Walk Back to Look

Walk Back to Look is a performative response to the rhythm of the public site, by offering a counter beat—be it a crowded bus stand or a chaotic vegetable market. The temptation to look back, at an intriguing stranger or a luscious piece of fruit constantly exists, in these spaces. Yet, few walk back to take a closer look, at a person deep in slumber or that effervescent vegetable seller chanting, “ come buy, come buy”.

Walk Back to Look is a gentle provocation to passer-by’s to wait and stare at mundane things, taking a moment to breathe before jumping on a bus or haggling with a flower-seller. Maybe we will stop to hear the spunky fisherwomen in the market, or  a vendor incessantly talking of  a faraway home. Everyday stories of people who inhabit these spaces maybe be revealed when we walk back.

The performance centres around stillness, walking and listening. Stillness, when the site is frenzied and hurried. And a lively playfulness during a lull. The performers will infuse fresh intensity by creating a contrasting tempo with their bodies. Simultaneously these bodies will reveal fragile dreams and imaginations that go unspoken in crowded, public spaces. A performance with minimal dialogue, the only words might be the hand written notes & placards. These illustrated notes/placards carry playful, spirited messages to engage with the large & fleeting audience- the common man walking on the street, or the commuters at a bus stop or shoppers at the market.

Anuja Ghosalkar is the founder of Drama Queen- a documentary theatre company, a first of its kind in India. The focus of her theatre is undocumented narratives and archival absences. Research, oral history and iterations around form and process are critical to her performance & pedagogical work. Drama Queen’s Lady Anandi has traveled extensively across India and Europe and was written during her residency at Art Lab Gnesta, Sweden. In the past she has been visiting faculty at Srishti Institute of Art, Design & Technology and Mount Carmel College. She has contributed for publications like Indian Cultural Forum, Art India, Scroll, Hakara, Ladies Finger, Deep Focus on film and theatre. She was a programming officer at India Foundation for the Arts (2008-2013) and an Art Think South Asia Fellow (2017-18)