Destination-Kerala-KMB-(6)

Kochi: Despite strident opposition in the run-up to the first edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) in 2012, the popularity of the event and the efforts of its organisers silenced naysayers, said Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, CPM Kerala State Secretary, here the other day.

The senior leader, who was the Tourism Minister in the previous LDF Government, was speaking at a media interaction following his visit to Aspinwall House in Fort Kochi, the primary venue of the ongoing third edition of India’s only Biennale.

“At the time of Biennale’s inception, there were a number of objections and criticisms against the step. However, the State Government decided to ignore the negativity and go ahead with the initiative. Today, even its strongest critics have come to accept the Biennale,” said Kodiyeri Balakrishnan. “The commitment of the organisers to art is mirrored in their commitment towards society. That is the reason why it has become the ‘people’s Biennale’,” he added.

“The KMB has become a democratic platform. The organisers have proved the vitality of such an event in Kerala. As the Biennale has started attracting ever larger crowds, the State should focus on marketing this mega art event at foreign tourism marts, including the World Tourism Mart. This will help attract more foreign tourists to this event and boost the tourism sector,” Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said.

Noting that the State Government had commendably resolved the issue regarding a permanent venue for the Biennale, he said, “Venues for future KMBs should retain the same peculiarities and amenities that the event enjoys today.”

The former minister was given a guided tour of Aspinwall House by Bose Krishnamachari, Co-founder, KMB. He was accompanied by P Rajeev, former Rajya Sabha MP and CPM Ernakulam district secretary, during the visit.