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Stage Talks

Doing and Telling: Crafting naqqash paintings of Telangana

 Grinding Stories 

 Inventing the City

Staging the Devadasi in Today’s World: Questions of Representation, Politics, and Positionality

Dating Our Desires

Theyyam and Koodiyattam: A Conversational Jugalbandi on Cultural Preservation 

An Optional History of Indian Women 

 Book Launch of Hidden Kingdom: Fantastical Plants of the Western Ghats 

 Old Tales, New Narratives: Performance and Perspectives in Dastangoi 

 Chettu, Cheruvu, Rayee, Rappa: Learning to love and save trees 

 Radio Mischpoke: Mobile Radio as a tool for  intervention  

Podcasting: Growing audiences for sound 

Award ceremony for India Reading Olympiad 2020 

Doing and Telling: Crafting naqqash paintings of Telangana
Chandan BoseDhanalakota Vaikuntam NakashDhanalakota Vaikuntam Rakesh, and Dhanalakota Vaikuntam Vinay

24th January 2020
Time: 11.00 – 12.00 

Does ‘craft’ simply refer to the physical process of making? Can we think of ‘craft’ as an intellectual activity, which like any other domain of human thought is structured by language? How does ‘craft’ alter our understanding of what knowledge is, and how it is transmitted? Can we describe these processes accurately and precisely through disciplinary language? Why are accuracy and precision desired in the first place? These are some of the questions that this Stage Talk will address by taking audiences through a live demonstration of naqqashi paintings of Telangana. Belonging to one of the earliest practicing naqqash families of the region, Vanaja and Vaikuntam Danalakota, along with their sons, Rakesh and Vinay, will be the resource persons, ‘doing’ and ‘telling’ how the practice of naqqashi paintings could provide newer avenues to think about craft, skill, and knowledge.

Grinding Stories
Heta Pandit and Sarojini Bhiva Gaonkar 

24th January 2020
Time: 12.00 – 13.00 

Grinding Stories: Songs of Goa (2018) opens a window into the world of songs sung over the grinding stone. Songs that are filled with expectation and eagerness, despair and inner strengths, also an eternal quest for identity and recognition. All the songs are sung over the grinding stone, often a lonely chore given to the daughter-in-law of the house as the first chore of the day. Happily, for us, not all the oviyos are filled with sadness and regret. Oviyos are also sung as part of a wedding ceremony. This particular anthology, mainly a collection of stories about the love between a brother and a sister, is a translation and an attempt at the interpretation of 26 songs from the Sattari taluka of Goa. It brings the stories out from the Goan kitchen and backyard into a public space, and opens up a hitherto unseen, unheard of Goa, giving women a voice.

 

Inventing the City
Jai Undurti & Fabian Stoltz

24th January 2020
Time: 14.00 – 15.00

In 2009, the Hamburg Ministry of Culture and the Goethe-Zentrum Hyderabad initiated the project “040” with the aim of coordinating and lending their support for cultural projects. The name of the project comes from the coincidence that Hamburg and Hyderabad share the same area code – 040. “The Cities Beneath” is part of the 040 project. The idea is to use chitrakatha (or comics) to find new and unique linkages evoking the idea of a city; to explore the geography of myth and fable – rather than documenting its physical fact. In this telling, the stories we tell about ourselves, our private mythologies will intersect with those the City tells about herself. 

 

Staging the “Devadasi” in Today’s World: Questions of Representation, Politics, and Positionality
Yashoda Thakore & Purvadhanashree
Moderator: Deepa Chakravarthy

24th January 2020
Time: 15.00 – 16.00 

This presentation emerges from a simple question: what are the politics of representing the courtesan and her dance in 2019? While there is much talk today of “devadasis” which celebrates courtesan repertoire and its performance, many of these conversations rely on reductive ways of understanding either dance or dancer; weaponizing identity politics on the one hand, or claims to authenticity on the other. This talk attempts to tease out the complex and even contradictory ways in which history, politics, and aesthetic cultures shape 21st century discourses on gender, caste, and dance.

Dating Our Desires: The New Language of Digital Love
Paromita Vohra
Moderator: Sharanya Manivannan

25th January 2020
Time: 11.00 – 12.00 

If “What is love?” is an eternal question, then does digital culture reveal new answers? How has digital love—dating apps, social media platforms, texting-sexting—changed our relationships? Are we spoilt for choice in choosing partners but fearful of commitment and vulnerability? Even as we transcend old taboos of pre-marital sex and queerness to celebrate sexual desire, do corporate-owned algorithms reinscribe old dynamics of gender, caste and class? What are the new etiquettes and ethics of this exciting time of new intimacies? What are the new secrets and doubts—are some people really fated not to find love? Is everyone having more sex than you? And what does the new terminology of digital love—ghosting, breadcrumbing, benching, friendzoned, seenzoned—tell us about the nature of contemporary relationships and perhaps, the meaning of love?

SharanyaMannivanan will be in conversation with Paromita Vohra about what her wide-ranging work on love, desire and relationships has revealed about the relationship between love, desire, and digital culture.

Theyyam and Koodiyattam: A Conversational Jugalbandi on Cultural Preservation

Indu Chinta, Indu G & Margi Madhu

25th January 2020
Time: 12.00 – 13.00 

 Koodiyattam

Koodiyattam plays are a specialised interpretation on stage of Sanskrit language and literature. It takes several days to complete the performance of a single Act of a Koodiyattam play. It takes an artist 10-15 years of advanced learning, besides the ten-year preliminary training, to master a play through its different segments such as Purappad, nirvahanam and Koodiyattam (prelude, recapitulation and the play). Success for an artist depends on the confluence of two attributes — the physical and the linguistic.

