The term ‘folk’ mostly reminds us to rural India, though it is true that the folk traditions due thrive in the villages but most of these folk art forms have been present in the Indian society for more than just a few centuries. These folk art forms have both emerged and have been insipid by the society in which they blossomed. Thus, while folk might remind of the rural society, the folk also does represent the roots from which the urban society has developed itself.
The urban society has been blamed many a times for not holding onto the traditional and cultural values of the Indian society. Though this blame is somewhat misplaced as the urban class has not always been exposed to the traditions and cultural practices which the Indian society considers its own. The example of one such is the folk traditions. The urban society knows that the concept of folk tradition does prevail in India but they are not exposed to it. This is where the requirement for folk media arises. Media is just a tool of communication as well as representation. Folk media is required as it helps build a chain of communication between the rural and the urban societies. Folk media not only works towards providing a platform for folk art forms but also allows the urban society to become aware of the folk traditions which they were never exposed to. The urban society always thrives for a sense of belonging and folk media can provided it with this sense of belonging. The bearers of theses folk art forms also find a source of representation when the media is willing to accept these art forms and carry it beyond a certain demographic territory where theses art forms have either taken birth or have thrived.
Further, folk media allows for the interaction between the rural and the urban societies which is almost impossible in today’s times as both identify themselves as complete opposites of each other, whereas both have deeply imbibed in them the same cultural roots though they have moved on it different trajectories. This also helps define why a space like a digital folk media archive requires folk media. An archive on folk requires the folk media as it helps in the development of communication process between the folk artists and their audiences. The audience many a times be just inquisitive about folk art forms but a platform of representation is required for this inquisitiveness to turn into awareness.
By Alekhya Sen Gupta