The Friday List: From a talk on computational poetry to a documentary on a particle accelerator, 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.

FP Staff September 25, 2020 12:36:03 IST
The Friday List: From a talk on computational poetry to a documentary on a particle accelerator, your weekly calendar of virtual events

A movie about a cyclotron, a musical rendition of Oscar Wilde's story, The Happy Prince and a host of other virtual engagements for this week. (Top left) via WikimediaCommons (Bottom left) via Atlas Obscura (Top centre) via Twitter

The coronavirus crisis has become a focal point of the news and media content we consume as well as a persistent topic in our every day social interactions. Amidst it all, social distancing and staying at home continue to be pressing needs to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic making our leisure time a largely virtual experience. So even as we have begun to ease out of the most stringent of restrictions, 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: creating decolonial travel guides, understanding the relationship between poetry and technology and a talk on Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy of music.

— Talks and discussions

As part of its ongoing Music Appreciation Week, AVID Learning has scheduled for this weekend a talk by Sadhana Rao on classical music. The online event, Appreciating Indian Classical Music, will explore the multiple complexities, nuances, traditions and intricacies of the genre to help audiences develop an ear for this immersive art form. Indian classical music is performed and celebrated across the world and in her session, Rao will walk her listeners through various genres within this art including folk, Carnatic and Hindustani, their practitioners and exponents as well as the blending of popular music and classic structures. For all connoisseurs of Indian music wishing to learn more about what to listen for in a classical music concert, this session is definitely a must attend.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 26 September (5 pm)

Israeli poet and digital artist Eran Hadas will be engaging with audiences in the talk, Computational Poetry: Technology, Collaboration and the Future of Poetry to discuss the implementations of a computer and computer-like methodology to read, write and edit poems. It has been predicted that in future we might in fact have computers writing poetry for us. This Tel Aviv-based software developer is all set to discuss these collaborative aspects of computational poetry, how to create poetry using technology and the role of artificial intelligence in shaping and expressing human emotion and identity. Brought about by AVID Learning, the Embassy of Israel in India, Consulate General of Israel in Mumbai and Literature Live! the virtual talk is sure to be a very interesting session which provides an insight into the intersections of language and technology and machines.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 1 October (6 pm)

The Friday List From a talk on computational poetry to a documentary on a particle accelerator your weekly calendar of virtual events

From a workshop on creating decolonial travel guides to the documentary Cyclotron and Amazon Prime Video's Utopia, a list of virtual engagements for this week. (Left) Image via Atlas Obscura

A day ahead of the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Bangalore International Centre in partnership with Azim Premji Foundation, is set to host the talk, Gandhi and Music, by journalist Madhuker Upadhyay. Through the course of the session, the speaker will discuss Gandhi's understanding of music as a powerful, moving art which can reach inwards within the soul and outwards as a glue that binds people together. Upadhyay will discuss Gandhi's philosophy of music, sharing tales and anecdotes about his favourite music and how it influenced his decisions throughout his life. Attend this virtual session to know more about Gandhi's relationship with music and how it shaped the leader's struggle for independence.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 1 October (5 pm)

Chennai Photo Biennale (CPB) has set up this week a conversation — Why Photograph? — between photographer Dayanita Singh and the co-founder of the CPB, Shuchi Kapoor. Singh has recently been looking back at her entire archive, collections which span a career of nearly four decades and in the talk, the two speakers will discuss how the photographer persisted in pursuing this camera work even when it was not being noticed. Now, Singh has published 12 books and her photos continue to be exhibited in museums and galleries across the world. For all photography enthusiasts, this virtual conversation promises to be an insight into the artist's photographic oeuvre and what kept her going despite all odds.

To register for the Zoom conversation, click here.

When: 30 September (7 pm)

Keeping up with its ongoing discussions around transgender concerns, In.harmony will host the panel discussion, Gender Transition — Medical, Emotional and Policy Support — Part II to focus on the psychiatric interconnections within this issue. Gender affirmation surgery is a life-changing decision accompanied by medical and social strings which are sure to have an impact on the individual's mental health and well-being. The conversation then is sure to dig into the implications of such a decision. The panel comprising LGBTQ+ advocate Sophia David, Uro-Andrologist Sanjay Pandey, psychiatrists Hasit Vaidya and  Jatan Parmar will converse with founder of In.harmony, Anupama Easwaran to also highlight how companies can make their policies more trans inclusive. For the transgender community, for entrepreneurs as well as for all interested in LGBTQ+ concerns, this session, part of the Trans Is? conversation is definitely a must attend.

To register for the talk, click here.

