Political freedom shouldn’t be separate from private freedom. Three girls – by tales, speak and dance — will map the connections between these freedoms in ‘Imaging Women Nationalists: Serving the Nation State’ at The Hindu Lit Fest 2024. When nationalism and feminism meet, and three highly effective girls practitioners of artwork and activism carry them collectively – you might be in for an evocative session.
The Hindu Lit Fest 2024 LIVE updates
Veteran dancers Anita Ratnam and Shovana Narayan, in collaboration with Dalit activist Shalin Maria Lawrence, will carry alive untold tales from India’s freedom wrestle of their session ‘Imaging Women Nationalists: Serving the Nation State’. These narratives can be set up to now and current directly. There can be two efficiency segments weaving out and in of a moderated dialogue on how home freedom is intently linked with nationwide freedom. Personal and historic narratives can be showcased facet by facet.
“You can Google the story of Captain Lakshmi Sehgal but what is not known is the number of working class women from Malaysia who were enlisted in the army during India’s freedom struggle,” says Anita Ratnam. She will inform the story, not simply within the voice of Lakshmi Sehgal, but additionally her personal. She will share the story of a lady from her household who fought for her proper to marry by alternative, in opposition to caste norms. Women’s seek for company and autonomy throughout the home sphere is hardly separate from their seek for freedom of their nation, she highlights.
Excerpted from a bigger, well-received efficiency comprising extra inventive kinds and dancers, these two performances by Anita and Shovana in Bharatanatyam and Kathak have been formed to suit the stage of The Hindu Lit Fest. “Performances engage the senses in ways that discussions and talks cannot,” Anita provides, stressing that their collaborative providing can be particular.
Shovana conveys the identical pleasure as she speaks of her efficiency a few “feisty female” who, from being bought off right into a brothel by her mother and father, turned the Begum of Awadh. “She had the temerity to confront the British. She would mount an elephant and fight them fearlessly, giving her dejected people courage and restoring their pride,” says Shovana, describing Begum Hazrat Mahal.
“She kept the British at bay for ten years. She spoke of equality and was a woman of progressive values. She even wrote poetry,” elaborates Shovana.
Shovana gently declines to speak in regards to the private story she’s going to share through the dialogue. “You will have to attend the event to hear that,” she says. She highlights that there have been “many women from all classes of society at that time who gave up everything, stepped out of their privileged positions and joined the freedom movement. These are women we know nothing about.” Our performances and dialogue will fill that hole, she says, promising that “the music will be remarkable”.
Shalin Maria Lawrence attracts consideration to how “tawaifs or courtesans were learned women” however not accorded “dignity in society or in the public memory”. She provides that “every political party is patriarchal. No importance is given to issues around women’s bodies. Even now, abortion is stigmatised.” Shalin will discuss Dalit girls, their freedom and their battle with caste. She can even discuss Ambedkar and his fashionable concepts on girls’s rights.
The session can be held on January 26 at 6.50 p.m. at Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao Concert Hall, Harrington Road, Chetpet.