Contemporary artist Subodh Gupta on Friday resigned as the curator of the Serendipity Arts Festival, 2018, after he was accused of sexual harassment by an anonymous person on social media website Instagram. The festival will be held in Goa from December 15 to December 22.
The anonymous complainant claimed they had worked with Gupta, and were surprised that no one had yet named him a “serial sexual harasser”. “...many people say to be careful around him,” the complaint published on the Instagram handle Scene and Herd on Thursday read. “I have personally received multiple inappropriate advances and unwanted touching from him, even after clearly saying no. I am not alone.”
But Gupta has denied the allegations. “I deny the anonymous allegations made on the Instagram account @herdsceneand in their entirety,” he told The Hindu on Thursday. “I have never behaved in an inappropriate manner with any individual who worked with me and several of my former assistants can attest to this. These allegations are entirely false and fabricated.”
The festival organisers have sent a statement to its 14 curators and other team members, informing them that Gupta will not be present at the festival. But they have not yet issued a public statement.
Since October 5, several women have taken to social media to give detailed accounts of the sexual harassment and misconduct they have faced across several sectors such as advertising, Tamil and Hindi film industries, the field of arts, music and dance, publishing, journalism, sports, religion and non-profit organisations.