Ses­sions on sand, clouds, trees at Lit Fest

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES CITY - Mo­[email protected]­

When the Times Lit Fest re­turns for an­other spec­tac­u­lar run of lit­er­ary events this win­ter and po­ets, au­thors, and artistes gather to cel­e­brate the writ­ten and spo­ken word from De­cem­ber 14 to 16, don’t miss out on the hands-on work­shops on the side lines of the fes­ti­val spe­cially de­signed to tap the re­sponse among youths and adults to cur­rent af­fairs fo­cused on gen­der, sus­tain­abil­ity, men­tal health and art.

Noth­ing ri­vals va­ri­ety, drama and ephemeral beauty as much as na­ture that will be a prime fo­cus of the work­shops with three ses­sions ded­i­cated to the nat­u­ral world – sand, clouds and trees. Only a few peo­ple may have looked at fleet­ing clouds and not imag­ined a face or a form against the blue back­ground.

For founder of the Cloud Ap­pre­ci­a­tion So­ci­ety, which has over 43,000 mem­bers in 119 coun­tries, Gavin Pre­tor-Pin­ney’s ses­sion should draw even those who may not have a tech­ni­cal in­ter­est in clouds as he teaches peo­ple to dis­tin­guish be­tween the float­ing round puffs and gets them to write a haiku poem on a cloud they pho­to­graph on their smart­phone. Ger­man artist Anne Loeper will in­vite par­tic­i­pants above 12 to dis­cover how she works with her medium – the loose and restive sand – and film a video clip of the story that they learn to cre­ate and paint in sand. One can also ex­plore the meta­phys­i­cal life that binds hu­man to trees with writer Su­mana Roy and go bird­watch­ing around Me­hboob Stu­dio with Bikram Gre­wal, Su­mit Sen and Pan­chami Manoo Ukil.

With a fo­cus on press­ing gen­der is­sues of our times, Aparna Jain, lead­er­ship coach and ad­vo­cate for di­ver­sity and in­clu­sion in the work­place will tell sto­ries of some in­spir­ing women to dis­cuss gen­der, sex­ism, men­tal health and caste. MPower that has been try­ing to cre­ate aware­ness and chal­lenge stig­mas around men­tal health is­sues will host mu­sic and dance ther­apy ses­sions as an ex­pres­sive non-ver­bal tool to re­store, main­tain, and im­prove psy­cho­log­i­cal and phys­i­o­log­i­cal health.

Sus­tain­abil­ity be­ing an­other con­cern, in­ter­ac­tive hands-on ses­sions on how to pro­duce ‘Net Zero Waste’ will in­vite those above 10 years to par­tic­i­pate in a fun team chal­lenge game with Mridula Ramesh, an ac­tive an­gel in­vestor in clean­tech star­tups. The cen­tre­piece at this year’s lit fest will be a piece of in­stal­la­tion art ex­pected to emerge from a cre­ative art and story-telling ses­sion in the hands of art stu­dents led by graphic nov­el­ist Sar­nath Baner­jee. Called the wa­ter opera, it is in­tended to be a multi-char­ac­ter in­stal­la­tion about wa­ter and its cen­tral­ity in our lives.

“The run­ning thread through the work­shops is about help­ing peo­ple step out of the mi­cro­cosm that they live in, look be­yond their race against time, traf­fic or team­mates and see things more holis­ti­cally,” ex­plained Saloni Jhaveri, cu­ra­tor of the work­shops.

(To reg­is­ter for the work­shops please log into www.times­lit­

Aparna Jain (above) will dis­cuss gen­der, sex­ism while Mridula Ramesh will host a fun team chal­lenge game

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