Reflections on the Aagaaz Drama Jams by Amaira Srivastava

Yes, I am turning 10 in 6 days and yes, I am a part of extraordinary online jam sessions on Saturday nights America time for me and Sunday mornings India time- with participants from all walks of life! So this is how it started…and is still going on!

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Week One: My mom asked me to join an online ‘jam session’ just when I was about to go to bed. Strange! Normally she forces me to sleep early but that day she was extra nice and extra polite and asked me to…

“Co-creation” That is the new word which I find myself intrigued by. It tempts me to unravel its layers. The word has a feel of togetherness and of coming together. It speaks to me about love, acceptance, shared pride in a task completed. And it alludes to the personal kept aside for the collective- personal egos/targets/credit.

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What better example of a space of co-creation than ‘Theatre’!

For, even a theatrical piece that may be a monologue is put together by a team comprising several individuals. It is an exhibition of the expertise, skills, ideas and thoughts of each member of…

The thing that stayed with me most in the first few weeks of working with the core team of Aagaaz in the park was that no one knew the names of things but everyone knew how to make them up. We were introduced to games that seemed to have bizarre names: something about a chicken, something about spotting, something about laddus. These games themselves were familiar that I had perhaps played as a kid or in some theatre workshop, but the names had betrayed my understanding of them. Dog and the bone but not quite. Gol spot was Ghum ghum…

On facilitation in unfacilitated spaces by Akhila Khanna

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I love knowing. Knowing what game I will facilitate when, gives me a great amount of comfort, joy and confidence in spaces where I otherwise feel intimidated. With the pandemic, I felt as if my desire to know had met the face of a child sticking its tongue out and yelling “I don’t know aannnyyythinggg!”. …

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The facilitators’ collective met to discuss and imagine the possibilities of various themes that emerged from the reading of the two articles: ‘Meeting Otherness’ and ‘The Path to Practice’. The discussion was a space of ideating, listening, imagining and acknowledging. Amongst the various topics that were spoken of, key highlights that I could gather were on the themes of: ‘other-ing and otherness’, ‘care’ and the way we, as facilitators, can be self-aware for every diverse group that we interact with.

As a new member to a space, I was curious to hear everyone in the group, waiting in anticipation of…

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The dramatic space often resembles the world of pretend play that children indulge in when left to themselves. However, the structures created around a facilitated “class”, especially on an online platform can make ‘pretending’ a little more challenging. Entering a space of imagination is only possible when all the players consent to it. What role could we as facilitators play in the virtual space that encourages children to play along?

We (Devika and Akhila) launched into a month-long Process Drama with 6 bubbly 5-year-olds to explore this question. …

Reflections on a non-exhaustive list of apologies while facilitating online spaces

In our last Facilitator’s Collective meeting Subu raised an important question — how can we as facilitators BE ourselves and find ways to remain open to changes in a workshop?

This question led me to another one — what does it even mean to ‘be myself’ as a facilitator? That too right now when workshop walls have collapsed into workshop screens? My personal space — a room where I used to relax after long hours of standing and engaging with participants — is now suddenly transformed into that very…

Paolo Freire, the Brazilian educator and author, in hisPedagogy of the Oppressed” saysPeople develop their power to perceive critically the way they exist in the world with which and in which they find themselves. They come to see the world not as a static reality, but as a reality in process, in transformation.”

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I personally find that this idea of a teacher or a facilitator not presenting something finished but instead inviting people to join this always on-going and evolving process, is one of the reasons I feel constantly challenged and motivated in this field. Regardless of the…

Aagaaz Theatre Trust

An arts based organisation dedicated to creating inclusive learning spaces that nurture curiosity and critical thought while creating safe spaces for dialogue.

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