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Apeksha Bagchi

IWB Blogger

If You Don’t Take Risks With Your Art, Then You Aren’t Really Making Art: Celebrity Stylist Sapna Bhavnani

  • IWB Post
  •  May 14, 2019

On 9th May, celebrity stylist Sapna Bhavnani’s film Sindhustan, a feature-length documentary, premiered at the New York Indian Film Festival. Today she is celebrating the legacy of Sindh but growing up, being a Sindhi held no importance for her beyond the fact that she was one.

She moved to the US at 18 and lived there for 14 years. Even her Sindhi-medium educated mother trained herself to talk to her daughter in English and her father, who owned Blue Nile, Bombay’s famous cabaret bar, only conversed in his native language with his friends. It was only Bhavnani’s grandmother who spoke to her in her native tongue and was a living example of the Sindhi culture, bearing a big Krishna on her forearm. Her grandmother was delighted when Bhavnani took the efforts to get inked with Sindhi-inspired work.

“Sindhustan is an effort to put two dying art forms — Ajrak from Sindh and Kutch, and Madhubani from India — on the global tattoo scene. [Imagine] someone sitting in the US getting these. That is my goal. Art transcends, and can send a message like nothing else. If you don’t take risks with your art, then you aren’t really making art,” she said.

“Muslim Sindhis are now reaching out to invite me as a speaker. You have to break these boundaries, and I know this film will do that. I am very optimistic,” she added, “We need to understand how much love there was before this line was drawn.”

Shot over a period of seven years, the film is the result of Sapna’s efforts to present a piece of art. “I didn’t want [the film] to be about ‘Sapna the stylist’. If you even are a little well-known in one field, it’s become very common to ‘branch out’, which I didn’t want. Instead of cutting hair, I wanted to cut film. And even though they are connected, I didn’t want one to merge into the other,” she said.

H/T: The Hindu

 

 

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