march 06 programmes

March 8th is International Women's Day commemorating women coming together across boundaries of all sorts. The Attic celebrates women's creativity with not a day but a month of programmes. Is there a particular woman's way of being and seeing? Individual and personal journeys through photography, literature, poster art, film, activism, dance, music, spirituality and healing open the door to an unexplored world of possibilities. In the Attic's intimate space explore the diversity of women's works and lives as they lead us from ethereal themes of eternal beauty to the life of a domestic worker, show us images of and by women, hear stories of life and love at home and abroad and let the meditative exploration of sound empower and move you to a higher plane.

wednesday 8th - 31st march
10.00 am to 5.30 pm 'Photography Exhibition Saadiya Kocharr'

In Chinese philosophy Yin and Yang are used to describe feminine and masculine energy. They are intertwined one being dependent on the other and all of us containing aspects of each. In Indian philosophy feminine energies show a spiraling of consciousness to a higher frequency and the reunion of self and soul through the sacred geometry of creation.

Saadiya Kochar is a fine art photographer who has been depicting the feminine energy in all her works. Her current work titled 'zikr' is an ode to the self and the depicted through women.whirling in Gurdjieff dances and belly dancing. Most of this work has been shot specially for our ‘Womens Month'.

saturday 11th march
6.30 pm 'In the World But Not Of It' - A talk
by Mandira Srivastava

The natural Sufi may be as common in the West as in the East, and may come dressed as a general, a merchant, a lawyer, a schoolmaster, a housewife, anything. To be 'in the world, but not of it, 'free from ambition, greed, intellectual pride, blind obedience to custom, or awe of persons higher in rank; that is the Sufi ideal." (Robert Graves).

Mandira lives her life as an everyday Sufi, and shares her point of view on the Sufi life. She works with people using Reiki, Crystals and Dance Meditation for healing and self empowerment.

monday 13th march
6.30 pm 'In Quest of a Hindi literature in America'

A personal journey Readings of excerpts from Amrita Pritam's Pinjjer ( skeleton ) and Seema Khurana's 'Chhoti Si Rasoi (A small,little kitchen)' and 'Adhhoora Anth (incomplete ending)'

When was the last time you were told a story? Come and recapture that sense of wonderment as you listen to Seema Khurana's dramatic reading of an excerpt from Amrita Pritam and her own creative writing. She maps her journey of becoming a creative Hindi Diaspora writer living and working in America.

In this interactive evening Seema invites you to discuss the experiences that become stories. In stories, by and about women, she questions if women have really changed or is it just their circumstances that have changed?

Seema Khurana teaches Hindi at Yale University. She has been
in USA for almost three decades. She started 'Sandeshi', a project of nostalgia and passion, giving voice to Hindi literature and bringing it to life. This pioneering effort to create Hindi books on tape began with a narration of 'Pinjjer'. Amrita Pritam's writings have been a constant companion, anchor and solace from an unusual youth to the encounter with her writings whose fine sensibility opened a window and 'allowed' Seema to write. Seema has published and presented her short stories. poems and play in India and America.

thursday 16th march
6.30 pm 'Poster Women - A slide presentation and talk of posters from the womens movement in India'
by Urvashi Butalia

Poster Women is a unique project put together by the feminist publishing house Zubaan. It attempts to map a visual history of the women's movement in India through its posters. Focusing on the last 30-40 years, Zubaan has worked closely with nearly 200 women's groups all over the country to collect posters used in various campaigns in the movement. These include the campaigns against violence, rape, dowry, the campaigns for increased political participation, better health facilities and so on. This project will not only create an archive of women's history, but will also illustrate the politics and aesthetics of the movement.

PosterWomen opens at the Lalit Kala Akademi on the 22nd of March 2006.

Urvashi Butalia is co founder of Kali for Women the first feminist publishing house in India and founder director of Zubaan Books. She has combined her passion for books and women in both publishing and in her active involvement in the women's movement in India. Her major work, "The Other Side of Silence: Voices from the Partition of India" has been published by Penguin in India, Duke University Press in the US and translated into six languages, and won the Oral History Association Award 2000 as well as the Nikkei Asia Award 2003. Currently, she is working on two major projects, one on sexuality and the other on gender and conflict.

saturday 18th march
6.30 pm 'Young Dancers Festival Koochipoodi'
by Nandhini Nandhan

Women in Tradition :

In her programme titled 'Women in Tradition', Nandini Nandan explores the multiple moods and movements of the Nayikas (heroines) who constitute the popular subject matter of Koochipoodi dance. The motifs range from the celestial to the earthly.

tuesday 21st march
6.30 pm 'Mantra and The Metaphysical Significance of Shakti the Goddess - An experiential talk and audio-visual presentation' a talk
by Shruti

Indian Spiritual Sadhana deliberates upon Shabda-sound, word and language as emanations and embodiments of Shakti, the feminine Creative Source of the Universe, the Goddess as eternal vibration in time and space. The Goddess is experienced in many metaphysical and physical forms, energies and symbols. These energies are then experienced and absorbed through various sensory inputs such as Mantric seed sounds (Beeja mantras), physical symbols such as mandalas, time-space cycles as the Yugas and Societal diversities as the Chaturvarna in Indian tradition.