Theyyam

Theyyam is culturally vibrant and visually spectacular. It is a ritualistic art form that is performed in north Kerala, in sacred groves called kavus and/or in ancestral homes called tharavadu. The root word for Theyyam is devam, god and it refers both to the art and the artist. The artist transcends the physical boundaries of his body while performing the legends and myths centred around a god. Hence, the distinction between the performer and the performed is consciously forgotten. The artist becomes the god himself. He is Theyyam.

 

An Optional History of Indian Women 
Saba Dewan
Moderator: Paromita Vohra

25th January 2020
Time: 14.00 – 15.00 

Paromita Vohra will be in conversation with Saba Dewan to trace some optional histories of women in India—and in some senses, what it means, or doesn’t mean to be an ‘Indian woman’.In her many decades as a filmmaker and writer, SabaDewan has challenged the linear narratives imposed by family, community, and nation to look deeply into the lives of diverse women—from members of her own familyto stigmatized female performer, to the more ambiguous figure of the tawaif. What emerges are optional histories that frame the more accepted histories of women in India, and questions about respectability, desire, women in public and private spaces, as well as the politics of body, gendered histories of artistic practices, power, agency and transgression. In a conversation about art, desire, performance, politics and identity, lies the question we grapple with—who is or isn’t an acceptable Indian woman.

 

Book Launch of Hidden Kingdom: Fantastical Plants of the Western Ghats
A conversation between Nirupa Rao (lead contributor) and Sita Reddy

25th January 2020
Time: 15.00 – 16.00 

Hidden Kingdom is an illustrated book on the wonder of plants that aims to open the minds of Indian children (and adults!) to the magical botanical world that exists in our backyard, the Western Ghats in southwest India. Featuring ‘charismatic’ plants ranging from the weird to the whacky, the carnivorous to the parasitic, the poisonous, the stinky and the unimaginably valuable, this book aims to be the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory of the Plant Kingdom. With hand-drawn artwork set to rhyme, it is intended for youthful souls aged 8 to 88 and beyond. A springboard from which children and adults alike can delve into the natural wealth of India, but with plenty of universal insights for a wider audience.

In this session, Nirupa Rao will engage in a conversation with Sita Reddy on the conception, making and publishing of Hidden Kingdom.

 

Old Tales, New Narratives: Performance and Perspectives in Dastangoi
Poonam Girdhani and Rajesh Kumar

26th January 2020
Time: 11.00 – 12.00 

 Why do stories matter if they aren’t even true?  How does fiction find a foothold in a world that seems increasingly obsessed with “reality”? Dastangoi is an unending, entertaining stream of narratives. Like other performing arts, Dastangoi acts as a counter voice and a reflective mirror to the society. It connects with the audience not only through the narratives of the present but also by making the audience travel to the past, connecting the audience through collective history, collective experiences, collective dreams, and collective concerns.

 

Chettu, Cheruvu, Rayee, Rappa: Learning to love and save trees
Asiya Khan, Tejah Balantrapu, and Harini Nagendra 

26th January 2020
Time: 12.00 – 13.00 

Trees, lakes, rocks and boulders—a session on learning about the natural treasure around us, and protecting it. The cityscapes of cities like Hyderabad or Bangalore present long corridors of glass, steel and concrete dotted with a green cover of varying intensity. As our cities sprawl, as people pour in searching for jobs and a future, urban trees—the trees in and around a city—offer much needed rest and relief. They also secure our groundwater, shield us from summer heat, and give us delightful blooms and seasonal fruit. Harini Nagendra will speak about the key role of science and research in influencing public respect for trees and informing activism. Asiya Khan and Tejah Balantrapu of the Hyderabad-based group “Nature Lovers of Hyderabad”, will share their experiences from a campaign to save over a thousand Banyans from a national highway expansion in Chevella. The session will discuss ‘tree-blindness’ in society and explores ideas for tree-protection campaigns.

 

Radio Mischpoke: Mobile Radio as a tool for  intervention 
Ralf Wendt and Jasmina Al-Qaisi

Moderator: Prof. Vinod Pavarala

26th January 2020
Time: 14.00 – 15.00 

The two radio makers and artists Ralf Wendt and Jasmina Al-Qaisi will present their deep and insightful recordings of conversations with local communities, with focus on women’s perspectives on community building and representation of women. Ralf and Jasmina will talk about their grassroot experience along with snippets of the radio recordings of life stories which go beyond truth, tradition and other conventional sense and account for how the communities are shaped and the factors that build them as inhabitants of Hyderabad

 

Podcasting: Growing audiences for sound 

Usha Raman, Padma Priya, and Rakesh Kamal

26th January 2020

Time: 15.00 – 16.00 

The past decade has seen a resurgence of sound as a creative and informational medium, with podcasts gaining a growing audience across the world with an emerging and vibrant maker culture that includes both big media brands and thousands of new independent voices. From current affairs to investigative long form stories to drama, comedy and much more, there seems to be a podcast for practically every kind of person and taste. This stage talk will explore the potential and promise of the medium, and examine some of the trends in podcasting in India.

 

Award ceremony for India Reading Olympiad 2020

Food 4 Thought Foundation

26th January 2020

Time: 15.00 – 16.00 

 

 

 

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