The Friday List: From exploring the spirituality of Bhakti poetry to cartooning family history, 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 October 16, 2020 13:07:42 IST
The Friday List: From exploring the spirituality of Bhakti poetry to cartooning family history, your weekly calendar of virtual events

On this week's #FridayList, a Spanish-Mexican thriller, a talk about terrestrial globes and Indian pedagogy and lots more.

Compiled by Aishwarya Sahasrabudhe

Living under the constant gloom of the coronavirus crisis as we eagerly await a vaccine is now a part of our quotidian existence. Otherwise, simple affairs like dining out, working at the office and weekend getaways are all now accomplished with the greatest of care, with proper precautions in place. And even as we have eased 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: a workshop on cartooning family lore, finding the connect between natural and spiritual elements in Indian poetry and a conversation with musicians from the Northeast.

— Dance and stand-up comedy

In continuing its screening of excerpts from archived performances, Royal Opera House, Mumbai will be showcasing a Kathak recital by exponent Shovana Narayan, a tribute to the legendary actor and singer, Talat Mahmood. Jashn-e-Talat, created by Sahar Zaman, is a multi-performance platform dedicated to the artist by his niece under which the Kathak danseuse will be taking the stage to highlight Mahmood's journey and his love for Mumbai. Stepping away from the boundaries of classical dance, the Padma Shri awardee will be seen making an exception in this performance, dancing not to classical rhythms but to film music from Mahmood's original soundtrack. First performed at the 2020 Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, there is something to be learnt for Kathak artists in watching this stalwart on stage, while for fans of the genre, the recital will surely be an interesting experience.

When: 17 October (6 pm)

Where: Royal Opera House, Mumbai's YouTube channel

The third week of the ongoing Biodiversity by the Bay festival will host five days of utterly hilarious stand-up comedy performances featuring live sets from the co-founder of East India Comedy, Kunal Rao, host of The Antisocial Network, José Covaco and Daniel Fernandes among others. This virtual festival brought forth by the Ministry of Mumbai’s Magic, is designed such that it becomes a campaign that uses digital and social mediums to protect Mumbai's ecosystem and increase climate consciousness. Using art, comedy and design, the festival is set up with an aim to bring together the youth of this bustling metropolis and as a collective voice, fight to protect the biodiversity within the city. For a double dose of laughter and awareness, the comedy week of the fest is a must attend.

When: 20 to 25 October

Where: Ministry of Mumbai’s Magic's Instagram

— Virtual art

As part of its month-long Blurring Boundaries series, AVID Learning has set up the virtual art project, Collaboration + Art Making Today. Brought about with Inlaks India Foundation, the exhibit will feature a collaborative effort by artists Arshi Irshad Ahmadzai, Amshu C, Sanket Jadia and Manjot Kaur among others. Following the online art show will be a conversation between the artists and the exhibit's curator Veeranganakumari Solanki to unpack the individual aesthetics and interpretations of the artists, their creative process and provide insights into how every element of the show was created. Tune in to the virtual tour and the conversation afterwards to find more about how the artists built on each others' work in creating meaningful artworks as they draw a curtain on this month-long collaborative showcase.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 22 October (6 pm)

The Friday List From exploring the spirituality of Bhakti poetry to cartooning family history your weekly calendar of virtual events

From a Kathak performance by the stalwart Shovana Narayan to Aaron Sorkin's The Trial of the Chicago 7 to a workshop on cartooning family lore, a list of virtual engagements for this week. (Left) Image via Facebook (Top right) via Atlas Obscura

— Talks, panel discussions and workshops

Nature and the Spiritual in Indian Poetry is a session brought forth by Sahapedia in which professor Neelima Shukla-Bhatt, poets Arundhati Subramaniam and Mamang Dai come together to recite poems that invoke nature in all its spiritual glory. Metaphysical and romantic poets have for long explored the connect between these two profound elements, the likes of William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Dryden, exploring these realms often through their verses. In the Indian context, it was the Bhakti poets who sought to establish a relation between the spiritual infinite and natural bounty. Watch the three speakers come together to rekindle the genius of the Bhakti poets along with poems from indigenous north-eastern cultures in this Friday's panel discussion.

To register for this event, click here.

