The idea began forming in August of 2012, as thousands of people from the North East of India fled from Bangalore. The exodus was unprecedented, and it brutally exposed the fault-lines running through the social and psychological fabric of this city.
Since that moment, I have watched one scam after another, a Prime Minister who would say nothing, and now a Prime Minister who speaks much, politicians without even a frayed strand of a moral fibre, rage that cannot distinguish between an animal and 15 year old, suicide after suicide, majoritarianism being confused with democracy, rapists who don’t even spare a 10-year old, banking apps on the phone but no money in the bank…
Do I feel proud? Must I?
I am a theatre maker, it is in my nature to be troubled, to agonise, find ways to engage, enliven, and enrich our imaginations – both individual and collective, so that we are not left limited by our political masters. Yes, Mr. Prime Minister – sankalp se siddhi (attainment through resolve) has been in place long before you arrived. Ask us artists…
UR/Unreserved is an arts project developed in partnership with Maraa (Bangalore), Macbeth Drama (Dhemaji), Help Foundation (Srinagar) and Innerspace Little Theatre (Irinjalakuda). The 15-month project, which officially began in December 2016, involves the efforts of 14 artists excavating the more complex aspects of identities.
This work is a celebration of human diversity, a gentle resistance to the single hue.
This blog is also a refusal to be ‘blocked as per the directions received from Department of Telecommunications, Government of India‘ – as questions remain: why the ‘block’? where are these ‘directions’? why have we not ‘received’ them? where is this notification, or at least a copy?
The work will happen… with honesty, transparency, creativity and love.
UR/Unreserved is supported by a host of friends, family, acquaintances, and complete strangers. We also have the support of organisations such as India Foundation for the Arts.