Monday, 7 June 2021

Thursday, 26 March 2020

C sharp C Blunt : An experimental Indo-German play

Presented by: Flinntheatre
Directed by: Sophia Stepf
Text Collaborators: Swar Thounaojam &Irawati karnik
German Director and German’s Flinntheatre – an indo-German association that explores the areas of digital dramaturgy. Repetition and user choices to create a new hybrid form of theatre – meets- performances art come together in this play.

M.D.Pallvi in the lead role
Actor M.D.Pallvi  in C Sharp C Blunt
                                                                                                                                                                                             
Every year I go to Pune, which is a cultural centre of Maharastra, to attend the theater festival. A  strong tradition of theatre has been established there over a period. It seems, the people of Pune love theatre more than films.  The legendary actor Balgandharva, Marathi singer and stage actor, was from Maharastra.  Balgandharav’s contribution to marathi theatre is enormous and commendable. The actor used to play the role of women in the plays, as women were not allowed to take part in those days. The plays of Balgandharav were so famous that every woman wanted to drape saris like BalGandharav and imitate his style. Those plays enriched and established an audience permanently for theatre. Over a period, the people of Pune have developed a refined intellectual taste for the theatre. Continuously, efforts are carried out to contribute to the field with genuine interest from playwrights, actors and the connoisseurs.
Recently, I had been to Pune to watch theatre festival. There I watched two plays. Of the two plays, one was based on Shakespeare’s Mid Summer’s Night, which I had seen at our place earlier. The other one named C Sharp C Blunt was an experimental play based on contemporary mobile phone application. What interested me greatly was the whole treatment given to the play. The techno- based language and the involvement of the audience in to the play as if the audience were operating with the application, was appalling and reflected the contemporary life.  C sharp C Blunt, the play is based on the concept of the loop, where an electric musician is seen live on the stage and creates and layers loops from the live sound.  This mobile application shilpa is a popular application of 2013, software developed to offer the audience the entertainment in flesh and blood. The application behaves the way men desire their women to behave and sing accordingly.  The hidden sexual desires of the users, and how their minds work, are reflected, and presented in the play, very boldly. The play is in English language and the techno-based language enthralls the audience and involves verbally too. It was just like using the software right there by the audience.  The actor who performed single on the stage nearly for 75 minutes is also a very talented singer, and this enhances the beauty of the play. Her singing ability also presents a perfect blend of east and west music, a collage, a feature of postmodernism.  The play also indicates the predicament of the women entertainers in the present- day entertainment industry.
I loved this play because the content is very contemporary and the approach entirely novel. One must see this play.

Women's Liberation Movements: Existence and Identity of Second Sex

On the eve of International Women's Day, one needs to know the struggle women have put forth for the last so many centuries to achieve the identity and status today.



The word Woman connotes compassionate, loving, sacrificing, empathetic, dutiful, obedient and tolerant – the list goes on. Who have linked these adjectives to the word Woman and why? These adjectives are not chosen by women themselves but by men.  With these very adjectives women have been conditioned physically, mentally, psychologically and emotionally for centuries by men, the superior sex. These very adjectives glorify woman’s soul and ego and have  been misleading  the women for centuries and  have led them to servitude finally. Men have been clever in selecting these adjectives which have emotionalized and sentimentalized  women to oblige and do things, which no doubt empowers men.                                                  History of Feminism

If the word Feminism had not been invented and not popularized, things would have been quite different for women even today. With the movement of feminism, an awareness was brought into women, which certainly helped women to move on new lines and find their own identities. Feminist movements spread across the world creating a consciousness among women about their existence and identity.  Enlightening women, these movements emboldened them to assert their fundamental rights hitherto neglected and denied to them.  In the course of time, women resolved to switch their roles and to change the age old perception of them. Slowly, gracefully, with determination, women started liberating themselves. Feminist movements, no doubt, made women conscious of their rights – political, social and economic rights   – voting in general elections, getting education, holding jobs, getting good payment – raising their voices against domestic violence, against rape and so on—formed the basis of their agenda.
Mary Wollstonecraft was the first one to raise the question of gender equality at the time of EnlightenmentRousseau, the father of Enlightenment, defined about a democratic state where all men were equal. Here the Mary Wollstonecraft  questioned the discriminatory attitude of Democracy towards women —and tried  to expand the concept of democracy by equaling women with men. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman was  her first published feminist treatises.Wollenstonecraft's insights led further to feminist movement which was called suffragetts.
The Feminist History can be divided in to three phases such as the First Wave , the Second Wave,the Third wave.

The First Wave : The first wave occurred in the 19th and early 20th century and this movement mainly focused on the Right to Vote in the General Elections.

 The second wave : The second wave was at its height in 1960s and 1970s and it focused on women's liberation.
The third wave : The Third Wave feminist movement started in 1990 and has continued up to the present time. During this phase, the movement focused on issues like financial, social and cultural inequalities.

