Summary of the next three days at the workshop
Kiran did a study on livejournal and the features it has which enable and strengthen community formation. One thing which struck me - for a group to form encourage the formation of a sub-group. Vishnu did a presentation on the mythologicals in Telegu cinema. He said, mythologicals cannot take the burden of star-systems.
I learnt about the work of a lot of researchers. Research is thought - how do others think, what is making them tick - the room was constantly charged with passion. I felt comfortable!
Carrrying on my earlier loop - discussion on the creative process. It is the process which I need to focus more on, I have been obsessed with the creative act, the product of this... It is not that product is not important, it is that the product needs to be qualified - by process, by stories, by narrative. I need to talk about / think about the process more - the process is a committment.
I was wondering why working on the internet is often such a hyper, breathless and anxious process - pages take time to load, the process bar gives a realistic indication of how much time it will take, and I hold my breath?
Khaled made an interesting presentation on the working culture in fast food chains. He focussed on McDonalds. As a fact - when there are too many customers and serving isn't happpening fast enough - they stop serving! They stop serving and they dance. To distract the customers and then when there enough pizzas are cooked again - they stop dancing and start serving.
Kiran posed an interesting question to Khaled - does dancing in a pizza-shop make Mcdonald's a dance-bar - the definition of dance being, "swaying the body"? Technically yes. So down with McDonalds!!?
Kuldeep Kaur had a very intense presentation - unheard voices from the birthing room in hospitals. She is a nurse, the intensity in her presentation was in the statistics, the demonstration of the scale and nature of the problem. Many seemed to need her perspective, her personal knowledge and experience of being present there in that space... she related some poetry. It was strong.
Bodhi's presntation on the Mess rooms in Kolkatta was fabulous. It was presented very passionately and eloquently. I could conjure images of the messes as he spoke. He said that in the Bhadralok Theatre the messes were like a perpetual green room. Another interesting thing he said was that the generations which have grown up in the messes have been accepted in society but the institution hasn't been accepted.
In a question, Karen asked Bodhi how was "hetrosexuality exercised" in the mess-houses, being all-male? I liked that term, and the way she put it. The day ended with a rich, immersing performance by Mohammed Farooqui, "Dastan E Amir Humza."
Across dinner I had a discussion with Soudhamini. She asked a very pertinent question to me, "Why the images?" - in context of my presentation. She felt my poems were quite strong and telling and the images were not needed at all. She was saying that inter-disciplinary discourse/approach was all fine - but maybe a purist eye would enable a healthy marriage of mediums. She said good poetry can and should stand on its own.
Next day started with a presentation by Sudeshna Chatterjee... about child-friendly cities. It seemed to be quite classical in terms of approach and form, good academic research? Presented quite crsiply. Kaiwan introduced ways of reading architechture like novels. Very interesting. In Meera's presentation about children who lived at Vijaywada railway station. She said children can be hurt very easily. She presented the confusion which was quite prevelant - "being able to write is a pre-requisite to being able to draw."
Now more strewn and unorganized notes - In Vasudha and Soudhamin's presentaion - the actuality of research for creative projects was presented. Both presented ruses of films very much in progress. Soudhamini seemed to be very much a process person - she said to rush with the work to be able to present it could short-circuit it. Vasudha talked about interactive video, video with choices.
Videndra's presentation was really good. It had a mood and a sense of space. He chose to disassociate sound and picture. The video played in the background and he performed the audio. Every time he needed to, he just paused the video!! The demonstration/lecture was on songs of protest / motivational songs in the tradition of the left, and mostly in Bengal. Some great histroical recordings were played out. Sumangala commented on a singer's seemingly deriving perverse pleasure from singing a hindi song in a karnatak fashion.
Shruddha commented on some researchers' anxiety about proving the truth of what they were talking about. He suggested - that this anxiety could be dealt with awareness.