The learning curve

Updated - January 13, 2017 05:12 pm IST

Published - January 13, 2017 05:11 pm IST

The seventh edition of The Hindu Lit for Life has a range of exciting workshops, ranging from sessions on open-air political theatre and film reading to why Shakespeare is a natural fit with Indian cinema. Melange speaks with the facilitators for an insight into what to expect.

“Is meaning lost in translation?” is a question that writers and translators have always pondered over. In her workshop, ‘The Five Faces of Translation’, Mini Krishnan , consultant publishing at the Oxford University Press, will discuss translated writings, including fiction, poetry and memoirs. It will include written exercises, bilingual readings by authors and commentaries by resource people. “Translation is the darkest corner in the literary room, but it is the cement of all communication,” says Mini. “In neglecting translator training, we have lost thousands of pages of our own history. Many bilingual people know this, but don’t know what to do about it,” she explains, adding that “translators would like to translocate their favourite text or writer and could probably do with some tips and guidance.” On January 14, from 10 a.m. to noon Fee: Rs. 1,000.

Pralayan Shanmugasundaram Chandrasekaran , is a well-known theatre personality who has been spearheading the modern theatre movement in Tamil Nadu, focussing on open-air performances. ‘Sculpting the Text’ is based on his experiences of open-air political theatre. “The major concern is that if people cannot come to the theatre, it should go to them. The participants should understand the art of theatre and its relevance in the present juncture,” he says. On January 15, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Fee: Rs. 1,000.

Sharan Apparao’s ‘The Seeing Eye... Ways of Seeing’, is about shifting one’s visual paradigm and thinking differently. The CEO and founder of Apparao Galleries says she hopes her workshop will allow people to recognise different points of view. “I will explore how a person sees an object or an idea. I’ll start with the mind and go on to the body, and then the outer body and environment,” she says. On January 15, from 10 a.m. to noon Fee: Rs. 1,000.

Pradeep Chakravarthy, a graduate of JNU and LSE, is passionate about Tamil Nadu’s history and heritage. He explores the interconnections between art, architecture, economics, politics and geography, and has authored six books, apart from writing for The Hindu and other newspapers. In ‘Metaphors that Move Minds’, he will explore devotional verses, rich in metaphors, composed between the 5th and 12th Centuries. “I will explore how to write metaphors based on these ancient poems on Madras,” he says. On January 15, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Fee: Rs. 1,000.

Nandini Oomman , founding curator of The Women’s Storytelling Salon — which creates and documents stories — will focus on women’s stories in her workshop, along with storytellers Subashree Krishnaswamy and Anusha Yadav. “My biggest thrill is to discover stories of how women became who they are and to inspire others by sharing them.” Participants will listen to Subashree and Anusha’s stories — of becoming an editor and a photographer — and some interactive storytelling in the second half. On January 16, from 10 a.m. to noon. Fee: 1,000.

Films are a form of storytelling. Between film appreciation and criticism lies an important aspect: film reading. Well-known film critic Sudhish Kamath — who has independently written, directed and produced four feature films — will focus on ‘How Do You Read a Film?’ “The first step in critiquing is understanding the language the story is told in, being able to read it. Film language is evolving, and textbook definitions are being redefined,” says Sudhish, adding “Filmmakers are on the threshold of inventing glass-less 3D and Virtual Reality technologies to aid storytelling. Film reading is a step towards understanding the visual language, a guide that goes beyond the spoken word.” On January 16, 10 a.m. to noon. Fee: Rs. 1,000.

Bindu Maira , a Delhi-based professional tarot card reader, crystal healer and life coach for 15 years, will conduct a crystal healing workshop. She will teach participants how to work with crystals and different frequencies of light. She will combine tarot and colour and crystal healing, along with hypnotherapy, sound healing and counselling, to guide people. On January 14, from 10 a.m. to noon. Fee: Rs. 1,000.

The influence of William Shakespeare on Bollywood goes far beyond Vishal Bhardwaj’s film adaptations of the Bard’s works. In his workshop, ‘Shakespeare and Bollywood’, Jonathan Gil Harris, a dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of English at Ashoka University, will explore what makes Shakespeare’s plays a good fit in Hindi cinema. “He is at home in India not just because of the legacy of British colonialism, but also because of Indian popular story-telling and performance traditions. Shakespeare loves fusing genres, languages, styles, even genders, as do Indian storytellers. Just look at Piya Behrupiya , in Bhojpuri, Hindi, Punjabi and English, mixing high seriousness with low comedy, and the gender of its lead,” shares Jonathan, who is working on a book, Masala Shakespeare . On January 15, 10 a.m. to noon. Fee: 1,000.

Dr. Chithra Madhavan is the author of seven books on the history and culture of Tamil Nadu, its temples and literature. In ‘Appreciating the Sculptural Tradition of India’, she will discuss the origin and development of stone and metal sculpture in the country, along with the various styles and nuances of sculptures. “We can see amazing sculptures in most temples in the South — the Hoysala temples in Belur, the Meenakshi-Sundareshwarar in Madurai... There are also less-known temples, like the Brahmapurishwara temple in Pullamangai, near Kumbakonam, which has intricate sculptures of the early Chola era.” On January 14, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Fee: Rs. 1,000

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