These are trying times for everyone. But for just this instant let’s try and look past the immediate and the present to the future with a tad bit of optimism and hope? However bleak it may seem, this will soon come to an end; this ordeal. We’ll all be out and about in no time. The lockdown will be lifted and normalcy will resume. That is for sure. What then?
We at Raah believe that every cloud has a silver lining and this post is about that. We’ll all be rushing to do all the things that we’ve missed dearly. As millennials like to call it; the fear of missing out or FOMO will kick in hard. We’re sure all of us will want to step out to our favorite restaurants and bars, we might even venture to the movie theatres again if the pandemic completely subsides or there is a vaccine. Although might not want to count those eggs before they hatch. But there will definitely be shopping sprees, not to forget street food walks if one feels rather adventurous.
It is worth considering the fact that we all looked towards art and culture in these dire times. Whether it was watching movies, binging on TV shows on online streaming portals, listening to music on loop, catching up on all the reading we missed out in our busy lives, watching theatre plays that we’re cast live or a myriad other forms of content that we consumed over the months that we’ve been cooped up in our homes.
Let’s try and personally compile a Post Lockdown To Do List of things that we should be doing as soon as the lockdown is over and it is safe to venture out again. Thus our list will concern itself mostly around art and culture, centred around performance, literary and visual arts.It will also include information about certain classes, workshops and courses that one can undertake in order to better their craft or indulge and learn any of the aforementioned art forms.
PERFORMING ARTS EVENTS
There are multiple disciplines that come under the umbrella of performing arts. There’s acting, singing, dancing, public speaking, illusion performances, poetry recitals, etc.
- Theatre in Pune
Pune has always had an active community of theatre enthusiasts and can boast about a bustling theatre scene in Hindi, English and Marathi plays alike. Raah has been at the forefront of bringing such plays and performances to the community for the past couple of years. There are also venues like Balgandharva auditorium on JM road, Sudarshan Rangmanch, Bharat Natya Mandir which are slightly in the interiors of the city.
- Movement based Performing Arts
Pune also has a vibrant and flourishing scene of performances based around movement such as classical, semi classical and modern dance forms like Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Contemporary, etc. Raah is suitable when compared to most Performance spaces in Pune and is well equipped for such performances.
There are other performances like slam poetry sessions, open mic nights and stand up comedy as well which have gained a lot of traction in recent times. One can keep themselves updated about all such events by following Raah on their website or social media.
LITERARY ARTS EVENTS
When it comes to literature, Raah is perhaps one of the very few places that stands out from other venues. Most venues are usually performative spaces and focus on one form of art. Raah on the other hand is a multi-disciplinary arts and culture space.
- Book Clubs and Discussions
There are book clubs, readings, book launches, discussions and critical dissection sessions on literature both classical and contemporary that happen at the centre.
Raah happens to be one of the only places that still conducts Storytelling Events in Pune. There are storytelling events that happen every month and are conducted by the most competent and established storytelling groups called The Storytellers.
Raah is perhaps one of the only cultural centres that is also equipped with a massive and tastefully curated library within its folds. Patrons can come, browse through books, pick a book of their choice, find a cozy corner to slouch themselves and dig into the book.
There are very few places like Max Mueller Bhavan, Alliance Francaise, Goethe Institute, British Council and TIFA where one can find such events being conducted.
- Film Screenings
Raah also hosts brilliant films screenings from time to time where we project indie and art-house films of critical acclaim. We also hold screenings of documentaries based on a myriad socially relevant topics. These are followed by insightful and usually intense discussions or critique of said films. There may even be a question and answers round if the director of said film or documentary is present and invited.
Raah is perfect as an Art Incubation Centre in Pune for events like visual arts exhibitions and holding artist workshops or masterclasses. It can accommodate a host of people and anything from sculpture making to painting to sketching, etc. It can double up as a gallery for hosting exhibitions of contemporary or modern art whether it is paintings or handiworks of various kinds like Papier-mâché, metal craft, pottery, glasswork, ceramic works or other such crafts.
CLASSES AND WORKSHOPS
It is the perfect venue for conducting regular classes, one day masterclasses or workshops for various disciplines of arts and literature as mentioned above. It could be writing workshops or a photography masterclass or a group session for learning the basics of meditation. By virtue of the space being so versatile there are a number of activities that can be planned here as diverse as corporate team building sessions or acting workshops and many more.
We sometimes tend to forget that we as a species love to socialise and consume art. All of these are art forms and helped us maintain a semblance of sanity over this period of time. After all of this ends, it is our duty and responsibility to come out in numbers to support these artists.