The Friday List: From a concert marking Beethoven's 250th anniversary to Netflix's film on Ma Rainey, your weekly calendar of virtual events
Every Friday, we'll bring you a curated list of online experiences — performances, talks, tours, screenings — to mark on your weekly calendar.
Compiled by Aishwarya Sahasrabudhe
From shopping for vegetables to attending the live stream of a wedding, over the last few months going digital has become a way of life. And while slowly but surely, theatres, auditoriums and museums have started opening up, many cultural centres have switched to a hybrid model which involves plenty of digital experiences for spending our leisure time productively. So even as the most stringent of restrictions are no longer in place, the landscape of our engagements and weekly dosages of entertainment continues to be moderated digitally, through the screen.
Every Friday, we'll bring you a curated list of online experiences — performances, talks, tours, screenings — to mark on your weekly calendar. On this week's #FridayList: a talk on disability and desire, a symphony celebrating the 250th birth anniversary of Beethoven and Amazon Prime Video's anthology on life in lockdown, UnPaused.
— A masterclass
Art and Aesthetics of Black and White Photography is a masterclass coming up this weekend in which photographer Himanshuu Chandrakant Sheth delves into various techniques and creative approaches essential to black and white photography. From the fundamentals of black and white photography to developing a monochromatic artistic vision and understanding textural elements and contrasts, the masterclass draws on the photographer's vast experience in the field to examine the nuances that go into capturing the perfect black and white photo. Brought forth by Himanshuu Sheth Photosafaaris and AVID Learning the class promises to explore the artistic elements involved in post-production along with some tips and tricks for aspiring photographers. For photography enthusiasts, this workshop is a must attend.
To know more and register, click here.
When: 19 December (5 pm)
— Virtual performance
In a performance-based solo exhibit, artist Seema Kohli will be seen walking her audiences through a journey of cyclical spiritual evolution which works on the idea of motherhood and the feminine to take the narrative forward. A Circle of Our Own: Fragments of the Whole is an evocative piece that lays bare the non-dualistic nature of maya or illusion which clouds our vision and keeps us from seeing the true nature of reality. In doing so, the artist also frees the figure of a woman from a pious, sanitised image to evoke the passionate and empowered form of Shakti. To be screened by the Royal Opera House, Mumbai this visually arresting performance piece is surely a must attend for those seeking a commune with the experience in these difficult times.
When: 19 December
Where: Royal Opera House, Mumbai's YouTube channel
— Attend a virtual exhibit
In Jogen Chowdhury's latest exhibit, An Unfinished Poem, the artist is set to showcase a series of works which form a narrative of Bengal and his own identity. Organised as a virtual exhibition by Art Exposure, the pieces on display feature a theme that retains the gruesome wounds and severed limbs so often a part of the artist's work by depicting his anguish and becoming a commentary on the events unfolding in the country today. Departing from the larger compositions which are otherwise a part of his exhibits, Chowdhury instead works with smaller formats, minimalistic outlines and intensely textured figures. His artworks hold up a mirror to his innermost thoughts and bring to life his ideas about humans' complex relationship with the environment and the world.
To know more and view the virtual exhibit, click here.
When: 18 December
— Talks and panel discussions
This weekend, Zubaan Projects will be collaborating with NEthing, a feminist collective based in Assam to host the webinar, LOVE:ABILITY — Breaking Barriers Between Desire and Disability. The session will try to unpack how desire and disability are often separated by boundaries that restrict desire based on gender, bodies and social and economic hierarchies. Disability rights activists Sewali Das, Silsila Das, Runu Medhi and Kaushalya Devi will engage in a discussion on how these barriers manifest in the lives of women with disabilities to collectively explore their right to love, form relationships and break the taboo around the desires of those with disabilities. For students of sociology looking to understand how the two concepts align, this session, moderated by Banamallika Choudhury, is definitely the place to be.
(This event will be in Assamese with closed captions and ISL interpretation provided throughout.)
To register for the webinar, click here.
When: 19 December (12 pm)
A new webinar brought forth by the Bangalore International Centre will feature writer and curator Mayank Mansingh Kaul delivering a talk on Textiles of Banaras. The intricate brocades of Banarasi embroidery and fabric continue to be regarded as one of the finest works woven across the world and the handloom techniques employed in the crafting of these materials have been an object of study and appreciation for centuries. In his talk, Kaul will explore the various Banarasi hand weaving techniques including Rangkaat, Tanchoi, Jamdani and more, and focus on how 20th century influences, from across the country and the globe, have found their way into the making of these fabrics. Tune in to attend what promises to be a thoroughly interesting session on Indian fashion organised in collaboration with Culturebagh and Yarn Club.
To know more and register, click here.