 The First Wave:  The first wave started in 19th century. British women and men had made efforts to secure voting right to women in 1860 itself. But it was in 1906, first time, the word “Suffragett” appeared in a British Newspaper. It was a campaign held by women demanding their right to vote. When a leader like Emmelike Pankhurst and her daughters Christable and Sylvia founded the Social and Political Union(WSPU), in 1903, the movement  got an impetus. Its slogan read like this “ Deeds not Words”. As the years rolled by, the movement became aggressive and militant in nature. When Suffragett movement was going strongly, the breaking of war in 1914 curtailed its movement suddenly. Emmelike Pankhurst and others joined war to serve. As a result, around one million women joined war. May be the participation of women in war was an eye opener for many and for many transitional things that took subsequently. In Feb 1918, Government permitted women to vote who are over the age of 30, or either owned property or rented. As a result, 8.5 million women were entitled to vote in 1918. On 2nd July 1928, a law was passed allowing women over the age of 21 to vote.

The Second Wave:  1960s and 70s – The second wave feminist movement concentrated on eradicating the inequalities in the social and cultural spheres. Not only that, it touched on every aspects of woman’s experience—politics, jobs, the nature of woman’s work, family, woman sexuality, domestic responsibility and so on. The movement got double force with the college educated mothers who wanted to have fundamental rights for their children. The educated mothers initiated their children into feminist movements.  When women got education and began to read, the movement took a different colour and became more popular. The book, The Second Sex, written by Simone De Beauvoir, became very popular during that period because it clearly mentions the problems of women – no chance to make money, domestic responsibility, and lack of support from the society -- which hinders the growth of women.  Through the second movement, women got the right to education, right to work, and right to vote. Betty Friedan, an American feminist writer, was a key player in the second wave. Her book the Feminine Mystique,1963, gives a new horizon for women. She argues --how false it is that woman is satisfied only with child bearing and homemaking and the woman’s identity is fixed by father, husband and sons—this is completely wrong.  The book is considered to be one of the most influential books of 20th century. Betty Friedan launched modern feminism, an intellectual movement of the 20th century. Betty Friedan advocated career oriented independence for women instead of domestic life which limited her scope of growing and establishing her identity independently.

On the other hand, women faced some other disheartening issues like banning of abortion and contraception—which was indeed a violation of women’s rights. Way back  In 1918 , an American lawyer, socialist,feminist named Crystal Eastman had written that birth control was the fundamental right of a woman. The movement had become so strong at that time that even the President of America was compelled to address the issue. So, President John.F.Kennady had created President’s Commission on The Status of Women and Eleanor Roosevelt was to lead it. This report supported nuclear family and preparing woman for motherhood.

The Third Wave: It started in 1990 and has continued till today. It began in United States.

This wave focused its attention on financial, social and cultural inequalities and how to equalize them.  Second and third wave feminists now focused on developing individuality and identity. The third wave feminism concentrated on Consciousness-raising—making women to understand that male domination would hamper the individual growth of women and identity and these feminists engaged in Micro-Politics. Third wave feminists used personal narratives as form of feminist theory. With these personal narratives, they stated that the definition of feminism differs from period to period.
With right to education, right to vote, right to work, women have excelled in many fields. Education has given them confidence, security and identity. Women now are holding better positions and their status too has changed both economically and socially —more independent and identity conscious they have become. Women on par with men have entered into all fields – navy, army, air force, which were not open to women earlier. Now we are seeing some real changes, but still a long way to go.




Sunday, 8 March 2020

Women's Liberation Movements: Existence and identity of second sex


On the eve of International Women's Day, one needs to know the struggle women have put forth for the last so many centuries to achieve the identity and status today.



