CURATED BY Anuja Ghosalkar & Kai Tuchmann
Panelists/Presenters Ranjit Kandalgaonkar, Venkat Srinivasan, Zuleikha Chaudhuri, Ashutosh Potdar, Rustom Bharucha, Kai Tuchmann, Anuja Ghosalkar, Zhao Chuan, Arvind Narrain, Kiran Kumar, Amitesh Grover, Sharmishtha Saha, Ayesha Susan Thomas, Geetanjali Kulkarni, Soumyabrata Chowdhury, Sameena Dalwai, Diya Naidu, Björn Ketels, Smriti Rajgarhia-Bhatt, A. Mangai, Dhammarakshit Randive, Y. S. Alone
18 - 20 DEC
Old GIM, Ribander
Image: Photograph by Umeed Mistry.
A theatre that stands in close relationship to real events in the world is the starting point for our two-and- half day meeting. Such a 'Theatre of the Real' to borrow a phrase from academic Carol Martin, has been known by varied terms during different times and places—Documentary theatre, Verbatim theatre, Newspaper theatre, Reenactment theatre- to mention a few.
We invite performers, scholars of performance, visual artists, lawyers, activists from the human rights field, journalists, and educators to engage with our audience through performances, presentations, concerts and lectures. Through conversations and exchange we hope to transcend disciplinary boundaries, and examine Indian and Asian performance practices, both traditional and contemporary, that relate to performing reality.
Such a concentrated and multi-perspective reflection on Theatre of the Real in India, is to our knowledge the first of its kind. Therefore our impetus of Connecting Realities, aims not only on links between theatre and reality but is an expression of our desires as artists and curators to establish a platform on and through which people from diverse backgrounds can engage with each other, sans professional and social hierarchies.
Given the current socio-political milieu—times of rising nationalism, mass extinction of species, widespread reliance on Artificial Intelligence and a market centric arts environment that blunts radical aesthetic thought—this dialogue of practitioners is vital. We choose to present our symposium through an image of the mangroves in Lat creek in Koh Klang in Thailand. It embodies a complex network of ecosystems, that protects coastal areas from erosion, storms and Tsunamis. The mangroves are in-between spaces that connect the sea to the land—a simultaneous site of transition and connection. Our endeavor through Connecting Realities, is to occupy a place, that is transitional and yet captures a changing landscape of theatre and its contested realities.
This symposium is an extension from Starting Realities, a workshop series curated by Anuja Ghosalkar and Kai Tuchmann, that began in mid 2018 and has hosted international artists like Boris Nikitin and Rimini Protokoll among others. Many of the participants of Connecting Realities have attended our workshops or have been thought partners over the past two years.