Lecture Series

 Dissent in Arts at 5PM on the Rooftop

OCT 28 – Cultural Dissent in through Street Theatre



sudhanvaMr. Sudhanva Deshpande is a published author, performer, academic and lecturer. He has been involved in conceptualising over 50 street plays as an integral part of Jana Natya Manch (JANAM), Delhi. He has delivered lectures and workshops to students and trainers around the globe on Indian street theatre both on his own and as a part of JANAM. Among his many notable published writings across language and fora, his entries on IPTA and Safdar Hashmi to the Oxford Encyclopaedia of Theatre and Performance stands out for really putting JANAM and Indian street theatre on the global radar.

OCT 29 – The Polictics of Contemplation 


Sheba_ChhachhiSheba Chhachhi is a New Delhi based photographer, women’s rights activist, writer, film-maker and installation artist. Women centric issues and the impact of urban transformation remain the focus of her work. Her forte is the creation of multimedia installations like ‘The Water Diviner’ and ‘Black Waters Will Burn’. Her works have been exhibited both in India and internationally.


OCT 30 – Strategies to nurture independent space for cultural pluralism 


maxresdefaultMr. Sunil Shanbag is a theatre director, screenwriter and documentary film-maker. He is also the founder of the theatre company ‘Arpana’ whose work centres on contemporary and original texts and minimalist staging. Known for critically acclaimed works like ‘Cotton 56, Polyester 84’ and ‘S*x M*rality & Cens*rship’, he was invited to stage a Gujarati adaptation of ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’ at the Globe festival in London. ‘Maro Piyu Gayo Rangoon’, as it was titled, received rave reviews both in India and abroad. He has also authored, produced and directed scripts for television serials and films, working alongside greats like Mr. Shyam Benegal and others.

OCT 31 – Can you question the king: Dissent in The Epics


arshia_sattar_496Dr. Arshia Sattar is a translator, facilitator, author, researcher and director. She obtained her PhD in South Asian Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago. Her abridged translations of epic Sanskrit texts including Valmiki’s Ramayana, have been published by Penguin Books. Her reviews and articles feature regularly in The Times of India, The Illustrated Weekly of India and the Indian Review of Books. She has also worked with documentary film and theatre. In fact, Ms. Sattar was the program director of the Ranga Shankara theatre festival in 2005.



NOV 01 – Culture of Dissent in Bengali Literature / Theatre /  Cinema


maxresdefault (2)Samik Bandyopadhyaya entered college in 1955, graduated from the University of Calcutta 1961, and subsequently earned a Master of Arts degree in English literature. His love for theatre stemmed from his interactions with stalwarts of Bangla theatre like Utpal Dutt and Badal Sircar. His political takes on plays like ‘Ghanshiram Kotwal’ and a Bangla adaptation of ‘Threepenny Opera’ speak volumes about his incisive and analytical mind. He has been involved in film too, translating scripts like Mrinal Sen’s ‘Akaler Sandhane’ all while challenging the representation of the “angry young man of Kolkata” in the medium.


NOV 02 –  Who’s afraid of Old Cartoons? Censoring the Archive.


E_p_unni_klfE.P. Unny or Ekanath Padmanabhan Unny, is a political cartoonist. His first cartoon was published in Shankar’s Weekly in 1973 but he began his career as a professional cartoonist in 1977 with The Hindu. He has illustrated and written graphic novels and travel books on Kerala and has done graphic shorts in journals as early as in the 1990’s. Mr. Unny has worked with publications like the Sunday Mail, The Economic Times and The Indian Express, with whom he is now the Chief political cartoonist.


NOV 3 – Cultural Dissent through protest songs of IPTA


maxresdefault (1)Dr. Sumangala Damodaran did her MPhil in Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University. She has been involved in research with the International Labour Organisation and in collaborations with the University of Cape Town. In recent years, she has immersed herself in research and teaching in Popular Music Studies focusing on documentation of a forgotten musical tradition, that of the Indian People’s Theatre Association. She herself has performed across the country and has recently finished recording a selection of the songs into an album.