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Lens on reality

A 30-year struggle In five scenes  

The 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy led to thousands of deaths following the leak of toxic gas Methy-Iso-Cyanate, MIC, from the Union Carbide plant. More than three decades after the tragedy, there are warnings to be heeded and questions that must be asked.

Sudhir Selvaraj’s devised performance We All Live in Bhopal (Sketches from Ground Zero) makes the audience understand the tragedy in all its dimensions. The inspiration for the performance came after Sudhir visited Bhopal in 2011, when he was interning with Visthar. Although Sudhir was relatively well informed about the event, he says his knowledge deepened after speaking with activists and those affected by the tragedy.

We All Live in Bhopal is an old activist slogan which warns us of the consequences of living in toxic industrial environments, and the danger of not holding corporates accountable. “The story left an impact on me,” says Sudhir. “When I returned from Bhopal, I wanted to read up as much as possible. I wondered how best to tell the story to people to even those who weren’t born at that time” He has created the production in a way that engages the audience. “The play has real life stories. It is an arc on a 30-year struggle explained in five scenes. It’s about the five most important events, starting from that fateful night. Every scene has an audience involvement in it. I want the audience to know the facts of the event and to understand it within their own contexts,” explains Sudhir of Renegade Arts and Theatre Society (RATS).

The production has travelled across the world to “King’s College and SOAS, and Concordia College, Minnesota” besides being staged earlier in Bengaluru at National Centre for Biological Sciences and Atta Galatta. In every production, Sudhir has got the members of the community to be a part of the play. "We analyse the Bhopals, so to speak, around us." In Bengaluru, people addressed the issues of garbage, traffic and over population and in Minnesota, the issue was fracking.” We All Live in Bhopal is presented by RATS in association with Global Shapers Hub Bangalore. It will be performed at Humming Tree, Indira Nagar on February 28 at 5 p.m, followed by a panel discussion. For more information visit https://insider.in/event/we-all-live-in-bhopal-a-theatrical-reading-feb28.


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Printable version | Jun 23, 2021 2:07:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/lens-on-reality/article8280774.ece

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