The Foundation Thukral & Tagra, founded in 2009, aims to spread awareness about the transmission of HIV and to dispel misinformation about AIDS. By employing the multi-disciplinary creativity, playfulness and humor that are hallmarks of their art practice, Thukral & Tagra explore new avenues of communication and education to bring the issues of HIV and AIDS to the public. Their efforts are predominantly targeted towards the urban, middle-class youth, as this demographic group now enjoys leisure time, a measure of privacy and a disposable income, all of which contribute to increased sexual activity at an earlier age.
The goal is to break through the ingrained embarrassment associated with talking about sexual activity so that the subject of safe sex practices can be introduced. By positioning their imagery and products at a variety of points in the consumer society (in upscale malls and low- income street markets, on wearable items and printed give-aways) and collaborating with health care NGOs who are already working in the field, Thukral & Tagra hope to create situations where parents and children, flirtatious teens, and inexperienced peer groups are coaxed into addressing the subject and are educated so that they can make responsible choices.
For their project booth at the 2011 India Art Summit, Thukral & Tagra will present "The Beautiful Game." Acknowledging the competitiveness and sense of sport that lie at the heart of courtship and romance, a simplified game of billiards will invite couples from the general audience to test their skill and luck to win T&T merchandise. While this merchandise will educate about safe sex practices, the form of the billiards game itself will act as a metaphor for both the anxiety associated with sexual awakening and the thrill of amorous adventures. Representatives from NGOs dealing with HIV and AIDS will be present in the booth throughout the four days of the Summit to initiate discussions and distribute educational materials. By creating the atmosphere of a gaming hall in the context of an art fair, Thukral & Tagra will lure the public into a dialogue about a subject they may usually do everything to avoid.