Consultation on Culture 12 August 2006

Consultation on culture for ISF Held on 12.8.06 at the Gandhi Peace Foundation


A meeting was held on 12.8.06. to discuss possibilities of including culture
at the ISF. The specific objectives of the meeting were:-

  1. To create a Delhi working group for culture at ISF.
  2. To identify cultural sectors and events that must be represented
    at the ISF.
  3. To identify facilitators for each area.
  4. To develop a time line for work.

The following people were present:-
Rahul Roy, Sanjay Maharishi, M. K. Raina, Mukul Sharma, Ayushman, Jaya Iyer,
Sanjay Mohan, Shefali Bhushan, Sanjay Kak, Lokesh Jain, Vijay Kumar Kalia,
Sehla Hasmi, Sweta Singh, Chandrasen Kumar, Anil Mishra, Amaresh Ganguli,
N. K. Sharma, Probir Purokayastha, Yousuf Saeed, Ranjan De, Gargi Sen


  1. Gargi Sen explained that the meeting was to create a working group
    that could take the responsibility for implementing culture at the ISF.
    Most of the people present were working artists based in Delhi but who
    were connected to networks locally and nationally. And their involvement
    would be necessary to give a concrete shape to cultural interventions
    at the ISF.

  2. There was some discussion on whether a plan for the space should be
    first created and then people could respond or whether it was better
    the other way around. Probir Purokaystha from the Venue and Logistic
    explained the venue that is the grounds outside the Jawaharlal Nehru
    Stadium. Three grounds are available with a combined area of nearly
    18 acres. But all the grounds are not immediately available. And the
    V&L committee needed some input from the Cultural team to be able
    to plan the venue.

  3. Mukul Sharma asked the group as cultural activists how were they
    visualising ISF? That there was a need to emphasise diversity and folk
    forms. And how to mobilise groups from the rest of the country.

  4. The discussion then moved to theatre. M. K. Raina said it was possible
    to get groups from the rest of the country and emphasise folk theatre.
    NK Sharma asked about support to these groups, where MK felt that the
    state zonal centres could sponsor such groups. Probir explained that
    some solidarity accommodation will be available. Sehla Hashmi from Janam
    said that they had already provided a requirement – it had been
    discussed that there could be four stages. Janam agreed to facilitate
    the street theatre and Pravah offered to help. M. K. Raina and N. K.
    Sharma would facilitate folk and proscenium theatre.

  5. Rahul Roy said that the Delhi Films Archive had discussed the ISF
    and were proposing a few film based events: an international film festival
    on labour, a curated film festival from the DFA archive and third, an
    open call on the themes of the ISF. Details were still being worked

  6. Discussion then moved to music. Shefali Bhushan said Beat of India
    could help to locate and bring folk musicians to the ISF. Also Gurpreet
    Siddhu of People Tree had volunteered to help with music. M. K. Raina
    said that apart from folk music and new and experimental music, there
    should also be choirs, groups who sing songs of protest, IPTA songs.
    Shefali Bhushan agreed to facilitate music.

  7. Moving to exhibition and visual arts Yousuf Saeed said that he was
    interested to create an exhibition on Amir Khusrau, the 14th century
    sufi poet from Delhi who traversed many borders. This would provide
    a glimpse of Delhi as well as its culture of protest. Amaresh GanguliThe
    visual arts needed a theme and he agreed to facilitate the visual arts/

  8. As none of the group who work with literature/ publishing were present
    Probir volunteered to discuss with Left Word and their associate to
    look into the possibilities of creating a space for literature and reading.

  9. Sweta Singh volunteered to create a blog on Beirut that can be turned
    into an installation.

  10. There was some discussion on a central theme for the ISF and a suggestion
    was that of using Protest as a central theme, or alternately, to use
    harmony as a theme.

  11. Mukul Sharma invited the various members of the Delhi Working Group
    to the different mobilisation meetings that were planned around the

  12. The next meeting was fixed for 22 August 2005 when the different facilitators
    would bring to the table concrete plans. The venue is Banga Bhavan,
    Hailey Road, at 5 p.m.


The facilitators are:

  1. Street theatre: Sehla Hashmi & Vijay Kalia (Janam) and Pravah
  2. Folk and Proscenium theatre: M. K. Raina and N. K. Sharma
  3. Films: Rahul Roy, Sanjay Kak, Gargi Sen and others (Delhi Film Archive)
  4. Music: Shefali Bhushan (Beat of India)
  5. Exhibitions/ visual art: Amaresh Ganguli
  6. Literature: Probir to follow up with Left Word
  7. Blogs on Beirut: Sweta Singh