The ninth edition of Muktadhara, a bi-annual International forum theatre festival organised by Jana Sanskriti since 2004, was held in 2022. This festival creates connections among artists and academics from all across the globe on the principles and evolving practices of the Theatre of the Oppressed – a theatre form developed by Augusto Boal in Brazil that enabled people to discuss concerns on their own terms.
Jana Sanskriti was seen, particularly in the post-Boal era, as the main point of reference for all who belong to this theatre school globally. People from all across the globe come and assemble here and get themselves known. The festival programme typically includes workshops, academic exchanges and spectator engagement-heavy performances. The festival doesn’t take any sponsor or institutional grant. Participants from across the globe come on their own and pay a respectable participation fee and thus act as sponsors. The festival is a learning space for art practitioners from Africa, South America, North America, Europe. As Al Jazeera reported in its coverage of the Muktadhara festival in 2013, ‘All participants are not professional actors, but all believe in the contribution of art for social change and the possibility to tackle issues like immigration, domestic violence, or food security through theatre.‘
At Muktadhara-IX, Forum theatre groups came together from all over India and engaged the people of Kolkata in debate on issues that are local as well as national, thereby reaffirming the idea of theatre as a tool for collective learning. Academics and theatre personalities from all across the globe also participated at this festival.
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How to get there
How to Reach Kolkata
1. By Air: The Kolkata international airport, better known as the Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, is located at Dumdum. It connects Kolkata with all the major cities of the country as well as the world.
2. By Rail: The Howrah and Sealdah railway stations are the two major railheads situated in the city. Both these stations are well connected to all the important cities of the country.
From the organiser:
From Howrah Station, you could take a train to reach Madhyamgram railway station. Outside, you hail a toto which will take you to Madhyamgram Chowmatha crossing, from there you follow as above.
3. By Road: The West Bengal state buses and various private buses travel to and from different parts of the country at a reasonable cost. Some places near Kolkata are Sunderbans (112 km), Puri (495 km), Konark (571 km) and Darjeeling (624 km).
From the organiser:
From the airport, you can take a bus (any bus which is Barasat bound) to reach Madhyamgram Chowmatha. From there, you get a toto/auto to reach Badu Itkhola more. You go in the lane to your right, and go straight till the end of the road (Hanuman Mandir). From the Mandir you take left, and then follow the road. Our centre is located to the right, just a few steps ahead of the Genetic Engineering College to your left.
- Camping area
- Food stalls
- Free drinking water
- Masks mandatory
Items and accessories to carry
1. Make sure you carry light woolens and a shawl to tackle the December chill in West Bengal
2. A sturdy water bottle, if the festival has refillable water stations, and if the venue allows bottles to be taken inside the festival site. Hey, let’s do our bit for the environment, shall we?
3. Footwear: Sneakers (a perfect option if it’s not likely to rain) or thick sandals or chappals (but make sure they are worn in).
4. As you can camp, carry a sleeping bag and mosquito nets/repellants.
5. If you are an international traveller, the festival needs a copy of your passport and valid visa, with two passport size photographs.
6. COVID packs: Hand sanitiser, extra masks and a copy of your vaccination certificate are things you should keep handy.
About Jana Sanskriti Centre For Theatre of the Oppressed
Jana Sanskriti Centre For Theatre of the Oppressed
Jana Sanskriti(JS) Centre for Theatre of the Oppressed established in 1985 was the first…
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