Mumbai weekend cultural calendar: King of Drag at La Ruche, the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, and more

Mumbai weekend cultural calendar: King of Drag at La Ruche, the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, and more
Photo Credit: The Daily Pao
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FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 5
ART Thinking Tantra at Jhaveri Contemporary
A group show of works that refer to the Hindu practice of tantra by 16 Indian and international artists such as Prabhakar Barwe, Biren De, Alexander Gorlizki, Prafulla Mohanti, Jean-Luc Moulene and Jagdish Swaminathan.
When: Until Saturday, March 5. Open Tuesday to Saturday, from 11 am to 6 pm; Sunday and Monday, closed.
Where: Jhaveri Contemporary, 2, Krishna Niwas, 58A Walkeshwar Road. Tel: 022 2369 3639.

TALKS Meera Subramanian and Darryl D’Monte at Mumbai Press Club
Meera Subramanian, US-based journalist and author of Elemental India: The Natural World at a Time of Crisis and Opportunity, will be in conversation with Darryl D’Monte, chair of the Forum of Environmental Journalists of India.
When: Friday, February 5 at 4 pm.
Where: Mumbai Press Club, Mahapalika Marg, Azad Maidan, Fort. Tel: 022 2261 6463.

PERFORMANCE Tape: King of Drag at La Ruche
In this energetic show, theatre actors Sheena Khalid and Puja Sarup play a couple of drag kings, that is, women who dress and act as men. See here for our review. [email protected] to book tickets, which are priced at Rs 400 per head, and will also be sold at the venue.
When: Friday, February 5 at 6.30 pm and 9.30 pm.
Where: La Ruche, Third Floor, Link Corner Mall, junction of 33rd Road and 24th Road, near KFC, off Linking Road, Bandra (West). Tel: 022 3395 6099.

MUSIC Keli Classical Music Festival at the YB Chavan Centre Auditorium, Sahitya Mandir Sabhagruh and NBKS Hall
This year’s edition of the annual festival organised by city-based cultural organisation Keli will comprise three Carnatic classical music performances that will pay tribute to vocalist and composer M. Balamuralikrishna. Vocalist K. Krishnakumar, who has trained with Balamuralikrishna, will perform at the Y. B. Chavan Centre Auditorium on Friday, February 5 at 6.45 pm. Singer and teacher Cherthala K. N. Ranganatha Sharma will present a concert on the musical approach of Balamuralikrishna at the Sahitya Mandir Sabhagruh in Vashi on Saturday, February 6 at 6.30 pm. Cheppad AE Vamanan Namboothiri will give a recital highlighting the aesthetics of the music of Balamuralikrishna at the NBKS Hall in Nerul on Sunday, February 7, at 6.30 pm. Entry is free, passes can be collected from the Y. B. Chavan Centre, Rhythm House in Kala Ghoda, Maharashtra Watch Co. in Dadar (West) and Giri Trading Agency in Matunga (East).
When: Friday, February 5 at 6.45 pm, Saturday, February 6 at 6.30 pm and Sunday, February 7 at 6.30 pm.
Where: Y. B. Chavan Centre Auditorium, General Jagannath Bhosale Marg, opposite Mantralaya, Nariman Point, near Sachivalaya Gymkhana. Tel: 022 2204 7252. Sahitya Mandir Sabhagruh, Sector 6, near MGM Hospital, Sion-Panvel Expressway, opposite the Navi Mumbai Sports Association, Vashi. Tel: 022 2782 1551. New Bombay Keraleeya Samaj Hall, near Reliance Fresh, Sector 5, Nerul. Tel: 022 2770 1137.

