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|DARPANA NEWS LETTER SIGNUP FORM|
Art for Change
Anandshala Project “Vhalu Maru Viksit Gaam” (2005-2006):As a part of “Behavior Change Communication for the Survival and Development of Children in Valsad District” launched by UNICEF, this project included training of 50 kids each from 10 “Aanand Shala” Model Schools and 50 kids from 10 High Schools of Valsad District. The project mainly dealt with health, hygiene, HIV/AIDS, girl’s education, and sanitation.
HIV and AIDS (2002-2004): Darpana for Development has done several different projects on this subject for different agencies including the Gujarat AIDS Society and PSI. This has entailed working with doctors and health workers in developing many scripts, tackling the medical and social impact of the disease for at risk populations including truck drivers, sex workers and their clients and port labour. Darpana created a special team and conducted 30 different performance pieces over 700 times, all specially created and written exclusively for this issue.
Leprosy (2002-2003): This project was commissioned by the Ministry of Health, Government of Gujarat. As part of the Government’s anti-leprosy drive, it was performed all over the State more than 50 times.
Addiction (2001-2003):Performances have been created and conducted for the Cancer Research Institute, Ahmedabad, on the health issues of alcohol and tobacco addiction. The venues have ranged from city streets to railway stations.
The UNICEF Projects (1999-2005) : The initial project dealt with the issues of maternal mortality and infant mortality using traditional out-of-work Bhavai performers who toured 40 villages in the Mehsana district of Gujarat. The team worked closely with UNICEF doctors and local health workers.
The second phase of this successful project had the Darpana for Development team training two other groups of local Tamasha performers in Visnagar and the Dangs with the same messages. Twenty artists were trained for three plays portraying ways to avoid maternal mortality. The main intention of the plays was to make the public aware about ways to take proper care of newborn babies and the mother at the time of birth and how to reduce the death rate level of both the mother and child. The project team led the artists through a series of theatrical exercises, which build discipline, focus, and communication skills while teaching them how to work and create together. The project staff helped the participants and local health workers, identify the issues impacting their lives which had a bearing on mortality rates, and taught them how to express these experiences through dance, poetry, drama and other artistic expressions.
In the third phase of the project in 2005, the work expanded to working with four more Tamasha groups in 200 villages, tackling wider issues of health, HIV and attitude towards the girl child. UNICEF’s surveys show nearly 80% recall of messages given through this media one year after the performances were seen
A series of 30 fillers for the Ministry of Health, Government of Gujarat, for broadcast on all regional channels on preventive care.
“Shakti” Project (2009-10): This project involved 150 performances in 75 villages of Chhota Udepur taluka of Baroda District, Gujarat State. Before commencing the project, the team of Darpana for Development researched the status and role of women in the region. Through exploring these attitudes and their alternatives through theatre, we hoped that Shakti would remind women and men of a woman’s strength, a woman’s rights, and a woman’s own potential to excel and contribute to their communities. The performance piece was created on the basis of the data gathered from the research. The project had two phases. The first phase included the training of youngsters at Darpana, selected after an audition and the second phase involved the performances. The project was funded by ArtVenture/ArtAction.
Fatehpura (2004-2006): This project was an experiment in directly working with a village rthen than as a communication agency. The village of 2000 households was “taken under the wing” by Darpana. Weekly performances on overall development were followed by discussions, medical camps and livelihood training for women. Self help savings groups were formed, women were found home based employment and a women’s dairy was formed and still runs successfully.
Five films on women Sarpanch-s (2003-2004) : A series of five films on women sarpanch-s, rural leaders, doing exemplary work in the field of the environment. Funded by UNDP Small Grants Programme. For distribution to women’s groups nationally.
Asopalav - Music videos (2002-2003) :For this project for the Ministry of Human ResourceDevelopment’s Adult Literacy Programme, 30 music videos on issues of women’s empowerment, literacy, functional literacy, prejudice, the environment and communal tolerance were created and shown on national TV.
Aapni Bapor (2002-2005): This three year project funded by Ford Foundation was telecast on Doordarshan, Gujarati from October 2002. Over 750 hours of programming in all genres of television- fiction, non-fiction, music videos, interviews, quizzes, chat shows were used to talk of women’s empowerment. The themes highlight many aspects of women’s issues including legal rights, health, career counseling, nutrition, social taboos and much more. The programmes are now being used by NGOs and government agencies to educate people on the issues.
