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A festival of gender and other cool things to do this weekend

Catch interesting multimedia projects at Gender Bender 2021, watch a musical on the oral traditions of Punjab and get some Christmas shopping done 

Dheeraj Kumar tries to unravel the feminine side of masculinity through his photobook. (Gender Bender)

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Gender Bender 2021

Gender Bender is a one-of-its-kind festival in India that is dedicated to the exploration of gender through art. Conceived and conceptualised by Bengaluru-based theatre group the Sandbox Collective, it is a joint venture with the Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, Bangalore. Created to contribute and further the gender discourse through art, this is the seventh edition of the festival. This year, the festival is a digital manifestation of the physical festival — an interactive online space for audiences to engage with, say the organisers.

The Gender Bender grant is awarded to individuals /groups who are selected by an independent jury of artists and scholars from across India. Some of this year’s grantees are playwright Sharanya Ramprakash, who has created a hashtag ‘#Malashreechallenge’ hoping to create a trans feminist icon by claiming the gender-bending screen image of Kannada filmstar Malashree; artist Adil Kalim, who uses the derogatory words used by cishet people while referring to queer folk as a basis of his book covers; Mitra, Shraddha and Yash who explore the idea of a dating app that hopes to navigate caste in the world of dating apps; Vastavikta, whose quest is to find alternatives to the ‘ideal home’ founded on friendships and solidarities rather than the norms of conventional families; and Johnson Rajkumar’s film on the Nupi Manbi, the indigenous transgender women of Manipur.

For more: www.sandboxcollective.space

The oral traditions of Punjab 

A first-of-its-kind musical on the intangible oral traditions of Punjab comes to Royal Opera House, Mumbai this December. Conceptualized by kathan exponent Manjari Chaturvedi, O’ Jugni Punjab Di is a theatrical dance production which revives the rich heritage and mystical Sufi traditions of Punjab. This multidisciplinary performance will consist of live dance, musical and storytelling elements and will feature qawwal Ustad Ranjhan Ali and actors Balkar Sidhu and Jasvir Kumar.

The show will throw a spotlight on the tradition of jugni (in Punjabi Sufi poetry, the term loosely means ‘the spirit of life’), and will also bring the poetry of Sufi greats like Sultan Bahu, Baba Bulleh Shah, Waris Shah into the fold. 

Where: At the Royal Opera House, Mama Parmanand Marg, Mumbai, 18 December 2021. Tickets on insider.in 

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas 

Savor magical Christmas treats and special Holiday High Tea delights at the JW Marriott Mumbai Juhu's Bombay Baking Company, the popular patisserie-deli at the JW Marriott Mumbai Juhu. Treat your taste buds to the flavors of the festive season with an assortment of delicacies such as Chocolate Ginger Bread House, Plum Cake, German Stollen, Dundee Cake, Raspberry Brulee Cake, Strawberry Yoghurt Yule Log, Chocolate Santa Shoes, Hazelnut Fudge Pastry, Mince Pie, Caramel Chocolate Cake ,Orange Honey Mini Gateaux, Christmas-themed Cupcakes, Assorted Christmas Cookies such as Almond Speculoos, Cinnamon Star Ginger Bread Cookies and more.

Where: At the JW Marriott Juhu, Mumbai. 

An Elegy for Ecology

‘Dzukou Valley in the Kitchen’ 
‘Dzukou Valley in the Kitchen’  (Shrine Empire)

An Elegy for Ecology by artist Sharbendu De explores the human-nature relationship and its centrality to the contemporary ecological discourse. The histories of treating the planet as “capital” has culminated in new emergent emergencies, as Covid -19, climate change, sixth extinction, air pollution, the artist believes. Post these crises, the human species may biologically survive, but its emergent psychological and physical embodiments may leave it transformed into another ‘being.’ It is in the interstices of possible potential futures of the human condition that Sharbendu De locates his practice in. The ‘solastalgia’ these current works allude to – "the homesickness you have when you are still at home," is not a state of faraway places, distant times or sci-fi alienations –  it is present in almost immediate and relatable spaces, as environmental conditions deteriorate. They act to jolt one out of complacent denials. 

Where: On view till 19 January 2022 at Shrine Empire Gallery, Defence Colony, New Delhi. For more, go to shrineempiregallery.com.

 

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