kiskiKAHANI (the Ramayana Project)

300 Ramayanas and Counting . . .
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Some things are best said with shadows

Posted on by Imran

Evan Hastings runs a program called Shadow Liberation which works with gender violence using shadow theatre. Evan spent a weekend with us and the students of Yashvant Rao Chavan School, Pune talking about the Ramayana. The first day was spent getting the students to do small performances using theatre exercises. On our first day Evan spent some time with the students talking about the tradition of shadow theatre. He led the students through a series of theatre exercises and the making of shadow puppets using cardboard and a pair of scissors. With the Ramayana as our focus we began to tell the students about the many Ramayanas, the diversity of the narrative and began to raise questions on the notion of the ‘ideal man’ and the ‘ideal woman.’ Using the Ramayana as a base, Evan talked about gender inequalities, violence against women and how we could participate in social change. The students created scripts based on the Ramayana they knew, some they had never heard of and others that they created themselves.  With all this done we were ready for our first performance! This is what we did. The students of Yashvant Rao Chavan School have, since Evan’s workshop, been in touch with us and have attended our other programs and performances. This is what we did!    

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