DANCE Mahabharata Reinterpreted at the NCPA Tata Theatre
This Indian classical dance performance, conceptualised and choreographed by kathak exponent Shama Bhate, will reinterpret the epic through different stylistics forms performed by mohiniattam dancer Gopika Verma, Odissi dancer Ramli Ibrahim, bharatanatyam dancer Vaibhav Arekar and kuchipudi dancer Vyjayanthi Kashi. Tickets priced at Rs 300 and Rs 400 per head are being sold on Bookmyshow.com.
When: Friday, February 5 at 7 pm.
Where: Tata Theatre, National Centre for the Performing Arts, NCPA Marg, Nariman Point. Tel: 022 2282 4567.

MUSIC Kumail at Bonobo
The city-based electronic music DJ and producer, whose last name in Hamid and who specialises in ambient and downtempo sounds, will launch and play tracks from his debut album Links. There is no entry fee. See the Facebook event page for more information.
When: Friday, February 5 at 9 pm.
Where: Bonobo, Second Floor, Kenilworth Mall, Phase 2, off Linking Road, behind KFC, Bandra (West). Tel: 022 2605 5050.

MUSIC Pig and Dan at Kitty Su
The London techno and tech-house duo of Pig aka Igor Tchkotoua and Dan, whose last name is Duncan, will play the Andheri nightclub. Tickets, priced at Rs 1,500 (only entry fee) or Rs 3,000 (full cover charge) per couple; at Rs 2,000 (only entry fee) or Rs 3,500 (full cover charge) per head for single men; and at Rs 1,000 (full cover charge) per head for single women, are being sold on Kittysu.com.
When: Friday, February 5 at 10 pm.
Where: Kitty Su, The Lalit, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport Road, Andheri (East). Tel: 022 6104 3145.

MUSIC Sphere featuring Shpongle at Blue Frog
English electronic music producer Hallucinogen aka Simon Posford aka one-half of psychedelic trance act Shpongle will play a DJ set, as part of Lower Parel venue Blue Frog’s Sphere series of gigs. There is an entry fee of Rs 1,500 per head. See here for more information.
When: Friday, February 5 at 10 pm.
Where: Blue Frog, Mathuradas Mills Compound, Tulsi Pipe Road, Lower Parel. Tel: 022 6158 6158.

