Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Global Alliance for Justice Education Conference

Why do we underestimate the depth of Youth? I just put on a 4 day Shadow Liberation workshop with students (mostly 1st year students) from Jindal Global Law School to craft this Forum Theatre performance for 200+ audience members, from 50+ countries. We devised the script and rehearsed for 3 days, then put up the show on the 4th, and the performers where reflective and insightful. This cross-cultural show was dynamic because the style of intervention in the forum was so diverse.

In the scene depicting Sexual Harassment: People activated bystanders to interrupt the act, asked the man how his mother would feel, and even one man came and started sexually harassing the perpetrator.

In the scene depicting Domestic Violence: some people chose to have the women assert herself, or have other family members intervene. One man came onstage as the neighbor and confronted the abusive father in a very graceful and warm but still firm manner, it was amazing, really.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Articulations: Live Video mixing for Empowerment

Jacob Camara, of Articulations Electroniques, and I lead this community driven project in which students collected video and still images of diverse people in Bangalore.
The image and video collection process served as a community building activity about how people see themselves reflected in public space. Filming people dancing and celebrating created empowering cultural images as material for live video sets. The collected material was mixed with archival video, and found footage to create video sets that were projected and accompanied by music to reclaim public space. There where two events took place at Rangoli Metro Art Centre and a film screening at Srishti. For more about the process visit the Articulations Blog.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Acting in Solidarity to Stop Gender Violence in Asia

It was an honor to facilitate this Shadow Liberation workshop for Asia's Theatre of Oppressed Network at South/Central Asia's 1st Regional Theatre of the Oppressed Conference in Kabul, Afghanistan with Afghanistan Human Rights & Democracy Organization. At the gathering, practitioners from around the region shared strategies and challenges related to working for Women's Rights and against Gender Violence. Read more about the regional Theatre of the Oppressed activities in the Conference Brochure (which includes an article by your friend here).

Friday, October 25, 2013

Chhaya Cinema: Indian Leather Puppetry

I gave this workshop & lecture at Atta Galatta as a part of Out of Focus presented by Maraa.
For centuries, flame illuminated screens and moving shadows cast by leather puppets have been used to narrate epic stories. These shadow puppet traditions can be found in Orissa, Maharashtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala. While Shadow Puppetry maybe thought of as the original Cinema, the advent and advancement of modern Cinema runs parallel to the decline in traditional Shadow Puppetry. What is being lost? And how are Shadow Theatre artists borrowing from Cinema to create contemporary work for modern audiences?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Training Creative Arts Therapists in India

Welcome to the new batch of Foundation in Creative Arts Therapies (FCAT) students at SMART Studio. As an introduction to Drama Therapy I guided them through trust building activities and used line repetitions as a gateway into archetypal relationship conflicts.

Below is an excerpt from a letter of support I wrote for the FCAT program:

Creative Arts Therapies is a rapidly expanding field, as more students want to pursue this as a profession, and more mental health institutions, as well as individuals, are embracing these treatments, there is a sharp increase in the demand for such training programs. Usually if a talented and qualified Indian practitioner wanted to seek post-graduate training in the Creative Arts Therapies they would go abroad to study. FCAT makes it possible to pursue such studies in India, and conducts the program in such a way that it is accessible to parents and working professionals.  

As a majority of the literature on Creative Arts Therapies is North American/Eurocentric, FCAT stands to make substantial contributions to the culturally appropriate practice of Creative Arts Therapies in the subcontinent. Through dialogue, case examples, and critique of existing practice, FCAT is highly culturally responsive in context and thus is developing cohorts of practitioners prepared to respond to the unique joys and challenges of working as a Creative Arts Therapist in India. In my capacity as a Faculty at the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, I supervised two FCAT student interns who lead groups for the Srishti student body. These groups were met with a high level of enthusiasm by the participants who reported enjoying the expressive outlet as well as an increase in self-awareness.

In any of the Creative Arts Therapies there is a need to strike a balance between artistic self-reflection and academic rigor in the domain of Counseling Psychology. FCAT is a well balanced and structured program. By partnering with  Parivarthan, Counseling, Training and Research Centre, FCAT has really curated a program that offers the best of both worlds to produce well rounded practitioners.

It's my honor to be on the Faculty of this new and dynamic program.