Vidya: the girl-child (1999-2002): To tackle the multiple problems surrounding girl children living in the slums of Ahmedabad, Darpana for Development ran a three year project funded by The Community Fund, U.K., to change attitudes of slum dwellers through interactive plays. Aimed at challenging attitudes which block the development of girl children, Vidya staged over 500 performances and nearly 750 workshops using the Boal technique. The group was made up of slum dwellers that went through intense training in the Boal technique.
In Search Of The Goddess (1999 onwards):Commissioned for its exhibition Devi by the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, this show was creatd and performed by Mallika Sarabhai and continues to be performed even today.
Kasuki Diary (1998 ): A 13 part serial in Hindi about rural women’s issues, in a fictionalized form. This was created in Jahbua, Madya Pradesh for a DECU-ISRO development project.
Parivartan (1995-1998) & (1998-2001) : This long running project for tribal women covered a wide range of issues that related to their well being, health, education, social position, family welfare and their ability to make life choices, especially concerning family size. Funded by the McArthur Foundation of Chicago this was Darpana for Development’s most path-breaking and well documented project with the most exciting statistically significant results. By putting together a group from amongst the adivasi tribals of Banaskantha in Gujarat, for whom the project was created, and by training them as actor activists who intervened in their own societies, using their own beliefs and myths creatively, this project is a landmark in social communication through the arts. Even today the effects of the project are in evidence in there not having been a single case of witch hunting amongst the project villages (common around the area); there being a consistently high enrolment of girl children in schools; there being no return to alcoholism in the concerned villages; there being a total ban on marriages during the monsoons, a ritual which used to waste a month of the crucial sowing period.
Parivartan Ki Kahaniya (1989-1992): A 13 part serial in Hindi about rural women’s issues, in a fictionalized form which was part of the special development communication project of DECU-ISRO for Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh.
Sita’s Daughters (1990 onwards):A one woman show conceived of and written by Mallika Sarabhai and John Martin. The material was based on surveys and case studies from womne’s groups across the nation. The piece has ben performed omore than 500 times in Hindi, English or Gujarati in over 20 countires.
Shakti: The Power of Women (1989-1990): A one woman show written by Mallika Sarabhai and John Martin and directed by John Martin. This show was path breaking in its use of theatre, music, martial arts, dance and story telling combining together in a one woman show talking of empowerment.
Anhad (2008) : In partnership with ANHAD, this project included training 50 youngsters on street theatre from different parts of Gujarat. They gave 400 performances across Gujarat State based on themes like communal harmony and violence.
Sva Kranti – The Revolution Within (2006): A solo perforamnce piece created by Mallika Sarabhai and Yaavan Chandran in the form of a personal dialogue between Sarabhai and Mahatma Gandhi, and an exploration of the paths taken by different people over time to follow ahimsa. A multimeia performance.
Vaividhyotsav - Celebrating Diversity (2003-2004) : Vaividhyotsav was a project undertaken by Darpana Communications with the help of Royal Netherlands Embassy, in order to bring in notions of tolerance and peace through the media of television. The programmes were telecast on DD11,Gujarati Doordarshan. The language was usually Gujarati. The project ran for one year.
Peaceworks (2002) : An audio CD on the significance of communal harmony. It included special compositions by Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Javed Akhtar, Fazal Qureshi, Louis Banks, Shubha Mudgal, Gauhar Raza, APJ Abdul Kalam and Indian Ocean.
Exploring Violence (1998-2000) : Based on the experiences and a real-life incident from the lives of the people who belong to a community called Charas, a denotified criminal community still at the receiving end of a lot of police violence, a group of their youth was trained to perform a searing play called Budhan. The play was then taken around 30 sensitive schools, and workshops were conducted among 15 to 17 year old children on the feelings and situations of violence and of being violated. The aim was to sensitize youngsters on different kinds of violence and their numerous thresholds.
V for …… (1996):A performance piece created by Mallika Sarabhai and John Martin tracing, in the style of old cabaret, the genesis of violence in each of us and in society. This has been performed extensively across the world.
