Today’s class slipped into Tehran, following a little girl on her journey home. The film, Ayneh (The Mirror) by Jafer Panahi, opens up the conversation on cinema, cityscapes, the ideas of space in our mind and the cinematic experience too.
Following the conversation, everyone has to write a short review of the film, working with the idea of space within the film.
More reading on Ayneh: http://www.filmsufi.com/2008/05/mirror-jafar-panahi-1997.html
Twenty four hundred years ago, Plato, one of history’s most famous thinkers, said life is like being chained up in a cave forced to watch shadows flitting across a stone wall. Beyond sounding quite morbid, what exactly did he mean? Alex Gendler unravels Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, found in Book VII of The Republic.
Anuraag is a musician and a versatile singer. Anuraag believes in the potential of music to transcend all boundaries and to help individuals become more sensitive to their environment. Anurag has to his credit a number of performances and collaborations, both national and international, in India and abroad. He has partnered with musicians from different genres in creating original compositions as well as lending his voice for multiple projects covering genres like western classical, jazz, folk music from Africa, Ireland and Rajasthan, world music and Sufi. He has also composed and performed the music for a South African play ‘The Coolie Odyssey’.
As a Music Educator, he was invited by the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London) to attend workshops for Professional Musicians and Educators and also to conduct workshops on Indian Classical Music for the post-graduate students of the University.
Through a lecture demonstration, Anurag talks about music and its reactions on the brain.
Rowdy, brazen, irreverent, and assaulting. Their sounds were clamorous, their visions were shocking, and their language was explosive. Yet Dada was not aimless anarchy. Rather, the artists were responding to the violence and trauma of World War I—and to the shock of modernity more generally—by developing shock tactics of their own. Here is what they did with sound.
Read. Learn. Enjoy!
“The German artist and poet Hugo Ball’s final performance at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich marked the beginning of a new genre variously known as sound poems, poems without words, or abstract poems. To construct them language is broken down into its abstract parts (syllables and individual letters) and then reconfigured as meaningless sounds. Simultaneous poems—poems in which multiple languages are read at once rendering each unintelligible—offered an alternative approach to abstract poetry. By destroying everyday language, offered both a metaphor for the destruction caused by war and a commentary on the deceitfulness of language. Wariness of the competing nationalisms that fuelled the war also led dadaists to resist any particular language, a primary indicator of national identity.”
Listen to it here: http://www.nga.gov/exhibitions/2006/dada/techniques/sound.shtm#null
“From the prize-winning author of White Mughals and City of Djinns,Nine Lives is a distillation of twenty-five years of exploring India and writing about its religious traditions – a modern Indian Canterbury Tales which introduces us to characters and takes us deep into worlds we could never have imagined existed.(…)Nine people, nine lives. Each one taking a different religious path, each one an unforgettable story. Exquisite and mesmerising, and told with an almost biblical simplicity, William Dalrymple’s first travel book in a decade explores how traditional forms of religious life in South Asia have been transformed in the vortex of the region’s rapid change.”
The Dancer of Kannur – “…the dance form has always been a conscious and ritualised inversion of the usual structures of Keralan life:for it is not the pure and sanctified Brahmins into whom the gods choose to incarnate, but the shunned and insulted Dalits. The entire system is free from Brahmin control. The theyyam take place not in Brahminical temples but small shrines in the holy places and sacred groves of the countryside, and the priests are not Brahmin but Dalit….The word theyyam derives from daivam, the Sanskrit word for ‘god’…The stories around which the they yam performances are built range from tales of vampire-like blood-drinking yakshas, devise and witches, and the myths of serpent and animal deities, to the deeds of local heroes and ancestors. In many of the theyyam stories, a member of the lower castes infringes or transgresses accepted caste restrictions and is unjustly punished with rape or death, and then is defied by the gods aghast at the injustices perpetrated by the Brahmins and other ruling classes.”
The Maker of Idols: “The widespread oral memory of which is only now beginning to be endangered – that created the intense, mystical and often sensual bhakti world which needed the Chola bronzes as focuses for devotion. The direct family link between Chola bronze casters and Srikanda’s family workshop in Swamimalai is only one aspect of a much wider continuity of Tamil theology and devotion…The whole process, explained Srikanda, was itself encased in a fine mould of ancient ritual: only on a new moon or a full moon could a model be begun or cast..The idol’s eyes must be carved open between 4 am and 6 am, when there was no sound or disturbance which might upset the deity; a series of ancient Sanskrit incantations must be spoken while the work was in progress..All the proportions, gestures and sacred geometry were exactly laid down by tradition, and only the most elite families of Stpathy Brahmins, literate in Sanskrit and all the appropriate Shastras, were allowed to work on pieces intended for worship.”
Shiva, Kartikeya, Parvati, Chola bronze, 10-12 c., Tamilnadu The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC