social change

VloMo08 : day16 - Patta Chitra Katha - traditional folk art of storytelling using visual language

today I watched a video Senthil Kumar posted a video on WADI facebook group called "Arjuna the Archer : AD 2008" - it was based on the techniques of Patta Chitra Katha

I wanted to find out more about this artform and technique, so I googled (without much luck, due to googling the wrong things) and asked the Sarai reader list and received lots of helpful information from many people. after reading about it, it reminds me a bit of the multi-media of a few hundred years ago. multiple paintings / panels on scrolls are read and music played whilst they're read, so there's a mixture of images, music, text, written / spoken word. the artists travel to different villages - equivalent to the communication methods / networks of today transmitting the multimedia messages & works. originally the works were made on cloth using vegetable based paints but these days modern paints are used and most works are done on paper. I hope the traditional methods are not lost completely! the style of painting comes from Orissa and West Bengal. modern artists use both traditional, classical topics as well as current topics & stories - they are trying out new variations of the art too, to keep the method alive and to learn new techniques & skills.

I wrote a blog post (ongoing) about Patta Chitra Katha @ http://www.aliak.com/content/patta-chitra-katha-traditional-folk-art-sto...

VloMo08 - day16

http://vimeo.com/2260235

VloMo08 : day16 - Patta Chitra Katha - traditional folk art of storytelling using visual language from kath on Vimeo.

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re-cycle wallah - redesigning Indian cycle delivery rickshaws project

The Re-Cycle Wallah blog outlines a project to attempt to redesign the Indian cycle rickshaws in Ahmedabad with aims of "lowering human exertion by at least 30% and lower maintenance whilst keeping prototyping cost under re.5000; the outcome retail price is also to be under re.5000(around $125). Simultaneously providing a micro-credit loan scheme so the riders can own their own rickshaw rather than renting from a middle man." they are interested in ideas and feedback - you can post a reply to one of the articles on their site.

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Salon Mazal

Salon Mazal was established in 2001, in Tel Aviv, Israel, by a group of social-environmental activists. Salon Mazal is a non-for-profit registered charity that serves as an information distribution center for social, environmental and political change The place functions as a store (including books, magazines and fair-trade products), a lending library, an artist gallery, a vegetarian bar and a community center where movie screenings, lectures, workshops and meetings take place.

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call centres, video magazines & more from India

I'm back in Auckland again for work, and have been catching up on emails over the Easter weekend break. A couple of emails to the Sarai reader list have led me to read about workers in Gurgaon (an industrial city with many call centres near Delhi) and watch videos from Indian women in villages producing their own video magazines.

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The first email was a blog post by Shivam Vij called "Who is a Bairagi?" asking questions about OBC (other backward classes) in India and do people there really know who these people are and how they live. The post was from a journalist who sometimes writes for Tehelka (the people's paper). The National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) has lists of names / castes for people classified as OBC. The Delhi list can be found here and full list for Indian regions found here. There's even a Questionnaire for consideration of requests for Inclusion and complaints of Under-Inclusion of backward classes in Central list - criteria such as Social, Economic and Educational.

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Another email to sarai reader list highlighted a new law resource in India - Between Law and Justice: A Law and Society Reader, a DVD database with (so far) over 400 articles on topics such as :

1. Legal histories
Colonial
Postcolonial
2. Constitutional promises and perils
3. Siting struggles: human rights and social justice
4. Roti, kapadda aur makaan: law, livelihood and development
5. Supreme, yet fallible
6. Crime and punishment
7. Access to justice
8. Citizens/denizens
9. Edge of desire: law, gender and sexuality
10. In a minority
11. Green justice
12. Media law & free speech
13. Governance
14. Life of law amidst globalisation
15. Legal education
16. Interdisciplinary challenges
17. International law

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Another email was a promo for a new documentary :

"INDIA UNTOUCHED - Stories of a People Apart" is a new documentary directed by Stalin K. and produced by Drishti. Drishti is a a collective of film & documentary makers in India.

Video Volunteers is part of the Creative Visions foundation and aims to setup Community Video Units and train local Community Video Producers to produce video magazines based on local issues which are screened monthly in 25 villages reaching more than 10000 people in these communities. Members of the communities speak about what matters to them and the CVU allows them to have a voice which is then shared with other members of the community.

http://videovolunteers.org/
http://videovolunteers.org/videogallery.php - to view the videos

India's Frontline magazine has a story about Video Volunteers.

http://videovolunteers.org/video_change.php
[quote]
The impact of social change media

Video empowers the poor with leadership and critical thinking skills and makes them partners in the development process. Even non-literates can learn to make videos in a matter of months. Here are some success stories from NGOs around the world:

* Bangladesh: Village women submitted video testimonies of the domestic abuse they have suffered and avoided intimidation in the village court.
* India: Rickshaw drivers made articulate video pleas that convinced local banks to give them loans for the first time.
* Mexico: Merely the site of a camera and fear of being caught caused police to withdraw from an illegal raid in Chiapas.
* Nigeria: A cholera outbreak was less severe in villages where a video on clean water was shown.
* Egypt: A group of women abandoned the practice of genital mutilation when they heard the call for change from community members' video interviews.
[/quote]

Other related organisations helping to teach people video making skills in India are :

Barefoot Workshops, a not-for-profit media and music based educational organization where adults and youth are taught video, photography, music, and art as a way to document their surroundings, make change in the world, and most importantly, make change within themselves.

Velugu is the largest poverty project in the state working in over 860 mandals in 22 districts and aims to reach 29 lakhs (1 lakh = 100 000) of the poorest of rural poor. Velugu enhances the poor's capacities to manage their resources and helps access public services. SERP's uniqueness is in the blend of professionals and trained activists working at the grassroots. SERP has committed professionals, Community Coordinators who are working with the poor communities. It also creates the necessary critical mass by building the social capital through facilitating the identification of community activists and trains them as barefoot professionals, as paravets, botanists, social activists etc. This cadre of rural development professionals are managed by the mandal federations.

Creative Visions - The Creative Visions Foundation was inspired by the life of Dan Eldon -- artist, adventurer and activist - who was killed in 1993 while covering the conflict in Somalia as a photojournalist for Reuters News Agency. He was 22. Founded by his family and friends, CVF is a publicly supported 501 (c) (3) organization that supports "creative activists" like Dan -- social entrepreneurs who use media, technology and the arts to create awareness of environmental, social or humanitarian issues -- and inspire positive change.

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mondo 2000

Finding my old bookmark files has made me nostalgic for the early computing days when everything was new and exciting and full of possibilities. One of my favourite magazines back in the early 90s was Mondo 2000. It was hard to get - only a few places in Brisbane stocked it, actually only two that I recall and even then it was occasional. By the time I got round to subscribing to the magazine it had finished being published and I lost my subscription renewal to the cause so to speak. At the time, it was cutting edge and the full gloss images and interviews with leading thinkers made it a great read. R.U. Sirius who was the editor of the mag has a podcast these days and can be found around mondoglobo.net. Here's a collection of links to mondo 2000 stuff:

mondo articles from the well (link updated : original link broken 25/09/2008 : http://www.well.com:70/1/Publications/MONDO )

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freeNRG : notes from the edge of the dance floor

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freeNRG : notes from the edge of the dance floor - AliaK

AliaK spoke with Graham St John regarding his new book about Australian electronic music community, travelling sound systems and DiY party culture.

GRAHAM ST JOHN : EDITOR AND COMPILER OF "freeNRG : notes from the edge of the dance floor" @ FRIGID (HOPETOUN HOTEL, SYDNEY)
SUNDAY 17 MARCH

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