Curated by Kishalay Bhattacharjee, ArtEast is an initiative to raise pertinent questions through Inter/Sections in art, livelihood, social justice, climate change, communication, history – past and present, issues that have a far reaching impact on our everyday lives.
An underlying focus of the festival is on art, livelihood, migration, documentation and discussion. It began as an attempt to try present the Northeast region and its neighbourhood from a more contemporary perspective. The project seeks to go beyond the region and the usual traditional dance/music extravaganza that has been the norm. This will be the third edition of the festival.
Launched in 2017, Arteast is a fringe art festival presenting emerging and leading local and international artists in all genres of the performing and visual arts.In the last 3 years, ArtEast has commissioned and produced over thirty-five local productions across genres including theatre, music, cinema, expositions and installations.
ArtEast partners with amateur and professional artists to produce fringe art and invests in arts education for young people.
ArtEast organises a diverse range of “Festival PLUS” activities to enhance engagement between artists and audiences including lecture demonstrations, masterclasses, workshops, symposia, exhibitions and meet-the-artist sessions. One of the festival highlights has been the traditonal tea-tasting sessions.
A tribute to M P Ranjan, design evangelist and one of the world’s top design thinkers. Ranjan was a senior professor and a principal faculty at the National Institute of Design, (NID), Ahmedabad till his death in 2015.
A mixed media installation that takes the viewer through a tunnel travelling and experiencing the transitional point of green space to grey space- the crisis of ecological disorder and the un-sustained urban pressure.
Sukant Panigrahy - New Media Artist
Kaur Chimuk - New Media Artist
Illustrating life and living in the North East by Biscoot and Rain
Visual Artists: Sirawon Khathing and Ben Ezra Ning
Directed by Anushka Meenakshi & Ishwar Srikumar who will introduce the film.
A musical portrait of a community of rice cultivators and their memories of love and loss in Phek village, Nagaland.
Presented by Rida and the Musical Folks and Dak_ti Craft
Bengal Shadows (45min/English) Directed by Partho Bhattacharya and Joy Banerjee
Screening of Bengal Shadows followed by panel moderated by social scientist Shiv Visvanathan in conversation with the filmmaker Partho Bhattacharya.
The Great Bengal Famine of 1943 is considered by many to be one of the worst holocausts in modern history owing to what is perceived as either the willful negligence or the active connivance of the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. We know that Churchill diverted food and medical supplies meant to help starving Bengalis, to theatres of war fearing above all, Hitler’s advance in Europe and the Japanese advance through East Asia during World War II. We know too that he felt contempt for his Indian subjects and, in particular, their efforts at principled resistance to colonialism. Yet many questions remain around the famine. Was it even a purely localized Bengal famine or were its effects felt further afield? What was the real cost of these millions of deaths from mass starvation and why is it an almost forgotten episode of history?
By Dak_ti Craft
Sha Shiahkrot is an indigenous tea preparation from the root of a wild plant that is found in the forest of Meghalaya in North East India. The part that is used for the tea preparation is the root which is flashing red on the inside and brown on the outside. one single shiahkrot plant can bear up to 10 of such roots that are supplying the plant with rich nutrients and medicinal properties. The taste of the tea is described by locals as refreshing and aromatic, unique in its spice-like but mild flavour that feels soothing to body and soul. Though being a medicinal plant, it doesn't taste strong or even bitter but rather slightly sweet and fruity. The major threat to shiakrot today is the massive deforestation, which is taking place due to large-scale cash crops, coal mining and fire wood exploitation.
The traditional snacks made from ancient grains, traditionally grown, and unique. Still using the age-old cooking methods and cooked in earthen pots. This original food has been the same for years - pure, simple and wholesome.
The black clay kettles and platters will be used to serve the tea and snacks
Ima Sabitri (57mins/Subtitles) Directed by Bobo Khuraijam
Film on actor Heisnam Sabitri and her incredible sixty years in theatre.
A display of traditional tableware and cookware range developed by Dak_ti Craft and a team of women potters from Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya.An interactive session by Dak_ti Craft with Milda Shylla and Yophie Shylla.Conceptualised by Rida Gatphoh
The film revolves around Kongthong, a hamlet in East Khasi Hills about 60km from Shillong, and a traditional practice called the Jyngwrai Iawbei. The tradition is to have musical tunes as names in honour of the clan ancestress. The song names come as an expression of the mother’s love for her new born.
The jungle war that was the China-Burma-India campaign of the Second World War was the most unconventional, colourful and dramatic of battles. Marked by internecine squabbles and political intrigues, and coupled with enormous stakes, neither the Allies nor the Axis powers were willing to let go of this front. From the heroic transport flights over the “Hump” of the Himalayas to drop supplies to the Chinese resistance to the most prodigious engineering feats of the Manipur and Ledo Roads, this battle was amongst the fiercest and demanded ingenuity at all levels. Who were these mavericks and why were the powers so desperate to control this front? What was really at stake in this, till recently, little acknowledged and yet critical, theatre of war?
Kai Friese, Journalist; Ruchir Joshi, Writer and Film-maker; Hemant Katoch, Author and Researcher; Catriona Child, Writer Moderated by Professor Kishalay Bhattacharjee, Author and Journalist
The ‘Old Silk Route’ or the ‘Other Silk Road’, which passes through east Sikkim, was probably discovered by traders in 1st century ACE. A part of an ancient network of trade routes, for centuries it served as a lifeline connection between China and India. But besides trade, the ‘Roof of the World’ has held an irresistible allure for many political powers that have fought to dominate the Tibetan plateau. By the 19th century, the Great Game was afoot and the British colonisers of India launched dozens of spies disguised as pilgrims and monks across the Himalayas onto the plateau; in many ways that Game continues to play out today even as some players have endured and others have not.
Panelists:Professor Siddiq Wahid, Author & Historian; Diki Sherpa, Researcher; Professor Parimal Bhattacharya, Author and Teacher Moderated by Dr. Gitanjali Surendran, Historian
A concert by Mi Ku, a contemporary folk ensemble from Nepal
Pushpa Palanchoke, vocals; Kobid Bazra, sarangi; Samyog Regmi, guitars; Riken Maharjan, abss; Bikesh Bazra, nagara; Merit Maharjan, percussions; Prabin Maharjan - drums, Sangam Panta - sound
Mi Ku, a contemporary folk ensemble from Nepal, sings about ‘Mitho Kura’, meaning sweet things of all sorts. They depict this very motive in the form of warm and witty poetic expressions, and in music that is derived from a wide array of world music.
Its unique and soulful compositions aim to stage human emotions as raw as they could be. The sound and song structures are the passionate outcome of conscious attraction towards various Nepali Ethnic Music, of which storytelling is integral and ‘expression’ remain as the ultimate goal. Meanwhile, the effort is to present Nepali sounds in an avant-garde manner.
India International Centre
40, Max Mueller Marg