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Learning basics and a lot more with novel ‘Eco-Theatre’ camp

By E.M. Manoj

On the banks of the gurgling river Kalindi, surrounded by lush green patches of the Begur forest, a group of children learned their first steps of performance and expressed themselves through a novel concept called “Eco-Theatre”—a pioneering initiative in the State.

The five day multi-cultural and multi-lingual performance workshop, organised jointly by the Balasabha of the Kudumbashree Mission, Wayanad, and Hume Centre for Ecology and Wildlife Biology, has turned out to be an unforgettable experience for 68 children from the hill district, including 25 kids from tribal communities.

The residential programme, titled Tierra (theatre in Greek), was mainly focused on understanding the current issues being faced by Wayanad such as climate change, urbanisation and land fragmentation, nature conservation and human-animal relationship, said C. K. Vishnudas, Director of Hume Centre. “It (the programme) also discussed how a multi-cultural lens sees and understands issues and different relationships that emerged over the years”, he added.

During the five days, children themselves conceived, designed and performed five different themes such as post-disaster community life, human-animal relationship of tribespeople, man-made pollution in water bodies, forest restoration and deforestation during the British era.

One of the key features of the eco-theatre experiment was that the participants had to identify suitable locations such as forests, riverbanks, rocks, wetland and village settings for their performance; they had to recreate various habitats where the audience were taken to experience the performance. 

“By using a devising performance methodology, the participants have gone through constructive knowledge creation and they showcased it from their own experiences. The site-specific feature of the programme made them feel about their own land in a new perspective,“ said Devendranath Sankaranarayanan, the programme director, a theatre researcher and performing artist.

The participants also interacted with resource persons from various fields including Sukumaran Chaligadha, a poet and member of the Kerala Sahitya Academy; Binu Kiduchilan, an actor and musician; N. Badusha and M. Gangadharan, environmentalists.  They also handled different sessions in the workshop.

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Dive Deeper:
The Argentinian artist breaking barriers with ‘non-binary geometry’ – and furries
With a roomful of genderless ‘furries’, Ad Minoliti is challenging the male-dominated language of modernism
RTE announce a musical about the Late Late Toy Show
But host Ryan Tubridy says he won't be dancing and singing on stage
ISRO successfully tests rocket booster for the Gaganyaan mission
The static test was conducted at Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.
Top news developments in Karnataka on May 13, 2022
Here are the key news developments to watch out for from Karnataka today
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Little Black girls simply didn’t get to see a reflection of themselves as Disney princesses... until now
Why the lead actors in Beauty and the Beast at Manchester's Palace Theatre represent a watershed moment for theatre
Diversity forges success of Cannes cinema workshop for budding filmmakers
Myanmar-born Taiwanese filmmaker Midi Z will be back in Cannes for this year's international film festival. No stranger to the…
Get all your news in one place