questioning the truth of stories and voices that are dear to us?
  7. Are we clear-headed and objective enough to not be swayed by powerful, stirring, or entertaining stories that might be manipulating us?
  8. Most of all, are we ready to listen to voices that don’t give a damn about our feelings, likes, clicks, money, or votes?

If you are ready, the Village Idiot is here for you with some unadorned reality and loads of irreverence!

A dying democracy is one of our nation’s greatest threats.
Thanks for doing your work to raise consciousness.

Maddie F

Amazing art. I will be back. A house of truth.

D Norton

Ashok- passion and your love for truth is “moving”.
May God open hearts and minds to care once again.

Gloria Raven

Fantastic experience! I loved the exhibition. What an amazing piece of work.

Anonymous visitor

Ashok, I absolutely love your expressionism through the written word. Each image says, “Mind Candy”. It needed to be tasted and savored before it could be understood and digested. Thank you for making me THINK!

Julian Raven

Educational, critical, and simultaneously funny.
What a way to bring attention to art and the current state of the world.

Busboy and Poets Employee

Each poster is a source for a long and interesting conversation to have.

Malalai Habibi

Profound intellectually. Profound Emotionally.
Eliciting tears and laughter., sometimes simultaneously.

SG

Your art is amazing! What an interesting way to comment on political thoughts/ concepts. These posters amplify the hypocrisy that has been fed to us all of our lives.

Anonymous
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