Designer Wendell Rodricks’ version of the history of Goan costumes – should it be covered up or displayed? Both happened within a few hours at Serendipity Arts Festival in Goa where the designer is presenting an exhibition, titled Ten Histories/Goan Costume.
Goa University professor and head of the history department Dr Pratima Kamat called out the exhibition for factual inaccuracies. The information panels were immediately covered up, eliciting a sharp response from Rodricks. He said he would withdraw as one of the curators of the festival – and the covers were removed. On Thursday, the exhibition was back to its original form.
“Prof Kamat objected in a tantrum and threatening manner and told the organisers to cover the text. With the time difference and me uncontactable at 3 am in the US, the organisers covered the text. But after speaking to me they uncovered the text and have assured me that my exhibit stays as is,” says Rodricks.
Prof Kamat says she had requested for the exhibition to be withdrawn from public viewing until inaccuracies are rectified. “The panels which are printed on the walls are replete with historical inaccuracies about Goa, with even geographical details being incorrectly stated, glaring spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and even some letters missing from words printed on the walls,” she says.