//South Asian Jesuit Artists Forum

South Asian Jesuit Artists Forum

The Jesuit artists of the South Asian Conference – dancers, painters, musicians, theatre, media men – came together to share and discuss on art ministries in the Conference. The annual meeting of the South Asian Jesuit Artists Forum (SAJAF) was held at Thanmaya Center, Kerala, last December. Fr. Stany D’Souza – the POSA, addressed the group, suggesting we re-imagine and recast our mission as Jesuit artists. He reiterated the need of becoming deeply spiritual, competent, credible and professional, as Jesuit artists.

During the house-boat trip at the backwaters, the participants shared personal stories of their call to art ministry in the Jesuit Society. The sharing created a sense of togetherness and greater appreciation for each other. The presentations by the participants was an eye-opener for knowing what each Jesuit artist is doing in his specific field of art. It brought out the struggles and challenges each one is facing.

One of the concerns the group expressed, was an apprehensive attitude towards the artists from the part of the superiors and Provincials. We need to revisit the Jesuit legacy of art and culture, for appreciating our own today. Artists are often not assertive and outspoken. Hence usually, they are not taken seriously and supported. The Provinces need to value and take care of the artists and the centers of art and culture.

All the participants were so grateful for the SAJAF meeting, and expressed their deep sentiments of Jesuit companionship as artists. 

Roy M. Thottathil, SJ