COMEDY Weirdass Pajama Festival at Canvas Laugh Club, Sophia Bhabha Hall and Taj Lands End
Weirdass Comedy, the company helmed by stand-up comic Vir Das, will present five shows this weekend for the Mumbai leg of its multi-city Weirdass Pajama Festival. The line-up ofThe Secret Pajama Show, which will be staged at the Canvas Laugh Club on Friday, February 5 at 10.30 pm, will be revealed at the event. Tickets priced at Rs 600 per head are being sold on Bookmyshow.com.
On the Pot With Vir Das, which will take place at Sophia Bhabha Hall on Saturday, February 6 at 6 pm and is based on Das’s video series Potcast, will feature a panel discussion with Das and fellow comics Aditi Mittal, Amogh Ranadive, Anu Menon, Ashwin Mushran, Jose Covaco, Kavi Shashtri and Suresh Menon during which they will comment on current affairs. Tickets, priced at Rs 1,000, Rs 1,500, Rs 2,000 and Rs 2,500 per head are being sold on Bookmyshow.com. In Funnypedia, at Sophia Bhabha Hall on Saturday, February 6 at 8 pm, comedians Aditi Mittal, Amit Tandon, Amogh Ranadive, Anu Menon, Ashwin Mushran, Daniel Fernandes, Jeeveshu Ahluwalia, Kavi Shastri, Vir Das and magician Max Mystel will perform multiple forms of comedy from improv and insult comedy to magical comedy and sketches. Tickets, priced at Rs 1,000, Rs 1,500, Rs 2,000 and Rs 2,500 per head are being sold on Bookmyshow.com.
Kings, Rajas and Ranis, at the Taj Lands End on Sunday, February 7 at 6 pm, will feature sets by both English and Hindi stand-up comedy stars such as India’s Vir Das, Raju Srivastav and Sunil Pal, Australia’s Jonathan Atherton and the UK’s Dana Alexander, Imran Yusuf and Mandy Knight. Tickets, the prices of which start at Rs 1,020 per head for students and Rs 1,200 per head for non-students, are being sold on Bookmyshow.com. During Planet Pajama, at the Taj Lands End hotel on Sunday, February 7 at 8 pm, stand-up comics from across the world such as Aditi Mittal and Jeeveshu Ahluwalia from India, Jonathan Atherton from Australia, Rizal van Geyzel from Malaysia, Rishi Budhrani from Singapore, Imran Yusuf from the UK, and Brad Williams, Butch Bradley and Raj Sharma from the US, will share “intimate details” from their travels. Tickets, the prices of which start at Rs 1,105 per head for students and Rs 1,300 per head for non-students, are being sold onBookmyshow.com.
When: Friday, February 5 at 10.30 pm, Saturday, February 6 at 6 pm and 8 pm and Sunday, February 7 at 6 pm and 8 pm.
Where: Canvas Laugh Club, Third Floor, Palladium Mall, High Street Phoenix, Tulsi Pipe Road, Lower Parel. Tel: 022 4348 5000. Sophia Bhabha Hall, Sophia College, Bhulabhai Desai Road. Tel: 022 2353 8550. Taj Lands End Lawns, Mount Mary, Byramji Jeejeebhoy Road, Bandra (West). Tel: 022 6668 1234.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6
CULTURE FOOD & DRINK SHOPPING & STYLE Kala Ghoda Arts Festival
The seventeenth edition of the city’s most prominent cultural festival will begin this weekend. The highlights of the first two days include a walking tour of Fort’s banking district; the launches of the books Kala Ghoda Celebrating Mumbai’s Arts District andFlavours of Kala Ghoda and panel discussions based on them; and a Hindustani classical music recital by sarod player Amjad Ali Khan and his sons Amaan and Ayaan. The events are free; entry is on a first come, first served basis. See here for the complete schedule andhere for our picks of events taking place on the opening weekend.
When: From Saturday, February 6 to Sunday, February 14, from 10.30 am.
Where: Multiple venues across Kala Ghoda, Churchgate and Fort.

CULTURE Ballard Estate Festival
The south Mumbai business district of Ballard Estate will turn into an entertainment zone with food and shopping stalls and cultural shows every Saturday and Sunday until the end of May during this four month-long neighbourhood festival organised by the Mumbai Port Trust. This weekend, the events will include music gigs by a pair of female singer-songwriters: Gowri Jayakumar will perform on Saturday, February 6 at 7.45 pm and Vasuda Sharma on Sunday, February 7 at 7.30 pm. Tickets priced at Rs 150 per head per day and at Rs 300 per head for both days are being sold on Insider.in. See the festival’s Facebook page for more information.
When: Saturday, February 6, from 2 pm and Sunday, February 7, from noon.
Where: N Morarji Road, Ballard Estate, Fort.

MUSIC TRAVEL SulaFest at Sula Vineyards, Nashik
Australian genre-blending group The Cat Empire, Israeli-American world music group Balkan Beat Box, city-based Sufi fusion rock band Kailasa and French reggae ensemble Dub Inc will be among the acts performing at the ninth edition of the annual music festival organised by wine label Sula at its Nashik vineyard. Tickets priced at Rs 2,200 per head per day and at Rs 3,300 per head for both days are being sold on Bookmyshow.com. See herefor the complete line-up, schedule and more information.
When: Saturday, February 6 and Sunday, February 7, from 2 pm to 10 pm; gates open at 12.30 pm.
Where: Sula Vineyards, Gangapur-Savargaon Road, Nashik.

MUSIC TALKS Sandhya Sanjana at MCubed Library
The singer will discuss experimenting with fusing Hindustani classical and western music styles. The talk, which is part of arts organisation Junoon’s Mumbai Local series of events, is free.
When: Saturday, February 6 at 5 pm.
Where: MCubed Library (Maharashtra Mitra Mandal Library), Princess Building, near Bandra Gymkhana, D’Monte Park Road, Bandra (West). Tel: 022 2641 1497.

