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  • Hi everyone.

  • I'm an artist and a dad -- second time around.

  • Thank you.

  • And I want to share with you my latest art project.

  • It's a children's book for the iPad.

  • It's a little quirky and silly.

  • It's called "Pop-It,"

  • And it's about the things little kids do with their parents.

  • (Music)

  • So this is about potty training --

  • as most of you, I hope, know.

  • You can tickle the rug.

  • You can make the baby poop.

  • You can do all those fun things.

  • You can burst bubbles.

  • You can draw, as everyone should.

  • But you know, I have a problem with children's books:

  • I think they're full of propaganda.

  • At least an Indian trying to get one of these American books in Park Slope, forget it.

  • It's not the way I was brought up.

  • So I said, "I'm going to counter this with my own propaganda."

  • If you notice carefully,

  • it's a homosexual couple bringing up a child.

  • You don't like it?

  • Shake it, and you have a lesbian couple.

  • (Laughter)

  • Shake it, and you have a heterosexual couple.

  • You know, I don't even believe in the concept of an ideal family.

  • I have to tell you about my childhood.

  • I went to this very proper Christian school

  • taught by nuns, fathers, brothers, sisters.

  • Basically, I was brought up to be a good Samaritan,

  • and I am.

  • And I'd go at the end of the day to a traditional Hindu house,

  • which was probably the only Hindu house

  • in a predominantly Islamic neighborhood.

  • Basically, I celebrated every religious function.

  • In fact, when there was a wedding in our neighborhood,

  • all of us would paint our houses for the wedding.

  • I remember we cried profusely

  • when the little goats we played with in the summer

  • became biriani.

  • (Laughter)

  • We all had to fast during Ramadan.

  • It was a very beautiful time.

  • But I must say,

  • I'll never forget, when I was 13 years old, this happened.

  • Babri Masjid --

  • one of the most beautiful mosques in India,

  • built by King Babur, I think, in the 16th century --

  • was demolished by Hindu activists.

  • This caused major riots in my city.

  • And for the first time,

  • I was affected

  • by this communal unrest.

  • My little five-year-old kid neighbor

  • comes running in,

  • and he says, "Rags, Rags.

  • You know the Hindus are killing us Muslims. Be careful."

  • I'm like, "Dude, I'm Hindu."

  • (Laughter)

  • He's like, "Huh!"

  • You know, my work is inspired

  • by events such as this.

  • Even in my gallery shows,

  • I try and revisit historic events

  • like Babri Masjid,

  • distill only its emotional residue

  • and image my own life.

  • Imagine history being taught differently.

  • Remember that children's book

  • where you shake and the sexuality of the parents change?

  • I have another idea.

  • It's a children's book about Indian independence --

  • very patriotic.

  • But when you shake it, you get Pakistan's perspective.

  • Shake it again, and you get the British perspective.

  • (Applause)

  • You have to separate fact from bias, right.

  • Even my books on children

  • have cute, fuzzy animals.

  • But they're playing geopolitics.

  • They're playing out Israel-Palestine,

  • India-Pakistan.

  • You know, I'm making a very important argument.

  • And my argument [is]

  • that the only way for us to teach creativity

  • is by teaching children perspectives

  • at the earliest stage.

  • After all, children's books are manuals on parenting,

  • so you better give them children's books that teach them perspectives.

  • And conversely,

  • only when you teach perspectives

  • will a child be able to imagine

  • and put themselves in the shoes

  • of someone who is different from them.

  • I'm making an argument that art and creativity

  • are very essential tools in empathy.

  • You know, I can't promise my child

  • a life without bias --

  • we're all biased --

  • but I promise to bias my child with multiple perspectives.

  • Thank you very much.

  • (Applause)

Hi everyone.

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B1 US TED hindu bias child argument pakistan

【TED】Raghava KK: Shake up your story (Shake up your story | Raghava KK)

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    Zenn posted on 2017/05/30
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