SARAH AHMAD | 23 AUGUST, 2015
Alive In Art
There is a slight possibility that you are alive; breathing, walking, anxious. There is that possibility of not being too alive; pale, grim, frail. That funnel you’re walking through, in, all alone, brown, rusted surroundings, panels of dusty glass barely bringing in light; you move slowly, watching your head, watching your steps.
Reality, Thursday, West Coast, Oakland, California, walking on cobbled paths, barely hiding from the glare of the sun; a wind catcher, a scarf, shuttles and parallel paths. To distant lands, a week of rains, Friday, early morning, Moolchand, Delhi.
Music often makes you feel alive. Receding, yet abundant monsoon clouds bring in stories of rhyme and recital; between all the life and the half of it are instances of poetic words, the city indulges in two evenings of song and poetry through the Lok Sangeet Sammelan, at the India Habitat Centre in collaboration with Roots. The event unfolds as verses of folk songs on rivers. Songs on Ganga and Brahmaputra by Rituparna Banerjee, on Narmada and rivers of Assam by Nozrul Islam, are a few among many, performed by various artists.
I still write by the air of the West, sheltered from the sun, among blinds, printed pillows and white doors, to expansive passageways, standing miles away, closer to home only by words, by dialogues and extensive conversations.
A heritage lecture series talks about Nizamuddin Urban Renewal through words spoken by Ratish Nanda, conservation architect and head of Aga Khan Trust for Culture in India. The talk titled- Rethinking Conservation in the Indian Context takes place on an August day at the India Habitat Centre in Delhi.
Alive, through historically turbulent times-monuments, people, places. Alive in other lands; the constant whir of the helicopter spells life, so do hindered dreams. Life built upon, massacred into believing the wrong, fabricated truths, tell-tale lies, prisms, caves, pyramids, Pacific, bottled tides.
The Partition Museum Project at the India International Centre focuses on accounts from eyewitness survivors of the Partition of India. This is followed by a panel discussion, the project eventually acting only as a foundation for a museum dedicated to an event in which over ten million were displaced, killed, raped, lost and forgotten. Their stories of suffering and loss are built into collections in a physical space.
Life as we know it changes to the present, extracting traces of the past, populating our paths, cultivating heroic dreams. A play, The Revised Kama Sutra, explores a young boy’s journey, growing in India’s southwest coast in the sixties and seventies, and his quest for love, sex and salvation; it takes the audience on a journey of humour, music and dance from Mangalore to Washington D.C.
Interspersed with songs of the sixties and seventies, from the Beatles and Rolling Stones to Neil Diamond, this play based on Richard Crasta’s nostalgic and amusing story, directed by Anasuya Vaidya will be staged at the India Habitat Centre in August.
This Road I know, a film directed by Yirmiyan Arthur Yhome will be screened at the India International Centre in New Delhi. The film which is a personal narrative traverses the main highway that runs through the states of Nagaland and Manipur, bringing to light the changing experiences on the road over the years, introducing new dimensions and fears. The film seeks to explore the complexities of identity while examining the ways violence is used in many ways. The Road I know also reflects a longing for a home that once was, nostalgia for the lost land of childhood and deep uncertainty about what is to come.
Voices proclaim, as days of art dance in the rains, voices of light and baneful sighs, leading to white washed walls of paint lines and hues, music resonates, a story unfolds; enlightens, awakens, time flies.
At The India Habitat Centre, Lodi Road, New Delhi
Lok Sangeet Sammelan, Folk Songs On Rivers: 22nd and 23rd August, at 7:00pm
Rethinking Conservation in the Indian Context, talk: 26th August, at 7:00pm
The Revised Kama Sutra, a play: at The Stein Auditorium, 29th August, at 7:30pm
At The India International Centre, Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi
The Partition Museum Project, discussion: at the C.D. Deshmukh Auditorium, 29th August, at 5:00pm
This Road I know, a film: at the C.D. Deshmukh Auditorium, 28th August, at 6:30pm
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