ART TALKS Dilnavaz Mehta at the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum
Dilnavaz Mehta, who runs Rare Finds, a company that sells antiquarian prints and books, will give a talk titled “Early Prints of India: Cultural and Historical Curiosities”. There is no entry fee.
When: Saturday, February 6 at 6 pm.
Where: Education Centre, Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Rani Baug, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Road, Byculla. Tel: 022 2373 1234.

MUSIC Uday Bhawalkar at NRB Building
The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre Staff Club and Cultural Centre of the Department of Atomic Energy Sports and Cultural Council will host a concert by Hindustani classical music vocalist Uday Bhawalkar who specialises in the dhrupad style of singing. Entry is free and requires photo ID.
When: Saturday, February 6 at 6.30 pm.
Where: Open Lawn, NRB Building, near Homi Bhabha National Institute, Anushakti Nagar.

THEATRE 7/7/07 at the NCPA Experimental Theatre
Directed by Faezeh Jalali, this performance is based on the letters of Rayhaneh Jabbari, an Iranian woman convicted of killing a man who allegedly attempted to rape her. Jabbari was hanged in 2014. Tickets priced at Rs 300 and Rs 400 per head are being sold onBookmyshow.com.
When: Saturday, February 6 at 7 pm.
Where: Experimental Theatre, National Centre for the Performing Arts, Nariman Point. Tel: 022 2282 4567.

MUSIC Marnik at Kitty Su
Italian progressive house pair Marnik, made up of DJs and producers Alessandro Martello and Emanuele Longo, will perform the Mumbai leg of their ongoing tour of India. Tickets, priced at Rs 1,500 (only entry fee) or Rs 3,000 (full cover charge) per couple; at Rs 2,000 (only entry fee) or Rs 3,500 (full cover charge) per head for single men; and at Rs 500 (only entry fee) or Rs 1,000 (full cover charge) per head for single women, are being sold onKittysu.com.
When: Saturday, February 6 at 10 pm.
Where: Kitty Su, The Lalit, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport Road, Andheri (East). Tel: 022 6104 3145.

CULTURE FOOD & DRINK Cool Japan Festival at High Street Phoenix
At the fifth edition of this annual celebration of Japanese food and culture, there will be food stalls where you can snack on sushi, donburi and dorayaki (red bean paste pancakes) and shop for Nissin cup noodles, Yakult fermented milk beverages and Kirin soft drinks. There will also be a cosplay competition and performances by taiko drum players and kendo martial arts practitioners. See the Facebook event page for more information.
When: Saturday, February 6 and Sunday, February 7, from 11 am to 10 pm.
Where: High Street Phoenix, Courtyard, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel.

LGBTIQ MARCH Queer Azadi Mumbai Pride Walk at August Kranti Maidan
This three-hour march for equal rights for LGBITQ individuals will start at August Kranti Maidan, proceed to Opera House and Kennedy Bridge and return to the maidan. A post-Pride party will be held at Karma – the Liquid Lounge from 7 pm and for which there will be a cover charge of Rs900 per head. See the Facebook event page for more information.
When: Saturday, February 6, from 3 pm.
Where: The meeting point is August Kranti Maidan, Tardeo.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 7
SHOPPING & STYLE Diagon Alley at Bungalow 9
The inaugural edition of Diagon Alley, a shopping exhibition curated by The Petite Project, a collective that will organise fashion and lifestyle pop-up events across the city, will feature costume jewellery by The AnaRae Store, Te Maya and The Bohemian; western wear by Chola The Label; festive clutches, potlis and jholas by The Pink Potli; backpacks by Mad Rabbit Kicking Tiger; casual wear by State of Play and Bias; furniture by Salva Terra Home; ethnic wear by Brahma Karma; and menswear by Preetham Jukalkar. 2Sensitive, the electronica DJ duo of Norcotiq aka Abhi Meer and SpaceJams aka Yohann Jamsandekar, will play the pop-up from 7 pm onwards. There is an entry fee of Rs 150 per head. See theFacebook event page for more information.
When: Sunday, February 7, from 11.30 am to 1.30 am.
Where: Bungalow 9, St. John Baptist Road, near Salt Water Cafe, Bandra (West). Tel: 022 6117 9999.