When: 16 October (7 pm)

Bangalore International Centre has set up the talk, Indian Fashion in which writer Mayank Mansingh Kaul will be in conversation with curator Bhavna Kakar to discuss fashion in the country through the last century. Sharing select sections from TAKE Fashion, a special issue of the art magazine, Kaul will explore the evolution of Indian fashion through personal memories, talking about the need for new formats which broaden the scope of conventional approaches towards the study of these histories. Tune in to this session to know more about fashion history and how experts tackle the evolving trends within the industry.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 17 October (6 pm)

Coming up on Atlas Obscura is a new workshop, Cartooning Folklore and Family History, an eight-week-long experience which covers how to best craft visual narratives out of family lore and history. Cartoonist Zawadi Noël, conducting this workshop, will walk participants through elements like virtual narratives, creating characters, space, setting, voice and drama. Every family has a story to tell which emerges from the tales handed down through generations, lived experiences and even a bit of exaggerated fancies. Attend this workshop to learn how to put these anecdotes into illustrations, creating a personal family comic book.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 18 October

As part of its Cultures of Peace festival, Zubaan Projects has brought forth the webinar series, Owning Her Space which is a place for conversations that look at the lived experiences of women from the Northeast. The second session, scheduled for Friday, is titled Music Across Boundaries and looks at northeastern professional musicians, exploring their stories. A collaborative project with Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung India, the panel discussion will comprise of folk artiste Mangka, violinist Sunita Bhuyan and blues vocalist Tipriti Kharbangar and others who will talk about their experiences of creating fusion music that cuts across genres in a session moderated by Banamallika Choudhury.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 16 October

In Terrestrial Lessons, author Sumathi Ramaswamy describes the impact of global history on the Indian sub-continent during and post the colonial rule. She questions how the form and shape of our Earth influenced our sense of selves in colonial modernity, using the terrestrial globe, which has been circulated since the 16th century as a scientific instrument to inculcate planetary consciousness. In a conversation organised by the Bangalore International Centre, Ramaswamy will be speaking with professor Sandeep Banerjee to discuss how the use of this globe also became central to pedagogy in the colonial era and how lessons continue to be conducted with its aid in schools to this day. For teachers, students of pedagogy, historians and cartographers, the book Terrestrial Lessons and the discussion with the author promise to be very immersive experiences.

— Streaming this week

The Vietnam War and public protests against the conflict which the United States of America engaged in have been the subject of multiple narratives in popular culture. From Philip Roth's award-winning novel American Pastoral to Steven Spielberg's The Post, several stories of fiction and non-fiction have depicted personal and political conundrums against the backdrop of this war and its consequences. Yet another film which will be added to this cannon is the upcoming Netflix feature, The Trial of the Chicago 7. When peaceful protests go awry, seven youngsters in Chicago find themselves on trial for speaking their minds against the war in Vietnam. What follows is a notorious court case and unwelcome realities those in power must face. Directed by renowned creator Aaron Sorkin, this film promises to be a thoroughly interesting work, definitely worth a watch.

When: 16 October

Where: Netflix

Putham Pudhu Kaalai, an anthology of short films is set to drop on Amazon Prime Video this Friday, featuring the work of directors Sudha Kongara, Gautham Vasudev Menon and Suhasini Mani Ratnam among others. The filming for the five stories in this Tamil feature was completed entirely during the COVID-19 pandemic making it one of the earliest works to be shot and released in the months following the coronavirus. An anthology which explores themes around love, loss, hope and belonging against the backdrop of the 21-day lockdown brought about in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Putham Pudhu Kaalai is definitely a must-watch, simply to enter into the lives of fictional characters coping with concerns similar to our own.

When: 16 October

Where: Amazon Prime Video

Arriving on Zee5 this week is the second season of Poison, which will have actor Aftab Shivdasani making his debut on the OTT screen. The crime thriller revolves around Aditya aka Poison, a businessman seeking revenge, ensuring that the trail of his crimes of vengeance takes the investigators to his enemies. Poison 2, the 11-episode web series, also features a cast that includes Raai Laxmi, Rahul Dev, Pooja Chopra. Tune in to watch what promises to be a bingeworthy mystery.

When: 16 October

Where: Zee5

A Spanish-Mexican thriller series arriving on Netflix this week is Manolo Caro's Someone Has to Die, a sinister three-episode story set in the 1950s Spain. The period thriller follows the story of a young man who is called home from Mexico to Spain by his family which has announced that they have chosen someone for him to marry. However, things don't go quite according to plan when the young fellow arrives home with a Mexican ballerina in tow. The alleged relationship between the young couple creates an uproar in the family which can lead to ghastly consequences. For the non-Spanish speakers who can handle a few subtitles, this limited series is definitely meant for serious binge-watching.

When: 16 October

Where: Netflix

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

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