About the Program
Exploring Exciting Texts, our reading programme continues to go from strength to strength. We have found an ideal venue partner in the British Council and every month sees interested faces – newcomers and old-timers – gather to read, explore and share. In December 2018, we completed our 15th edition and we have no intention of stopping anytime soon.
Over the year, we saw a diverse set of speakers who presented their readings and thoughts on varied topics which always led to stimulating discussions, often much longer than the readings themselves. Huge thanks to all the actors, readers and our audiences who have embraced and supported this program by engaging with it.
Below are the details of the upcoming reading-discussions and the ones held in 2018.
19th Jan’ 2019, British Library, 5 pm
Theme: The Politics of National Language
A set of readings curated by Anjuman Literary Club on various facets of language, nation and its impact on the literature produced over the last 50 years. The texts that will be read will range from letters, excerpts from novels, poems, and essays.
16th February’ 2019, British Library, 5 pm
Theme: Vernacular to Vernacular Translation in Theatre
A lecture-demonstration session led by Dr. Vanamala Vishwanatah.
More details to follow soon.
January: Chanakya Vyas directed a reading of Satish Alekar’s Begum Barve.
February: Aruna Ganesh Ram directed a reading of Caryl Churchill’s Love and Information.
March: M.D. Pallavi and Bindhumalini presented their new work titled Threshold which looks at the musical journey of texts ranging across time, cultures and geographies exploring the question of gender from birth to liberation. This was presented in support collaboration with the British Council, as part of their International Women’s Day celebration.
April: Anuja Ghosalkar brought Drama Queen’s Reading Room, a dramatic reading of letters collected by Anuja Ghosalkar, from the various Reading Rooms hosted across India.
May: Chanakya Vyas directed a Hindi translation of Chinu Modi’s play Swapna Duswapna followed by texts collated from writings of Carl Jung, Susanne K. Langer and Sigmund Freud.
June: Mayura Baweja directed a reading of Mahashweta Devi’s Bayen along with excerpts from Deepika Arwind’s The Playwright is Dead, followed by a discussion on the dearth of women playwrights in India.
July: Spatica Ramanujam and Daya Sakrepatna directed a reading of excerpts from The Lesbian Pillow Book accompanied by a short performance of the play Shiva, directed by Daya Sakrepatna. This was followed by a discussion looking at lesbian identity from inside out.
August: Sathwik N.N. directed a reading of excerpts from Devanur Mahadev’s Edege Bidda Akshara and Riddles in Hinduism by B.R. Ambedkar followed by a discussion on the role that caste plays in the day-to-day understanding of our social fabric and how it manifests in different forms of social, political and cultural control. The discussion was moderated by Mr. Hulikunte Murthy.
September: Prof. Sundar Sarukkai presented a talk on the nature of philosophy using a section of Nagarjuna’s Mūlamādhymakakārikā.
October/November: Kafeel Jafri performed Dastangoi. He narrated the dastaan of Amar Aiyar fighting the Villain, Afraasiyab, who keeps sending his magicians to capture and kill Hamza. But Amar being a trickster, succeeds in defeating them one after the other. Every daastan is a narration of one or more of these confrontations and vivid descriptions of the place, characters and events.
December: Prof. Rashmi Devi Sawhney, Aditya Sondhi and Sultana Zena lead a session on how censorship plays out across different media, regions, historical periods and legal regimes, drawing upon texts ranging from film clips, play scripts, lists of cuts demanded by CBFC, public accounts of protagonists to excerpts from court judgements and legal Acts.
We would like to thank Space Untitled and British Council for their support and collaboration.
And our audiences who have engaged with us and embraced the program!