Call to create public domain for creative empowerment

Sashi Kumar

Sashi Kumar   | Photo Credit: — Photo: K. K. Najeeb

Staff Reporter

Thrissur: A seminar on ‘Theatre and visual media: narrative in perspective’ held at the International Theatre Festival of Kerala on Tuesday called for efforts to create a public sphere for creative empowerment.

Delivering the keynote address, Sashi Kumar, chairman, Media Development Foundation said that technological convergence could redefine and reinforce the mutuality of theatre and cinema, and its manifestation in TV and cyber media.

“A new set of dialectics is at play: between the linear and the non-linear, the analogue and the digital, sequential cause-and-effect and discrete sound and sight, the centre and the margin, unity of time and space and a dispersed, pixellated environment.”

He said that a process of exploration and discovery that began in the visual media in the 1920s had now come into its own.

‘Eistenstein’s montage’

“Sergei Eistenstein’s cinematic montage strongly influenced Bertolt Bercht’s epic theatre, unleashing a creative energy and impulse for artistic praxis. But fascism, totalitarianism and Cold War camp mindsets overtook this revolutionary potential and forced the world back to the beaten narrative path. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the East Bloc and the emergence of a U.S.-dictated unipolar world, multiple narratives have come under pressure to merge into a homogenised meta-narrative before which the artistic sensibilities of people lie supine.

“The formal experimentation of the 1970s and early 1980s has been road-rollered into virtual oblivion by the Hollywood. The return of the narrative has meant a reversal to linear story-telling, and this lulls the subject into passivity,” he said. Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi chairman Murali also spoke.

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