The word Woman connotes compassionate, loving, sacrificing, empathetic, dutiful, obedient and tolerant – the list goes on. Who have linked these adjectives to the word Woman and why? These adjectives are not chosen by women themselves but by men.  With these very adjectives women have been conditioned physically, mentally, psychologically and emotionally for centuries by men, the superior sex. These very adjectives glorify woman’s soul and ego and have  been misleading  the women for centuries and  have led them to servitude finally. Men have been clever in selecting these adjectives which have emotionalized and sentimentalized  women to oblige and do things, which no doubt benefited men unendingly for centuries. The process of conditioning starts the moment the girl is born. What to do and what not to do – are dictated from parents. The discriminatory guide lines are set from parents from the childhood for the girl child. In this conditioning process, a girl starts growing, which certainly diminishes her confidence and positivity.  Over centuries, efforts have been made to bring equal status to women, but the rate of success seems very marginal even today.
One needs to go through the history of feminism to note what kind of efforts have been made and since when. A brief look into the history shows how women have fought continuously  to get fundamental rights and to seek and establish their existence and identity.
History of Feminism
If the word Feminism had not been invented and not popularized, things would have been quite different for women even today. With the movement of feminism, an awareness was brought into women, which certainly helped women to move on new lines and find their own identities. Feminist movements spread across the world creating a consciousness among women about their existence and identity.  Enlightening women, these movements emboldened them to assert their fundamental rights hitherto neglected and denied to them.  In the course of time, women resolved to switch their roles and to change the age old perception of them. Slowly, gracefully, with determination, women started liberating themselves. Feminist movements, no doubt, made women conscious of their rights – political, social and economic rights   – voting in general elections, getting education, holding jobs, getting good payment – raising their voices against domestic violence, against rape and so on—formed the basis of their agenda.
Mary Wollstonecraft was the first one to raise the question of gender equality at the time of Enlightenment. Rousseau, the father of Enlightenment, defined about a democratic state where all men were equal. Here the Mary Wollstonecraft  questioned the discriminatory attitude of Democracy towards women —and tried  to expand the concept of democracy by equaling women with men. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman was  her first published feminist treatises.Wollenstonecraft's insights led further to feminist movement which was called suffragetts.
The Feminist History can be divided in to three phases such as the First Wave , the Second Wave,the Third wave.
The First Wave : The first wave occurred in the 19th and early 20th century and this movement mainly focused on the Right to Vote in the General Elections.
 The second wave : The second wave was at its height in 1960s and 1970s and it focused on women's liberation.
The third wave : The Third Wave feminist movement started in 1990 and has continued up to the present time. During this phase, the movement focused on issues like financial, social and cultural inequalities.

 The First Wave:  The first wave started in 19th century. British women and men had made efforts to secure voting right to women in 1860 itself. But it was in 1906, first time, the word “Suffragett” appeared in a British Newspaper. It was a campaign held by women demanding their right to vote. When a leader like Emmelike Pankhurst and her daughters Christable and Sylvia founded the Social and Political Union(WSPU), in 1903, the movement  got an impetus. Its slogan read like this “ Deeds not Words”. As the years rolled by, the movement became aggressive and militant in nature. When Suffragett movement was going strongly, the breaking of war in 1914 curtailed its movement suddenly. Emmelike Pankhurst and others joined war to serve. As a result, around one million women joined war. May be the participation of women in war was an eye opener for many and for many transitional things that took subsequently. In Feb 1918, Government permitted women to vote who are over the age of 30, or either owned property or rented. As a result, 8.5 million women were entitled to vote in 1918. On 2nd July 1928, a law was passed allowing women over the age of 21 to vote.

The Second Wave:  1960s and 70s – The second wave feminist movement concentrated on eradicating the inequalities in the social and cultural spheres. Not only that, it touched on every aspects of woman’s experience—politics, jobs, the nature of woman’s work, family, woman sexuality, domestic responsibility and so on. The movement got double force with the college educated mothers who wanted to have fundamental rights for their children. The educated mothers initiated their children into feminist movements.  When women got education and began to read, the movement took a different colour and became more popular. The book, The Second Sex, written by Simone De Beauvoir, became very popular during that period because it clearly mentions the problems of women – no chance to make money, domestic responsibility, and lack of support from the society -- which hinders the growth of women.  Through the second movement, women got the right to education, right to work, and right to vote. Betty Friedan, an American feminist writer, was a key player in the second wave. Her book the Feminine Mystique,1963, gives a new horizon for women. She argues --how false it is that woman is satisfied only with child bearing and homemaking and the woman’s identity is fixed by father, husband and sons—this is completely wrong.  The book is considered to be one of the most influential books of 20th century. Betty Friedan launched modern feminism, an intellectual movement of the 20th century. Betty Friedan advocated career oriented independence for women instead of domestic life which limited her scope of growing and establishing her identity independently.

On the other hand, women faced some other disheartening issues like banning of abortion and contraception—which was indeed a violation of women’s rights. Way back  In 1918 , an American lawyer, socialist,feminist named Crystal Eastman had written that birth control was the fundamental right of a woman. The movement had become so strong at that time that even the President of America was compelled to address the issue. So, President John.F.Kennady had created President’s Commission on The Status of Women and Eleanor Roosevelt was to lead it. This report supported nuclear family and preparing woman for motherhood.

The Third Wave: It started in 1990 and has continued till today. It began in United States.

This wave focused its attention on financial, social and cultural inequalities and how to equalize them.  Second and third wave feminists now focused on developing individuality and identity. The third wave feminism concentrated on Consciousness-raising—making women to understand that male domination would hamper the individual growth of women and identity and these feminists engaged in Micro-Politics. Third wave feminists used personal narratives as form of feminist theory. With these personal narratives, they stated that the definition of feminism differs from period to period.
With right to education, right to vote, right to work, women have excelled in many fields. Education has given them confidence, security and identity. Women now are holding better positions and their status too has changed both economically and socially —more independent and identity conscious they have become. Women on par with men have entered into all fields – navy, army, air force, which were not open to women earlier. Now we are seeing some real changes, but still a long way to go.