When: 19 December (6 pm)
Indian economist Devaki Jain and author and professor Malashri Lal will be engaging in a discussion around the former's memoir, The Brass Notebook, a candid narrative which draws on her personal story interwoven with the development agenda of a new age nation. The octogenarian revisits her upbringing in an orthodox Tamil Brahmin family, her new-found independence at Oxford University and her illustrious career in India and overseas through this memoir. In a conversation with Lal, she will be seen discussing her ideals and experiences and the women empowerment agenda of her generation. A thoroughly insightful session brought about by Jaipur Literature Festival's Brave New World initiative, this conversation is a look at the trajectory of feminism through the lens of one woman who has enjoyed a dynamic career.
To know more about the event, click here.
When: 18 December (7 pm)
Where: Jaipur Literature Festival's Facebook
An online lecture organised by the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) and The Museum Society of Mumbai will take audiences on a historical tour that navigates the gardens of Humayun's Tomb. The guest lecturer for the evening, Ratish Nanda, CEO, Aga Khan Trust for Culture, will walk audiences through the project he had undertaken at this heritage sight of restoring the gardens abutting the Mughal monarch's tomb. In Humayun's Tomb: Building a Site Museum, the speaker will also discuss the work in progress at this space and the challenges involved in creating such a spectacle along with details on the proposed permanent exhibit. Tune in to attend what promises to be a highly educational experience.
To register for the talk, click here.
When: 22 December (5.30 pm)
— Attend an online fundraiser
A vivacious online festival coming up this weekend for bibliophiles is the fundraiser organised by The Community Library Project (TCLP) which will direct its proceedings towards those areas of this citizen-led initiative which have been hit the hardest during the pandemic. Free Library Festival 2020, a two-day online programme will host a charitable auction of personal items donated by celebrities and a mega finale celebration which involves some dazzling performances by artists like Sonali Kulkarni, Varun Grover and Danish Hussain among others. The highlight of the festival is a series of ten workshops which cover a host of topics from Storytelling for the Screen: Scriptwriting and How to Get Published to Understanding Hindustani Classical Music and How to Get Children to Read. This fundraiser is definitely something to look forward to for bookworms and culture enthusiasts.
(Workshops in this festival have limited seating.)
To know more and register for the festival, click here.
When: 19 December and 20 December
— Virtual concert
Even as the coronavirus crisis has led to a dearth in live performances thereby deflating the thrill of a live, vibrant and charged atmosphere of a concert or orchestra, classical music can still be brought to the screen and kept alive through personal experiences of enjoying a brilliant symphony from home. To celebrate the 250th birth anniversary of the legendary composer, Beethoven, On Air has brought forth a virtual recital of Gustav Mahler's Re-Orchestration of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, conducted by Johannes Vogel. For three days, audiences will be able to immerse themselves in this mesmerising performance featuring a 123 member orchestra and choir. The pre-recorded recital will be broadcasted from the beautiful city of Vienna, the world capital of classical music for 'the year of Beethoven.'
To know more and get your ticket, click here.
When: 18 December to 20 December
— Streaming this week
Coming up on Amazon Prime Video this week is the anthology, UnPaused, featuring shorts by five directors: Nikkhil Advani, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Nitya Mehra, Avinash Arun, Raj and DK. Set against the backdrop of the nationwide lockdown brought on by the coronavirus crisis, the anthology traverses through the lives of multiple characters as they navigate hope, love and longing during these trying times of social distancing. With a stellar cast comprising Richa Chadha, Gulshan Devaiah, Abhishek Banerjee, Sumeet Vyas, Lillete Dubey and the indomitable Ratna Pathak Shah among others, the five stories promise to be simply heart-warming narratives, a momentary look back at those dark weeks spent indoors.
When: 18 December
Where: Amazon Prime Video
Dropping on Netflix this Friday is the film, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom featuring Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman in the lead. Based on the life of Ma Rainey, regarded as the 'Mother of the Blues' and adapted from a play written by August Wilson, the film follows the story of the queer blues singer thriving in the Jim Crow era in Georgia through the course of one recording and her fight to secure control over her music. Named after 'Black Bottom,' one of Rainey's songs, the film is sure to be an utterly sassy, fierce and notorious reawakening of this blues performer who was thrust into obscurity upon her death in 1939.
When: 18 December
Screening on MUBI this weekend is the film Farewell Amor, the story of an Angolan woman and her teenage daughter who reunites with her husband after spending 17 years in exile. Arriving in the United States of America from Tanzania, there are few things in common among the family members, with the father having spent much of his time as a cab driver in New York. Searching for some connection between each other, the trio reunites not over shared cultures or language but over their shared love for dance. An endearing tale of Angolan diaspora, writer-director Ekwa Msangi's debut film promises to be a striking and humane depiction of three scattered lives that find common ground as a family.
When: 18 December
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