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MAP Academy

Discover modern Indian art with MAP Academy’s latest online course

November 22, 2023

The MAP Academy has announced the launch of its short course, Modern and Contemporary Indian Art. For the first time the course is being taught online, and the course is entirely free-for-all and self-paced. Authored by art historian Dr Beth Citron, and edited and produced by the MAP Academy, the course comprises engaging videos, illustrated texts and interactive quizzes, providing learners with a Certificate of  Completion.

Over a short span of 4.5 hours, the course covers major developments in art from the late-19th and early-20th century to the present day, examining questions of nationhood, modernity, self-expression, identities and globalisation. Studying art forms, especially from recent decades, enables learners to dive into a range of creative practices and bodies of work. It also provides a sensitive entry point through which one can reflect upon histories as well as present-day issues.

The MAP Academy launched last year with an Encyclopedia of Art, and its first short course, Textiles from the Indian Subcontinent, and has since built a worldwide community of thousands of learners, online. Its courses form part of an extensive curriculum, with introductory modules on photography, narrative painting, architecture, archaeology and sculpture that are scheduled to go live in the coming years. These are all geared towards making South Asian art histories accessible to wider audiences and cultivating an unparalleled online learning environment.

“Typically, the majority of courses on modern and contemporary art across the world cover Euro-American narratives that exclude developments in the Global South. Whilst select museums and educational institutions in major urban areas, or in certain programmes overseas, address the subject from an Indian perspective, this course has the unique potential to reach wider audiences for greater impact. Written in jargon-free language, it covers seminal topics and artworks, while also drawing attention to how canonical narratives have frequently been biassed on the basis of gender, caste and socio-economic status.”– Pooja Savansukha, Managing Director, MAP Academy

Introducing a range of artists such as Abanindranath Tagore, Amrita Sher-Gil, Zarina Hashmi, Sudhir Patwardhan, Bhupen Khakhar, Navjot Altaf and Shilpa Gupta to name a few, the course takes learners through a trajectory of key figures, artworks and moments. From the colonial period to the moment of independence, the Partition, economic liberalisation and more, it delves into historical events, pressing contemporary concerns, and advances and shifts in art-making. It is designed to serve as a valuable starting point for curious learners, serious students, practitioners or anyone interested in building or furthering a career in the arts and culture.

Learners who complete the course also gain exclusive access to specialised MAP Academy Live programming that includes community meet-ups, expert-led lectures and workshops. Through these, learners can maintain a sustained interest in the subject, and delve deeper into some of the critical themes and ideas that the course introduces.

This course involved a partnership with Terrain.Art. The MAP Academy is also engaging with academics, scholars and advisors including Dr Annapurna Garimella, Dr Diva Gujral and Mayank Mansingh Kaul, among others, to develop its programme. Through such collaborations, the organisation offers diverse approaches and perspectives on a range of subjects, in its effort to serve as a leading educational platform on South Asian art histories.

How to enrol: 

  • The course is free, self-paced and open to all
  • To enrol, scan the QR code below or visit this link
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