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3 art and culture events that you simply must attend this week

From the return of the Ishara International Puppet Theatre Festival to the community-led Govandi Arts Festival, the week ahead has lots in store

'Aisha's Journey', one of the highlights of the Ishara International Puppet Theatre Festival
'Aisha's Journey', one of the highlights of the Ishara International Puppet Theatre Festival

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Ishara makes a comeback

The Ishara International Puppet Theatre Festival is back with its 19th edition, which is currently being held in New Delhi. As always, it brings together puppeteers and performers from around the globe to showcase newer ways of telling stories. This year, the event has participants from Holland, Hungary, Italy, and more. “India’s longest running puppet festival has returned after a gap of 3 years [caused by the covid-19 pandemic]. . This year, there will be many puppet shows that will take you to a world of fantasy…for instance, India will present ‘Aisha’s Journey’, a performance that has been adapted from a Swedish children’s book,” stated Dadi D. Pudumjee, festival director and founder, The Ishara Puppet Theatre Trust, at the opening of the festival. Some of the highlights include IL FIL’ARMONICO, by Teatro Tages, Italy, Korea Puppet Fantasy by Korean group Theatre Sangsahwa and Rumiyana by Pudumjee. Performances are taking place at the Amphi Theatre, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, till 20 February, 7.30 pm onwards

Also read: Immerse yourself in this multi-disciplinary storytelling festival


Exploring mind games

Method Kalaghoda is presenting an exhibition, ‘Macaqophony’, by Delhi-based artist Gargi Chandola. In her practice, the artist gravitates towards themes of feminism, personal history and sociopolitical hierarchies, often expressing them with a touch of humour. She is also the co-founder of the multidisciplinary art studio, Post-Art Project. For this show, Chandola has used the traditional Indian miniature form to comment on the outcomes of individual and collective behaviour. The 16 artworks showcase the intertwined lives of an anonymous woman and a monkey, who seem to have the same goals: collect, protect and eat a most precious resource, a banana. “In this series, I delve into the human notions of territory, power and the isolation of mind. The monkeys ostensibly mimic human behaviour—or is it the other way around? In my work, they are a reflection of self, engaging in petty and perverse mind games, as well as violence and trickery to get to the bananas,” states the artist note. Macaqophony can be viewed at Method Kalaghoda, Mumbai, from 18 February to 12 March, 2023, 11 am to 6 pm (closed on Monday)

Also read: What goes into the making of Yigal Ozeri’s photo-realistic paintings?

Govandi Arts Festival; photo: Tijender Singh
Govandi Arts Festival; photo: Tijender Singh

The power of community

A unique festival is being showcased in Mumbai these days. The Community Design Agency is hosting the Govandi Arts Festival in Natwar Parekh Colony. This endeavour, which will go on till 19 February, has been supported by the British Council as part of its ‘India/UK Together, a Season of Culture’ programme. For this event, 45 youth were mentored by several Mumbai-based artists in a span of six months, while three artists-in-residence worked with the community in the neighbourhood to create site-specific installations through animation, storytelling and craft. “At CDA, we firmly believe in the transformative power of art and have been honoured to work with the residents of Govandi for over six years to enhance the spaces they call home. We are confident that this festival will leave a lasting impact, both on the community and on all who attend,” stated Sandhya Naidu, founder and managing director of Community Design Agency at the opening of the festival. The Govandi Arts Festival is taking place at Natwar Parekh Compound, Govandi, Mumbai, with multiple events taking place between 3-8 pm

Also read: Sudharak Olwe's photos document the real lives of Lavani performers

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