This talk will be experiential with live demos of Prakriti and Shakti Beeja Sounds as well as ragas, their role in the healing and inner transformation as well as the larger role of Shakti consciousness in the global future of Society.

Shruti, a Delhi Ratna award recipient, is an educationist, faculty developer, orator, documentary maker, Vedic Scholar, Sound healer and Musician. She has been exploring the growth of consciousness through Indian spiritual Practices and the science of sound,and its scientific applications in health and the development of consciousness, through clinical and experiential research. She has given music concerts internationally, and her Mantra and music CDs along with her workshops continue to influence large and multi-cultural audiences in India and abroad. She works with Unesco, is India Head of Infinity Foundation , has written "Indian Philosophy at the University of Hawaii and is presently writing a book on the "Beeja Mantra".

saturday 25th march
6.30 pm 'The Creative Process - A workshop'
by Komal Mathur

The physical, emotional and intellectual, the entire being is part of a creative process that we somehow manage to block. This workshop is an experiential journey through the processes of thinking, feeling and sensing. A widening of perspective and perception! A cleaning up of the senses… Coming closer to the body in the here and now … being available to the moment, to realize our full creative potential and freeing our creativity from linear thinking and programmed expression.
Both Western psychological and Eastern spiritual knowledge systems are brought together.

Komal Mathur, is a Counselor Therapist, trained in the use Transactional Analysis (TA) as a tool of analysis, problem solving and growth . She combines TA with Reflexology, Reiki, Crystal Healing, AuraSoma, the knowledge and wisdom of the Chakra System, Breathwork, bodywork, movement, Active Meditation as an integrative process for healing and change. She teaches Reiki , Osho meditation and Gurdjieff sacred dances.

tuesday 28th march
6.30 pm 'A Life Less Ordinary - A talk and A 26 minute documentary film about her'
by Baby Halder

In 2005, Baby Halder, a domestic worker, wrote her life story. The book ,"Aloe Andhari" (From Darkness to Light) published first in Hindi and then in Bengali, will be pubished by Zubaan under the title, A Life Less Ordinary. Married when she was barely thirteen, a mother at the age of fourteen, Baby was subjected to terrible violence by her husband. With nowhere to go - her mother had walked out of the house with her younger brother and her father had remarried twice - Baby decided to leave when she could no longer face the continuing violence and suffering. With great difficulty she found her way to Delhi and found work in the home of a man who encouraged her to read, and then to write. Aloe Andhari became an instant bestseller and Baby acclaimed as an unusual writer. She has now finished work on her second book.

friday 31st march
6.30 p.m  SAMA…….  Led by Akash Dharmaraj

Womens month culminates with an invitation to view and use some ancient techniques, to enter a state of centeredness, emptiness and silence. Akash will use two different techniques.
The Sufi way Zikr, remembrance, which will take us through the different layers of our being & bring us in touch with our inner self. ‘Sufism’ is neither a religion nor an ideology, but a vast sky of a particular quality of consciousness, an ocean of remembrance… a merging with existence. We will explore the beauty of Sufi poetry with readings from Rumi. And experience music and the dervish dances of Gurdjieff.

The evening will conclude with a ‘Sama’, the Mevlevi Sufi ceremony that symbolizes the union with existence, with whirling, a human reflection of the cosmos, a movement where we dissolve ourselves into existence, love and wildness flowering into the experience of meditation.

Akash Dharmaraj is a clinical Psychologist and practicing Physiotherapist. Working with people over the past thirty years she has understood the depth of mind-body connections and builds healing systems around individuals and groups using ancient techniques and modern clinical philosophy. She is a Reiki master, an instructor in Gurdjieff sacred dances and Fourth Way techniques. Her therapeutic interventions include crystals, essential oils, colours, meditations and traditional chakra healing systems, music, movement and dance.

She has recently established Akhaldans a healing space for those who are seeking wholeness, wellness and meaning in their lives.