JSIRRI inaugural celebrations held between 28 Oct – 13 Nov 2015 comprised of three workshops and two inaugural events:
- Rainbow of Desire workshop led by Jean-François Martel,France.
- Introduction to Theatre of the Oppressed led by Birgit Fritz(Austria), Jale Karabekir(Turkey) and members of the Jana Sanskriti core team
- Introduction to Hula – by Ka `Imi Na`auao o Hawai`i Nei Institute, Hawaii
- Inauguration of JSIRRI: November 7, 2015, ICCR Auditorium, Kolkata
- Inauguration of the new Augusto Boal Auditorium: November 8, 2015, Girish Bhavan, Badu, Kolkata
and a short tour to the villages of Digambapur and Shrinarayanpur,South 24 Parganas.
Performances by Jana Sanskriti teams and the visiting Hawaaiian troupe Ka `Imi Na`auao o Hawai`i Nei Institute occurred on the latter two occasions, as a marker of the first trans-cultural exchange under the aegis of JSIRRI. At the Inauguration, short statements were made by Directors in 7 languages, and a recorded video message from Julian Boal was screened. Special guests for the evening were Mr. Stéphane AMALIR, Director, Alliance Française du Bengale and Mr. Gautam De, Regional Director,Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), Kolkata. A visual documentation of the inauguration events and performances will follow soon.
Post these celebrations, on Nov. 12-13, 2015, seventeen people from four continents, 7 women and 10 men, gathered live at the first directors/volunteers meeting of the Jana Sanskriti International Research and Resource Institute (JSIRRI) in Badu, Kolkata, India. Another 10 joined during Skype interactions, adding important issues and offering their assistance. The main issue of the meeting was the potential added value of JSIRRI to the world of art/activism in general and Theatre of the Oppressed in particular.
Sanjoy Ganguly opened the meeting with a key address, pointing at the importance of shaping and reshaping of the work of theatre and other arts as ways of delivering internal and external activism. He also pointed to the need to work with complexity, instead of being satisfied with easy answers, and to avoid narrow or egocentric perspectives. He added that we should make use of the fact that knowledge builds on what has already been understood through experience by many. Knowledge does not consist of isolated facts and art has the power to do research by unveiling people’s experience and presenting it to a larger audience.
The meeting produced a whole range of ideas on art- and action-based research methods. It also emphasized the importance of dialogue with conventional researchers, artists from the entire range of the arts and activists who use the arts as a tool for liberation as well as research method. The eventual goal is to provide an alternative to research which only cements oppression and, by channeling experiences of the oppressed using art as a research tool, provide powerful images of a world without oppression. JSIRRI activities can take place anywhere in the world,if they are relevant to the cause. The directors have phrased a vision/mission statement which defines this relevance.
Both the directors/volunteers who were present and other affiliates each provided their personal contribution to the JSIRRI program by announcing workshops, offering voluntary work on several committees and other concrete actions. JSIRRI’s scopes of operations broadly are – Academic and performance Research, Workshops, Seminars, Artist residencies, Internships, Publications (books, newsletters & journals).
Please stay tuned for the JSIRRI Event Calendar 2016 for more details.
People present volunteered to be a part of committees/working groups (any further offers will be gratefully accepted). These committees are – Research, Fundraising, Events and activities, Communications- Translation-Media, Publications and Archiving. We welcome everyone to contribute their expertise in these areas. The outline of these committees will show the potential JSIRRI is going to develop in the next 2 years, especially regarding research projects, fundraising and the sharing of resources. The next global meeting, during which we hope to host directors/volunteers from all continents and many research and activist partners, will take place in Badu in 2017.
For any communication with JSIRRI, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org