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From the Indian Section

Webinar at Mahindra Excellence In Theatre Awards (META)

The Censorship Chronicles: Things Said, Unsaid, Overheard…


Censorship is not new, yet the notions and ideas surrounding censorship are fluid.
Censorship never operates in a vacuum.
Censorship can be as much moral, as it is legal.
Censorship can be insidious and vicious.
Censorship impacts theatre and theatre artistes directly. How do they respond?
Join an important panel as they delve into and discuss censorship and self-censorship in the context of Theatre, Publishing, and the Arts.
The panel’s unique experience emerges from the framework of history, theatre practice, book publishing, the law, and advocacy.

The panellists:
Dr. ARAVIND GANACHARI is a historian-scholar. He has been a former Head of the Department of History at Mumbai University. Professor Ganachari has documented and published on a wide variety of topics pertaining to colonial rule in India. He has written about key freedom fighters and nationalists in the independence movement. He studied Marathi drama in the colonial period, particularly from 1860 to 1926.  Dr. Ganachari has also studied the evolution of the law of sedition. He has several articles, essays, papers and books to his credit. He is visiting faculty at Christ Church College, Oxford, the UK; to the South Asia Centre at Columbia University in New York, the USA, and to Simon Frazer University in Vancouver, Canada.
ANJUM KATYAL is a writer, editor, translator and critic. She is the author of several books on theatre and performance such as Habib Tanvir: Towards an Inclusive Theatre and Badal Sircar: Towards a Theatre of Conscience. She has been Chief Editor, Seagull Books, as well as Editor, Seagull Theatre Quarterly Calcutta. She has been involved with the publication of the New Indian Playwrights Series of post-independence regional playwriting translated into English, and a host of other theatre titles. She has translated Habib Tanvir’s Charandas ChorHirma ki Amar Kahani (The Living Tale of Hirma), among other plays. She is currently Curator, NEW festival, Santiniketan, and Consultant Director, Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival.
LARA JESANI is a lawyer committed to civil rights and human rights’ advocacy in the courtroom and outside. She has been practicing law in the Indian courts for over a decade, and now primarily practices in the Bombay High Court and the National Green Tribunal. Lara has taken up cases of human rights violations, in particular constitutional, environmental, development and anti corruption matters, death penalty / criminal cases and in defense of human rights defenders. Lara holds a Masters in Political Science and a Masters in Law. She closely works with various civil society organisations, collectives and networks. Her advocacy has led her to engage with performing artists. Lara considers herself as a student of both law and politics.
SUDHANVA DESHPANDE is an actor, director and organiser with Jana Natya Manch, one of India’s preeminent political theatre groups. The group was set up in 1973, and Sudhanva joined in 1987. He has over 4,000 performances to his credit as an actor. He works as Managing Editor at LeftWord Books, and is the author of Halla Bol: The Death and Life of Safdar Hashmi. Sudhanva’s book on the momentous staging of the play Halla Bol, which claimed Safdar Hashmi’s life, is a must-read for not only its vivid, first-hand account of the events of the fateful day, but also for the author’s deep understanding and fine ability to connect the event to the larger social and political landscape of the country, while presenting a terrific case study of the power of performance.
The curator and moderator DEEPA PUNJANI has been closely engaged with theatre and theatre criticism since several years. She represents the Indian National Section of the International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC). Deepa’s M.Phil thesis (2004) studied the work of select Indian women theatre practitioners in the broad context of feminism and gender representation on the Indian stage. Deepa is also a lawyer. She writes about legal issues as well. In her latter role, she is keenly interested in dialogues between the judiciary and civil society, and in the intersection between law, politics, and culture.
Mahindra Excellence In Theatre Awards (META) is one of the most prominent theatre festivals in India. In fact, the Indian National Section had planned the IATC experienced critics’ symposium in collaboration with META, but the event had to be cancelled because of the novel coronavirus. Now, like many festivals, META has also moved online this year.


More details: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3zWkwrFSq8Gtlj5yzMtA3Q