TREASURE HUNT The CuriousCity Challenge in Bandra
Mumbai-based travel company Some Place Else will conduct a treasure hunt across Bandra West. Participants, who will be grouped into teams, given a set of clues about the suburb’s history, architecture, food and culture and a number of tasks to complete. The registration fee is Rs 385 per head and can be paid on Insider.in.
When: Sunday, February 7 at 4 pm.
Where: Bandra West; the meeting point will be shared with those who register.

THEATRE Internal Affairs at the NCPA Experimental Theatre
In this Akvarious Productions play directed by Adhaar Khurana, Sid has a one-night stand with a colleague soon after he takes up a new job. They start seeing each other but neither is thrilled about the development. Tickets priced at Rs 250 and Rs 300 per head are being sold on Bookmyshow.com.
When: Sunday, February 7 at 5 pm.
Where: Experimental Theatre, National Centre for the Performing Arts, Nariman Point. Tel: 022 2282 4567.

THEATRE August – Osage County at Sophia Bhabha Hall
Three sisters and their families converge at their family home in Goa when their father goes missing in this play directed by Lillete Dubey and based on a drama of the same name by American playwright Tracy Letts. As they wait for news, they drive each other up the wall as deep-seated resentments surface and blow into arguments. Tickets priced at Rs 300, Rs 400, Rs 500, Rs 750 and Rs 1,000 per head are being sold on Bookmyshow.com.
When: Sunday, February 7 at 7 pm.
Where: Sophia Bhabha Hall, Sophia College, Bhulabhai Desai Road, Breach Candy. Tel: 022 2353 8550.

THEATRE Hindi Medium at the NCPA Godrej Dance Theatre
A suite of performances in Hindi on topics that range from dentists to film festivals by writers Hussain Dalal, Raghav Dutt, Akarsh Khurana, Vijay Tendulkar, Pawan Uttam and Sumeet Vyas. Tickets priced at Rs 250 per head are being sold on Bookmyshow.com.
When: Sunday, February 7 at 7 pm.
Where: Godrej Dance Theatre, National Centre for the Performing Arts, Nariman Point. Tel: 022 2282 4567.

ONGOING
ART After Midnight: Indian Modernism to Contemporary India, 1947/1997 at the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum
Curated by gallerist Arshiya Lokhandwala, the exhibition features works of art produced after 1997, the fiftieth anniversary of Indian independence. Tickets for Indians are priced at Rs 10 per head for adults and Rs 5 per head for children below the age of 13, and tickets for foreigners are priced at Rs 100 per head for adults and Rs 50 per head for children below the age of 13.
When: Until Sunday, March 6. Open Thursday to Tuesday, from 10 am to 5.30 pm; Wednesday, closed.
Where: Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Rani Baug, Dr BR Ambedkar Road, Byculla. Tel: 022 2373 1234.

ART Jitish Kallat at Jehangir Nicholson Art Foundation
Artist Jitish Kallat’s show, Covering Letter, which is on display concurrently with Sightings, his show at Chemould Prescott Road, is a set of works based on a letter Gandhi wrote to Hitler in 1939 requesting him to rethink his violent campaign.
When: Until Sunday, February 28. Open daily, from 10.15 am to 6 pm.
Where: Jehangir Nicholson Art Foundation, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, MG Road, Kala Ghoda. Tel: 022 2284 4484.

