souvenir artists

The main concern identified in the Theertha report was the overwhelming influence of the tourists’ souvenir market on Maldivian artists and their work. The negative influence of the tourist market stifled the creativity of visual artists as they primarily produced ’souvenir art’; or artifacts and objects that served as mementos for the holidays tourists spend in the Maldives. Other issues in the artist community of the Maldives that Theertha had identified in their report include;

1) the lack of representation of the complexity of life in Maldivian society,

2) a disconnection from the traditional arts and crafts of the country, and

3) a lack of exposure to critical feedback. The NAG hopes the organization of exhibitions similar to Beyond the Tourists’ Eye will encourage more artists to explore themes and issues more relevant to Maldivian culture through their art.

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