The Pickle Plan: Recipes for the Future
Saturday, 17 October 2020 | 7pm to 8.30pm IST
How can artistic and social concerns intersect, innovate and inspire to create a thriving and socially engaged arts and community centre?
- How do we build these reciprocal relationships to form a sound foundation for the Pickle Factory venue?
The closing session returns to the larger spectrum of social interaction and value, placing the performance experience side by side with other socially engaged fields such as health, education and inclusion. We imagine the permanent Pickle Factory venue as a thriving arts and community centre: how could and should artistic and social concerns intersect, innovate and inspire through interactions with dance and movement arts to achieve this? Building these reciprocal relationships that share a belief in a more equal and empathetic society will form a sound foundation for a strong, socially engaged arts and community centre for the city of Calcutta – exactly what the Pickle Factory wishes to be.
Bishakha Datta (@busydot) works on gender and sexuality in digital spaces, runs the non-profit Point of View in Mumbai, writes and films non-fiction and is part of the wikipedia family. In all her work, Bishakha explores marginal, invisible, and silenced points of view – or those considered illegitimate.
Her documentary work includes In The Flesh, a film on the lives of three sex workers, and Taza Khabar, which explores Khabar Lahariya, a unique women-run rural newspaper. Books she edited include Nine Degrees of Justice, a collection of essays on the struggle against violence on women in India, and And Who Will Make the Chapatis?, an anthology on rural women’s political participation. Award-winning online publications she’s founded include Deep Dives, which publishes long-form narratives on ‘the way we live now’. And Skin Stories, which runs first-person narratives at the intersections of gender, sexuality, and disability.
Since 2015, Bishakha has led Point of View’s flagship program on gender, sexuality and technology which equips and enables women, girls, trans and non-binary people to inhabit digital spaces – freely and fearlessly. Bishakha, who was a trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation (of wikipedia fame), is currently on the board of the global non-profit Association for Progressive Communication.
Dakxinkumar Bajrange (Chhara) is an award winning filmmaker, playwright and an activist from the Chhara De-notified Tribes of Ahmedabad in the western part of India. Currently, he works as an “Artistic Director” at Budhan Theatre (www.budhantheatre.org). He has directed and supervised 52 plays at the Budhan Theatre team. As a Filmmaker, he directed 120 fiction and non-fiction films/TV series on various developmental, social and political issues of India His critically acclaimed Bollywood film “Sameer”, starring Zeeshan Mohammed, Seema Biswas, Anjali Patil was released in theatres in India 2017 and then on Netflix. It also screened in New York Indian Film Festival (USA), Charlotte Asian Film Festival (USA) and Indian International Film Festival of Queensland, Australia where he received “Best Director” award for ‘Sameer”. He is recipient of Ford Foundation Fellowship, National Award for his autobiography by NHRC, South Asia Award for his film “Fight For Survival”. He also awarded Bhasha Fellowship, Nominated by INDEX, UK for Fellowship for Freedom of Expression, Nominated “Heroes of Ahmedabad” by Ahmedabad Mirror and recipient of Social Impact Award by IIMA 2019,
Recently he has finished his two documentary films, The Last Man and Covid 19 Blame Game.
Nachiket Mor has a PhD in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania. His current work is principally focused on the design of national and regional health systems.
He was a member of the Planning Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on Universal Health Care, the Primary Care Task Force of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Health Commission for the State of Himachal Pradesh, and the Standing Committee on Health Systems Strengthening at the National Academy of Medicine in Washington DC. He helped create a new model for comprehensive primary care, pioneered by SughaVazhvu Healthcare in remote rural parts of Tamil Nadu.
He is currently a Visiting Scientist at The Banyan Academy of Leadership in Mental Health and a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Information Technology and Public Policy (CITAPP) at IIIT Bangalore.
Dr. Paromita Chakravarti is Professor, Department of English, and has been the Director of the School of Women’s Studies, Jadavpur University, Calcutta, India. She completed her doctoral studies at the University of Oxford, UK. She teaches Renaissance drama, women’s writing, sexuality and film studies. She has been visiting fellows at the Universities of Birmingham, Liverpool, Amsterdam, Oxford, Delhi and Hyderabad. Her work in the School of Women’s Studies, Jadavpur University has focused on education and sexuality. She has led national and international projects on gender representation in school textbooks, sexuality education, women’s higher education, homeless women, women in the Panchayati Raj and in Self Help groups as well as HIV positive women and children. She has worked with the state and central governments, the Women’s Commission (state and national) and government ministries of education, Panchayat and rural development and HIV control and Prevention Boards as well as with international universities on policy related to women’s education, empowerment and heath. She has been working for the last four years on a project on mobilizing single women in West Bengal, India. Her book Women Contesting Culture was published in 2012. Her book on Shakespeare and Indian Cinemas was published by Routledge in 2018. Her book on Asian Shakespeares is forthcoming.
Sameera Iyengar is a cultural producer and theatre person. She is passionate about sharing the richness of the arts with people across India and the world, and in creating opportunities and platforms for artists to build value for their work. She is also interested in chronicling Indian theatre, and has produced exhibitions, yearbooks, and booklets aimed at building public appreciation and knowledge.
Sameera has been a part of founding teams of the India Theatre Forum and SMART (Strategic Management in the Art of Theatre) – organisations created to strengthen the theatre ecosystem in India. She was the first Course Director of SMART and continues as a core team member and facilitator. She co-founded and co-ran Junoon from 2012 to March 2020, with the express aim of sharing the richness of the arts with people in multiple ways. Her work in theatre began as a researcher/writer for Seagull Theatre Quarterly, followed by a decade at Prithvi Theatre.
At the moment, Sameera is enjoying doing strategic planning consultancies with arts organisations and non-profits, working on taking SMART online, re-entering theatre practice with a bit of dramaturgy, and exploring ideas with equally playful collaborators to strengthen, share and celebrate theatre and performance in India.