MUSEUM EXHIBITION Tabiyat at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya
Organised by the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, the British Council and the Wellcome Collection UK, this exhibition of artworks and objects related to medical practice and health in the subcontinent is capsule of Indian medical history. Most of the exhibits are from the Wellcome Collection, a museum in London run by the medical research charity Wellcome Trust. See here for details. Tickets are priced at Rs 70 per head for visitors above the age of 12, Rs 20 per head for children between the ages of five and 12 and Rs 300 per head for foreign nationals above the age of 12.
When: Until Monday, March 28. Open Tuesday to Sunday, from 10.15 am to 6 pm; Monday, closed.
Where: Premchand Roychand Gallery, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Kala Ghoda. Tel: 022 2284 4484.

ART Jitish Kallat at Chemould Prescott Road
Sightings, the artist’s second solo show currently on display, is a series of drawings, video installations, sculpture and photographic works that deal with “themes of time, sustenance, sleep, along with an interplay of scales and proximities, and evocations of the celestial”.
When: Until Thursday, February 25. Open Monday to Saturday, from 11 am to 7 pm; Sunday, closed.
Where: Chemould Prescott Road, Queens Mansion, Third Floor, G Talwatkar Marg, near Cathedral School, Fort. Tel: 022 2200 0211.

ART Prajakta Potnis at Project 88
When the wind blows, Prajakta Potnis’s solo show, is a series of photographs and drawings in which kitchen appliances such as freezers, mixers and chopping boards are represented as components of fantastic landscapes.
When: Until Saturday, February 27. Open Tuesday to Saturday, from 11 am to 7 pm; Sunday and Monday, closed.
Where: Project 88, BMP Building, Narayan A. Sawant Marg, near Colaba Fire Station, Colaba. Tel: 022 2281 0066.

ART Sahej Rahal at Chatterjee & Lal
Photographs and drawings of performance artist Sahej Rahaj enacting made-up Jedi-like characters in places such as Vasai Fort, the rock garden in Chandigarh, Rome and Sodoshima Island in Japan make up his new solo show Adversary.
When: Until Saturday, February 20. Open Tuesday to Saturday, from 11 am to 7 pm; Sunday and Monday, closed.
Where: Chatterjee & Lal, 01/18 Kamal Mansion, First Floor, Arthur Bunder Road, Colaba. Tel: 022 2202 3787.

MUSEUM EXHIBITION The State of Architecture at the National Gallery of Modern Art
Curated by architect Rahul Mehrotra, art curator Ranjit Hoskote and writer and lecturer Kaiwan Mehta and organised by the Urban Design Research Institute, this exhibition explores contemporary Indian architecture as well as the history of architectural practice in the country. See here for details. The show is supplemented by a series of talks as well as satellite shows at various venues. For the complete schedule, visit Stateofarchitecture.in. Tickets priced at Rs 20 per head for Indians and Rs 500 per head for foreign nationals. There is no entry fee for kids studying in school up to class 12.
When: Until Sunday, March 20. Open Tuesday to Sunday, from 11 am to 6 pm; Monday, closed.
Where: National Gallery of Modern Art, Madame Cama Road, Kala Ghoda. Tel: 022 2288 1969.

PHOTOGRAPHY Pablo Bartholomew at Sakshi Gallery
Photographer Pablo Bartholomew’s new exhibition 60/60 comprises portraits of artists, writers, filmmakers and poets he shot in the 1970s and ‘80s. For more details, see here.
When: Until Saturday, February 20. Open Monday to Saturday, from 11 am to 6 pm; Sunday, closed.
Where: Sakshi Gallery, 6/19, Second Floor, Grants Building, Arthur Bunder Road, Colaba. Tel: 022 6610 3424.

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Through the artist’s eyes: Life after devastation and the politics of identity in Nepal

Through the artist’s eyes: Life after devastation and the politics of identity in Nepal
Photo Credit: manishhorizon.com
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Last year was a difficult one for Nepal. An earthquake in April killed over 8,000 people and caused widespread devastation. A few months later, the decision of Nepal’s top political parties to push through a Constitution after years of wrangling led to massive protests by marginalised groups like Madhesis and Janajatis who believe that the new charter discriminates against them.