The Violence Project (1995-96): With Darpana’s Centre for Non-Violence Through the Arts, this was a pilot school project run in Amrit Firdaus School in Ahmedabad with 100 children aged between 5 and 12. The children were envouraged to explore their own feelings of violence and of being violated through various activities, in order to be able to deal with their aggression and to appreciate the need for non-violence.
SRISHTI - THE ENVIRONMENT QUIZ (2005 – 2011): Over the last 6 years, four editions of this eco quiz has brought together thousands of Gujarat’s school children into thinking about the environment not as a class room subject but as an integral part of life. It is funded by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.
Three plays on Bio dependence (2003): For GEER Foundation, a series of three plays on wild animals and birds and their crucial role in the eco-system were created and performed for schools all around Gandhinagar, in the Gandhinagar nature reserve by the Gujarat Forest Deaprtment and Darpana.
Environmental Awareness for Children (2002):Funded by UNDP, this project involved the re-creation of a traditional Bhavai play “Vanravan No Vesh” based on environmental degradation. The play was performed in around 30 Municipal schools, which encouraged children to come up with solutions and active plans to prevent environmental degradation on their own.
Chokhe Chokhi Vaat (2001-2002): Commissioned by CARE India for Kutchch after the devastating earthquake in Gujarat in 2001, this performance was based on the significance of clean water, garbage clearance and sanitation and hygiene. The Darpana actors performed 30 times in the affected areas, where post earthquake work was being carried out.
Kaan Gopi No Vesh (2001-2002) :Folk theatre “BHAVAI” was employed for bringing awareness on the environment. Funded by CEE, “Kaan Gopi No Vesh” performanc was based on Krishna Radha in a forest. It was performed in the municipal schools in Ahmedabad city.
Jagruti-2 (1994): The success of the first project Jagruti-1 led to an invitation by the Municipal School System, for training teachers from 500 municipal schools to execute and implement Jagruti-1 project in these schools which included training sessions on environmental activism for 200,000 children. This was done through a series of workshops over one year. Teachers were trained in the use of performance to initiate activism and new thoughts in the field of environmental action. This project was funded by ETC, India.
Jagruti-1 (1991-1993): Funded by ETC, India, this 3 year project was conducted in 10 municipal schools in Ahmedabad. It was aimed at making young children from slums into environmental activists. Tackling issues like garbage, unavailability of drinking water, contaminated food, high cost and polluting energy, the actor activists introduced each subject with a performance and, also spent two months getting the group to take initiatives in finding solutions to their everyday problems. The project was funded by ETC, India
Hum 2 (2004-20005): A project based on communal harmony took place in Chhota Udepur, Sabarkantha and Banaskantha. The team went to 100 villages for performances and conducted workshop with children from the audience. The project was funded by the Royal Netherlands Embassy.
HUM 1 (2003-2004):In the aftermath of the violence in Gujarat in 2002, this project, funded by the Royal
Netherlands Embassy was launched in conjunction with Darpana Communications’ ‘Vaividhyotsav’.
The project, aimed at confronting children and youth with the prejudice that leads to hatred and violence, and the futility of it. Aimed at involving them into rethinking prejudice, the project has gone into over 120 colleges and 200 schools. The group of 8 trained actor-activists also carried an exhibition of panels giving facts about the minority and majority communities in our country.
Sat (2006): This was planned as a series of TV shows to be aired on Doordarshan Gujarati for 6 hours a day over a year to use the most popular genres of TV to empower and educate people. It was tried for a month, with two hours of programming a day covering the subjects of health, women’s issues, chat shows to solve current problems by offering a forum for discussion, adolescent issues and real life fiction. It was then shut down due to political interference.
Sat Prabhat: A morning show bringing good news, introducing ordinary people who make a difference, a tip on how to save the world one day at a time, and a comic take on commonly broken rules and why they should be followed.
Sat Chat Show: In a society where difference of opinion leads to break downs (as between roadside shops and municipal authorities or between parents and children or between auto rickshaw drivers, the police and the public) the aim of the show was to provide a platform where concerned parties could come and discuss the issue to find a solution. This became one of the most watched shows on Doordarshan 1.
Amulotsava (1995-1996): A project for Amul Dairy for development of co-orporative dairy functions and to motivate women to become involved in the co-operative dairy in the villages of Anand District of Gujarat. As a part of this project, 7000 puppet shows of seven different productions were organized across the district.
A visual representation of our projects in the last 20 years.