The Friday List: From Jashn-e-Qalam's tribute to Ismat Chughtai to Netflix's Class of '83, 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 August 21, 2020 15:49:35 IST
The Friday List: From Jashn-e-Qalam's tribute to Ismat Chughtai to Netflix's Class of '83, your weekly calendar of virtual events

Compiled by Aishwarya Sahasrabudhe

For weeks, the novel coronavirus pandemic has cast a dampener on all outdoor activities, from dining at the newest restaurant in town to catching a Friday night release to celebrating our most enjoyable festive occasions. Social distancing and the necessity of staying at home to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus has also kept on making our leisure time a largely virtual experience. 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 meme making workshop, a narration of Ismat Chughtai's Chhuimui and the upcoming Netflix crime drama, Class of '83.

— Talks and interactive sessions 

In its virtual week, From Silver Screen to Your Screen, AVID Learning aims to bring forth a series of sessions which talk about film appreciation, covering diverse ideas including film critiquing, archiving, writing for digital platforms and the art of documentary filmmaking. The live online discussion between President of HotDocs Festival, Chris McDonald and film journalist Nandini Ramnath on Documentary Film Festivals and Social Change, brought about by AVID Learning and the Consulate General of Canada in Mumbai, will take off from the former's 2014 talk, Unspoken Role of Documentary Festivals in World Socio-politics. The talk will focus on highlighting the significance of these festivals as powerful resources for raising grant funds which can be used at the grassroots level to facilitate social welfare. The genre is an excellent medium for reportage and the session, an insight into the need for hosting festivals that focus on this form of impactful storytelling.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 27 August (6 pm)

In The Secret Arts: Murder Mysteries, Atlas Obscura's Wonder From Home project is set to host murder mystery event designer Abi Inman, who will take audiences through her craft of creating a classic murder mystery party with a twist, making the most suspicious of characters and planning an intriguing puzzle based on historical events, hosted in historical venues. Solving a murder mystery is perhaps one of the most exhilarating party experiences and Inman, who has been writing and designing murder thrillers for years is set to dive into some key lessons which go into creating such an event. After this talk, participants will be able to try their hands at setting up a murder mystery at their next gathering — when social distancing is suspended!

To know more and register, click here.

When: 26 August

In a conversation tracing the gaps in the history of science in India, historian Vinita Damodaran is set to talk about the contribution of cytologist EK Janaki Ammal in A Scientific Life, brought about by the Bangalore International Centre. Damodaran will focus on Janaki Ammal's career, also shedding light on the obstacles she faced as a woman trying to make her mark in the scientific space. For young girls and women wishing to pursue hard sciences, this talk is sure to be a much-needed jolt of inspiration.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 25 August (6.30 pm)

On Documenting Indigenous Food is a virtual session brought forth by the Bangalore International Centre which features filmmaker Dolly Kikon in conversation with filmmaker and writer Nilanjan Bhattacharya exploring food cultures in those parts of India where the quintessential spicy curry is not a staple. Anthropologist Kikon and Bhattacharya will be talking about their documentaries Seasons of Life: Foraging and Fermenting Bamboo During Ceasefire and Johar: Welcome to Our World to chart indigenous food practices which are often overlooked in the mainstream discourse around Indian cuisine. For foodies and cooks, this virtual session is definitely the place to be.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 22 August (4 pm)

The Friday List From JashneQalams tribute to Ismat Chughtai to Netflixs Class of 83 your weekly calendar of virtual events

From Bobby Deol's Class of '83 to a meme making workshop and the book launch of Queeristan, a list of virtual engagements for this week.

— Music and storytelling

In its ongoing virtual series which showcases archived excerpts of older performances, Royal Opera House, Mumbai is set to feature singer and composer Harpreet in a mesmerising recital that blends soulful poetry with the pulsating tunes of percussion and guitar. A special compilation of songs complete with graceful compositions and sonorous delivery, Harpreet's recital is the one to look forward to this week for a musical experience that will liven the stay-at-home weekend.

When: 22 August

Where: Royal Opera House, Mumbai's YouTube channel

Showcasing excerpts from the concert, Leonardo's Symphony, the Royal Opera House, Mumbai will also bring to viewers a slice of the polymath Leonardo Da Vinci's flair for music. The quartet, including Mezzosoprano Arianna Lanci, Renaissance instrumentalist Adriano Sangineto, Renaissance harpist Marianne Gubri and percussionist Marco Muzzati, will be featured in a recital of Italian Renaissance Music first performed in 2019 at the opera house to celebrate 500 years of Da Vinci. This peek into the western classical genre promises to be the perfect way to relax in a busy, festive week.