When: 25 September (5 pm)

— Music

Royal Opera House, Mumbai will be screening the Macha Gharibian Trio in concert, an ensemble which features Gharibian's compositions that fuse jazz with neoclassical, adventurous pop music. Complemented by Dré Pallemaerts on drums and David Potaux-Razel on electric guitar, the music produced in the recital is filled with intense, evocative pieces which carry the very personal and ethereal style of the composer coupled with vigorous and bold vocals. The excerpt features the trio's performance staged at the Jazz India Circuit 2019 and is definitely a must watch for all aficionados of western music.

When: 26 September

Where: Royal Opera House's YouTube channel

The Happy Prince, a musical adaptation of the famed Oscar Wilde fairy tale will be showcased by the Royal Opera House, Mumbai in a concert that brings words to life in energised rhythms and powerful vocals. An exciting performance for children and grown-ups alike, this Wednesday, time travel into the Victorian era through the captivating and lyrical musical drama, drowning in intriguing characters, metaphors and contemporary satire which is sure to get those grey cells thinking. Interwoven in the story are evocative musical renditions, which are sure to make this virtual programme a very entertaining experience.

When: 30 September

Where: Royal Opera House's YouTube channel

A live online concert, Bismil Ki Mehfil promises to be a lovely way to usher in the weekend with an evening filled with soulful Sufi tunes accompanied by a healthy mix of Bollywood covers. Performed by the popular singer and artist Bismil who has been bringing to the stage a heady collection of Sufi, Punjabi, Hindi and retro numbers with a twist, the concert will take audiences on a tour of mesmerising songs and tunes, making it the perfect way to spend a Friday night right within the comfort of home.

(This is a paid virtual concert.)

To know more and register, click here.

When: 26 September (8 pm)

— Workshops and screenings

A new four-part seminar kicks off on Atlas Obscura this Sunday, led by writer Bani Amor on learning how to write a decolonial travel guide and together with the entire class creating a zine of the participants' collective work. Queering Cartography: Creating Decolonial Travel Guides takes off from the idea that both modern day travel guides and the history of cartography have distorted our perceptions of the world even before we step out of the home. But this format is also up for reimagination and through the course Amor, a gender/queer travel writer will explore aspects such as mapping sites of Indigenous resistance and reorienting our gaze away from the overwalked paths of travel and history.

(This workshop has limited seats.)

To know more and register, click here.

When: 27 September

Bangalore International Centre has been screening Cyclotron this week, a film about one of the world's oldest particle accelerator and the team which keeps it running to this day. While the cyclotron became operational in 1936 at the University of Rochester, its set-up was subsequently dismantled and sent across the seas to India in 1967. It is now housed at the Panjab University in Chandigarh. The film explores the life and legacy of this machine while also becoming a commentary on the status of experimental research in Indian universities. On Sunday, the film screening will be followed by a talk between science historian and director of Cyclotron Jahnavi Phalkey and theoretical physicist Shiraz Minwalla. Both the screening and the talk are must attends for all science buffs.

To know more and register, click here.

When: Screening — 23 September to 4 October; Talk — 27 September (5 pm)

— Streaming this week

Arriving this week is the Amazon Prime Video original series, Utopia, the story of a group of adolescents who find each other on an online cult obsessing over an underground graphic novel. Adapted by Gillian Flynn of Gone Girl fame, from the original British show, it follows the lives of these teenagers who unearth hidden meanings in the seemingly fictional book which predicts threats to humanity and the group must now venture on a quest to save the world. This high-stakes adventure takes the kids on a dangerous mission, making the series a definite binge-watch for all sci-fi fans and comic book enthusiasts.

When: 25 September

Where: Amazon Prime Video

A Netflix original documentary coming up this week is the retelling of the Chris Watts case and the events which led him to murder his pregnant wife Shanann and his children in 2018. American Murder: The Family Next Door uses archival footage and social media posts to piece together the series of events that led to this ghastly crime along with the footage of Watt's interrogation by the Colorado police. Directed by Jenny Popplewell, the documentary promises to be an interesting and thought-provoking insight into the case. For fans of the crime genre, the likes of those who binged the Ted Bundy Tapes, this show is a must-watch.

When: 30 September

Where: Netflix

Secret Society of Second-Born Royals is a live-action film coming up on Disney+Hotstar this Friday, a perfect family watch for the weekend. In the film, directed by Anna Mastro, a rebellious princess discovers that she has hidden superpowers and soon enters into an elite but secret crime-fighting training programme for those with similar supernatural talents. She must team up with the other kids and the faculty of this force, which has been covertly keeping the peace in their vast kingdom. A royalty's allure coupled with a sci-fi twist, the film, with its mouthful title is sure to be an entertaining watch.

When: 25 September

Where: Disney+Hotstar

Also read —  Coronavirus outbreak: A database of books, performances, courses available online in these times of social distancing

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