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Heat

Humankind evolved to dance, sing, share and express ourselves, but this is often repressed in our local communities, this unexplored energy can become dormant, leading to unidentifiable frustration, self-doubt and illness. We have therefore cooked up a pulse quickening 5 day program of film, music, dance, art and performances designed to get you hot under the collar, up and active and enlivened to dance, sing, speak out, debate and celebrate life, the natural world and womanhood.

Film Screening

Pre-conference films

‘Shri Jasnath Asan is one of India’s only ecological Ashrams, dedicated to the protection and worship of the natural world. Situated in the heart of Rajasthan, it is a glimmering green jewel in the crown of the Thar Desert, where guests can soak in the desert sun, lose themselves in the sound of bird calls and find peace to fully re-connect with the natural world.

- List of Films -

Cotton for my Shroud, Kavita Bahl & Nandan Saxena 2011- tries to understand from a grass-roots perspective what is driving Indian cotton farmers to despair and unsheathes the diabolical designs of multinational corporations to control seed supply.

Women and Religion in India, Disha Arora – is a journey of one woman across the country to create a dialogue about the weakening of women’s rights under the guise of religion.

A Pestering Journey, K.R. Manoj 2010 – is a documentary film exploring two similar pesticide tragedies in post independent India, Pestering Journey interrogates the legitimate forms and technologies of killing available in a culture.

Guhya, Kirtana Kumar 2000 – is about a journey and a search for different truths. Historically speaking, mother-goddesses date back to Harappa, and pre-Vedic societies that were matriarchal and pastoral or agrarian.

Scribbles on Akka, Dutta Madhusree 2000 – is a short film on the life and works of the 12th century saint-poet Mahadevi Akka. Akka means elder sister in Kannada, the language in which she composed.

I Cannot Give You My Forest, Nandan Saxena & Kavita Bahl, 2014 – is a forest song…a film which enshrines the wisdom of the Kondh adivasis as they live in harmony with their surroundings.The forest is a metaphor to the adivasis of their sovereignty and lays bare the futility of man-nature conflict.

Fragments of a past, Uma Chakravarti – locates the life and work of a woman political activist in her everyday existence, the relationships she lives out at home and in her work and the political affiliations she tries to hold together, even as they are subjected to multiple stresses.

pooja nathawat

Pooja Nathawat will be exploring ancient classical dance traditions of India. Her performances present a sophisticated vocabulary of unspoken language using the hands, eyes and facial muscles, interpreting and translating the legends and spiritual ideas of the Vedas through movement. Pooja Nathawat is a disciple of Guru shree and KM Jaykrishnan Ambadi , as well as a graduate student from Shree Aacharaya School of fine arts in Chennai.

nightly puja ceremonies

Pujas (rituals) with fire, song and drumming will be performed at sundown each night in the asan mandir (ashram temple). All Ashram inhabitants and visitors join in the repetitious kirtan, learn to play the symbols, blow the conk shell, and call out with the deep base of the buffalo skin drums. Burning ghee, coconut and cow dung fill the air with the true essence of the desert. When the heart is set free the dancing begins, rising and spinning with eyes closed, expressing joy and gratitude for another full day of unexpected teachings, blessings and surprises.

fire dancing

Fire dancing is a unique performance distinctive to the desert region of Rajasthan, which expresses the story of Jasnathi of Bikaner. Dancers train for life in order to walk across the hot coals, which reach dizzying degrees. Jasnathi men jump upon the fire, accompanied by the beats of drums. The music gradually rises, as the tempo of the dance increases and the performance becomes ever more extraordinary, until reaching a crescendo where the dancers enter a trance-like state. The dancers perform their actions as if they are blessed with a divine protection.

INDEGENOUS TEXTILE BAZAAR & WORKSHOP

Rajasthan is famous for its extraordinarily expressive, colourful textiles and craft. Utsava Maa will bring together craftspeople from across the region, celebrating and exhibiting a wide variety of unique crafts and exquisite skills. The last two days of the festival will provide the opportunity to lend your mind, heart and hand to traditional techniques and witness some of the master craftspeople of the region at work.

undergrowth collective

Bringing together diverse skills from across Europe, Undergrowth Collective craft immersive experiences which honor the power of nature and enliven the human senses, inviting the audience to reconnect with the forgotten magic of the natural world.

Installation & Land Art

Bringing together diverse skills from across Europe, Undergrowth Collective craft immersive experiences which honor the power of nature and enliven the human senses, inviting the audience to reconnect with the forgotten magic of the natural world.

art workshops & exhibition

A wide variety of artists will be hosting workshops reflecting the beautiful natural environment at Shri Jasnath Asan and the surrounding desert lands, delve deeper into ourselves and get our creative juices flowing! The week’s workshops will culminate in a collaborative public exhibition at the end of the festival, with opportunities for everybody to submit artwork.