This was, of course, rich material for the country’s artists to engage with and to create visual commentaries about. Among them are Manish Harijan and Hitman Gurung, whose work was on display at the eighth edition of the India Art Fair, which ended on Sunday.

Manish Harijan stands next to his installation Auspicious Suspicious. (Picture courtesy: Facebook.com/nepalartcouncilktm)
Manish Harijan stands next to his installation Auspicious Suspicious. (Picture courtesy: Facebook.com/nepalartcouncilktm)

Circle of life

From afar, Harijan’s installation titled Auspicious Suspicious looked pretty straightforward – luminous golden skulls mounted on golden plates on wooden blocks. But a closer look revealed the skulls had maggoty brains. An ever closer look showed that the brains were actually made of rice, lentils and corn.

Harijan said that the installation explored the notion of binary oppositions – the skull representing death offset by food grains symbolising life and regeneration.

“Through this installation I’m trying to represent the binaries that exist within our society – positive and negative, good and bad, the devil and the saint,” he said. “I’ve used the grain and the wood to symbolise life, positiveness and the strength to survive.”

Identity and politics

Auspicious Suspicious is also a testament to the circle of life, a theme that particularly resonates in Nepal after the death and destruction wrought by the April earthquake. “We believe in life after death,” said Harijan. “So in this work too there is life after devastation.”

Hitman Gurung's 'This Is My Home, My Land And My Country' (Picture courtesy: Facebook.com/nepalartcouncilktm)
Hitman Gurung’s ‘This Is My Home, My Land And My Country’ (Picture courtesy: Facebook.com/nepalartcouncilktm)

Gurung’s exhibit, This Is My Home, My Land and My Country, tackled the question of identity and the turmoil that followed Nepal’s adoption of a new Constitution last year. Groups that felt discriminated against forced a blockade at checkpoints on the Nepal-India border. This has caused a shortage of gas, medicines and other essentials in the land-locked country.

Gurung interviewed his fellow citizens during the blockade, and his exhibit is the result of his efforts to understand the psychology of ordinary people caught in a crisis not of their making.

Protest in art

This Is My Home, My Land and My Country comprised three large photographs on the wall that showed women holding up their identity cards while hiding their faces in layers of gauze. The women belong to the Tharu community from the border areas of Nepal that has been protesting against the delineation of six new states as proposed in the new Constitution. “They feel that this Constitution has not taken into consideration their political representation,” said Gurung.

Miniature bronze gas cylinders placed next to the photographs symbolised the hardships brought on by the blockade and underscored how several people in Nepal could not access amenities others take for granted. “I went and met the people affected by the blockade,” said Gurung. “It has affected their daily lives. They are cooking food on wood fires, and the inscriptions written in Nepali on both sides of the gas cylinders here are statements by these people about the fuel crisis.”

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A Kannada-speaking mixed-race journalist listens in to conversations about him as he travels through through his hometown.

'People like him do drugs, have a high sex drive': A Nigerian-Indian takes an auto ride in Bangalore

Photo Credit: Akshay Mahajan
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Over the past few years, I’ve stopped keeping track of the news on a daily basis. No good seems to come from it. As a result, I’m the last to know about anything. On Wednesday, while I was running around on a writing assignment in my hometown of Bangalore, my editors from Mumbai called me to ask whether I was safe. I wasn’t sure what exactly they meant, so they quickly relayed the news – a Tanzanian girl, beaten, stripped and paraded naked by a mob in my city with the police standing by silently – and impressed upon me the need to be careful. My initial response: unbridled laughter. I wasn’t laughing because I found the heinous incident funny but because it was happening again. As a queer person with one parent who is Nigerian and the other Indian, I was being violently reminded that it’s dangerous to be different in India.