When: 26 August

Where: Royal Opera House, Mumbai's YouTube channel

To celebrate the 109th anniversary of the prolific storyteller, Ismat Chughtai, Jashn-e-Qalam, an online digital event which hosts solo performances of Hindustani short stories, will stage the author's Chhuimui. Chughtai's writings including works such as The Crooked Line, Lihaaf and Lifting the Veil among others are poignant narratives which at their core attempt to explore the woman question, female sexuality and class conflict. In Chhuimui, she writes about a woman who boards a train carrying precious cargo and through the journey, discovers her place in the past, the present and future as she navigates the true meaning of freedom, within and without. For all fans Chughtai's writing and then those who enjoy storytelling, this performance by Shashwita Sharma is definitely a must-attend.

When: 21 August (6 pm and 7.30 pm)

Where: Jashn-e-Qalam's Facebook

— Workshops and interactive sessions

Carrying a social as well as political connotation, memes are an emerging art form which simultaneously provide a healthy dose of laughter and social critique. A two-day workshop set to be conducted by Abhinit Khanna of #artworldmemes and Adrita Das at CardsVsSanskaar, Webineshwar promises to be an interesting space which talks about what goes into making memes that induce ideas and giggles, using photographs, historic images and other multimedia. Brought about by the Chennai Photo Biennale Foundation, the workshop's hosts will take its participants through the ropes of spotting meme trends and creating their own unique aesthetic to use memes as forms of expression, activism and dissent.

To know more and register, click here.

(This event has limited seating.)

When: 22 August

Not Another Art Class is an online session brought about by Bangalore International Centre to engage children in the age group of eight to 10 in discovering their creative abilities and artistic responses. To be conducted in collaboration with ThinkArts, its founder Ruchira Das will attempt to inspire a personal connection of every child with art and introduce young children to the works of Wassily Kandinsky. Children will also be asked to make their own art in response to this prolific artist's work. With the aim of providing kids an entry point to appreciating art, this session can definitely prove to be insightful while also becoming a weekend break from the tedium of virtual school.

To register for this event, click here.

When: 23 August (11 am)

— A book launch

Godrej Culture Lab will play host to the virtual, global book launch of Queeristan: LGBTQ Inclusion in the Indian Workplace, part memoir, part manifesto which calls for inclusivity, especially in corporate spaces, not only for its correctness but also for its profitability. The book follows the story of Parmesh Shahani, advocating for LGBTQ inclusion across corporate boardrooms, schools, college campuses and is filled with testimonies of the activists at the vanguard of the LGBTQ movement in India. Following the book launch will be an adda, a discussion on Queer Futures between Trans Rights Now collective's Grace Banu, The Queer Muslim Project's Rafiul Alom Rahman, PeriFerry's Neelam Jain and Diversity Dialogues' Ritesh Rajani. For all interested in the queer movement in India, this online session cannot be missed.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 21 August

— Virtual tours

Atlas Obscura's You Pick The Park is the perfect virtual tour that can be taken from the comfort of the couch and the upcoming episode is set to feature a trip through deserts. In this guided science adventure, attendees can in fact vote for six national parks they want to tour. With engaging photography and science stories, hosts Maygen Keller and Emily Hoff will accompany audiences on this journey through the screen, answering along the way questions on how plants and animals survive in deserts, and how deserts are in fact formed. For all those engaged in actively reading up on and studying the environment, this session is the place to be.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 27 August

— Streaming this week

Arriving on Netflix this Friday is the Bobby Deol-starrer Class of '83, the thrilling story of a Mumbai cop pushed away from active service into becoming the dean of a police academy and his fierce revenge as he trains five lethal assassins to bring down the corrupt bureaucracy. Based on renowned author Hussain Zaidi's The Class of 83: The Punishers of Mumbai Police, this tale of one policeman's quest for redemption promises to be an exciting film, perfect for a Friday night at home.

When: 21 August

Where: Netflix

This Friday, Amazon Prime Video is also set to release Chemical Hearts, featuring Austin Abrams and Lili Reinhart in a high school drama tracing the story of two students who fall for each other while working on a project together. While that seems fairly simple, complications arise when Abram's character Henry Page, a hopeless romantic, discovers that the girl he is crushing on is hiding a heartbreaking secret. Based on the novel, Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland, the film promises to be a good distraction from an otherwise monotonous routine.

When: 21 August

Where: Amazon Prime Video

An upcoming original on Zee5 is a film featuring an ensemble cast including Naseeruddin Shah, Aditi Subedi, Danish Husain, among others. Mee Raqsam is the story of one father who battles all obstacles and an overwhelming patriarchal society in order to help his daughter pursue classical dance. He struggles against all odds, orthodoxies and gender prejudices in a father and daughter's journey towards realising their collective dream. For all classical dancers, and connoisseurs of the art form, the film is a must attend for it promises to provide an insight into societal perceptions towards classical dance.

When: 21 August

Where: Zee5

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

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