Though I was slightly shaken by the news of the attack, I am determined to think of myself as the local I am and ignored my editors’ request to travel only by cab over the next few days. I caught an autorickshaw but it seemed like the city was determined to teach me a lesson. The auto driver turned out to be a Kannada chauvinist, who insisted on interrogating me about the reason I had learned the language, constantly checked my knowledge about the route and generally rode in a jerky, speedy, nonchalant fashion.

This kind of needling from macho auto drivers is common and expected but in the light of the recent incident, his showy and reckless driving made me aware of the attention it was bringing to me. At the next stop signal, two bikes halted on either side of the auto, suddenly there were four pairs of eyes from behind helmets staring into the auto, looking me up and down. In a few seconds, the four men and the driver began to discuss me in Kannada. They were wondered about “his rate”, “whether he was a boy or a girl”, “the origin of people like him” and insisted “that people like him with curly and rope-like hair do drugs and have a very high sex drive”. I listened silently, astonished that despite speaking Kannada to the driver, he wasn’t at the least affected by the banter. In fact, he participated quite actively in the conversation. I was rattled enough not take the ride all the way to my apartment gate.

“These things keep happening to you,” is one of the most common responses to my retelling stories of these kinds of experiences. People don’t seem to realise that the fact that I have these kind of experiences is a problem in the first place. I’d rather have had an uneventful, boring auto ride like everybody else. Or walk down the road without someone shouting, “African” at least once every day. Yes, I’ve learned to carry on with my life, to ignore these voices, and have even protected myself from hands trying to invade my personal space or mark my body. But it’s tiring and bloody exhausting.

Nobody should live with this feeling of being targeted. But the reasons for being attacked are increasing. They could be anything from being black to beef-eating. I thought Bangalore was safe but that isn’t the case anymore. These incidents are happening too often to be ignored. We can’t even turn to the police for help, because they’re the biggest perpetrators of these crimes.

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Apple Plans to Offer Subscription Content Through News App

Apple Plans to Offer Subscription Content Through News App

Apple Inc is working to make subscription content available through its News app, giving publishers with paywalls a new way to control who sees their articles, two sources familiar with the matter said.

The move would differentiate Apple News from Facebook’s Instant Articles news offering, which does not offer subscriber-only content, and would likely give Apple a boost as it seeks to distinguish itself from a growing crowd of online news apps.

The move comes as news publishers try to figure out how to work with Apple and Facebook Inc, which are important distributors of news content to their hundreds of millions of users, but at the same time are getting between publishers and their readers.

By making paid content available through its News app, Apple would give publishers a way to maintain relationships with readers and perhaps attract new subscribers.

It is unclear how Apple would authenticate subscribers or if it would take a cut of payments from readers who become subscribers through the app. Apple declined to comment.

Subscriber-only publications that work with Apple News now can either share their articles for free or just share excerpts of articles and direct readers to log on to their own websites for more. For example The Wall Street Journal, which has a paywall for most of its content, posts a handful of articles a day to Apple News.

However, publishers have been frustrated with the lack of information they receive from Apple about the readers of their content, the sources told Reuters.

“Ensuring subscription mechanisms in our off-platform distribution partnerships is critical,” said Katie Vanneck-Smith, chief customer officer of Dow Jones, which publishes the Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones is working with Apple and others to take advantage of new platforms, she added. She declined to comment on the specifics of conversations with Apple.

Released in September, the Apple News app followed Newsstand, which stored newspapers and magazines. Apple said in October that nearly 40 million people were reading Apple News, and the company has worked with more than 100 publishers as of this month.

Apple’s move is designed to counter publishers’ concerns about lack of data on who is reading their articles, the sources said.

Rival tech firms are working to give publishers more flexibility. Alphabet Inc’s Google is piloting a programme called Accelerated Mobile Pages that will allow users to search for news and retrieve articles from publishers instantly.

[“source-gadgets”]