Archive for december, 2009

Backwaters of tourism

Maja’s day starts early, at around nine o’clock in the morning and continues until late evening. She walks up and down the beach, trying to sell her things. She is one of several vendours doing the beach-walk in Palolem, India, everyday. ”Do you remember me?” is a common opening question. ”Would you like to see my things?” and ”Very cheap!” Everything is sold; pirate copies of movies and music, bracelets and necklaces, stickers, beach doties, do Henna, manicure, pedicure, pinapple and coconut and much more. Many, as Maja, come from Rajasthan and travel in the beginning of each season  on the three-day trainjourney to Goa where the tourists are. They stay 6-8 months away from family and friends to earn an income and then go back.

Tourism is the prime industry in Goa, handling, according to wikipedia, 12% of all tourist arrivals in India. In 2004, there were more than 2 million tourists reported to have visited Goa, 400.000 were from abroad. The goal of 2020 is, says today’s Goan issue of The Times of India, to improve infrastructure such as roads and carparks, but also to change focus from only sun and beaches to promote the local agriculture, food and culture. A necessary thing, if, as said in the article, Goa want to be able to compete with other tourist attractions in the world such as Thailand and Malaysia. But with tourism travels problems such as drugs and prostitution, and worries are put forward that a whole genereation of Goan youngsters are lost in drug trafficking.

The pros and cons of tourism has been put forward in the local papers the last two weeks, very much triggered of a story of a young Russian girl being raped in Goa by a policeman. The story was lifted in the papers with the headline: ”Is Goa safe for tourists?”. Today’s paper pose a retoric question: ”But are Goans safe from tourism?”

New job opportunities are created and formed. The old one changes. The young man at the bar in Palolem used to as a kid run around an almost empty beach, where the only industry was fishermen. Now he works at one of the popluar hang-outs at the beach. And Maja, 37 years old with most of her family left in Jaipur, Rajasthan, has during the past five years done the journey to reach the tourists and business opportunity. How many foreign workers that reach Goa each season to work is hard to find an exact figure of.

How do deal with tourism is a delicate question. An interesting reflection of African cultural production and what attracts the global cultural entrepreneurs is written by Francis B Nyamjoh, Head of Publications and Dissemination in Sengegal, in ”Cultures and Globalization: The Cultural Economy”. Somehow relevant in Goa.

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Categories: Blogg Economy India

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28 december, 2009

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NUROPE VISITS NÄTVERKSTAN

The 11:th of December was Nätverkstan the proud host of Nurope. Nurope »is a mobile philosophical laboratory for reflection on the challenges European leadership is facing in the creative tension between business and art». The Gothenburg session gathered an audience of 20-30 participants. The speakers was David Karlsson from Nätverkstan who talked upon the topic »Cultural Policy in a Global World? Experiences from Sweden». In the afternoon followed a discussion on the topic »The Art Firm and Cultural Entrepreneurship Case: Nätverkstan Kultur i Väst». It was a honour for Nätverkstan to be the host of Nurope and we will hope to participate in Nurope again.

By Olav Fumarola Unsgaard

Olavs presentation is available as a pdf for download.

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More about Nurope:

http://www.nurope.eu

Categories: Art Art and Business

17 december, 2009

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Toonskool • Education in animation

Satyajit Ray, the very well-known Bengali (Indian) filmmaker (1921-1992) says in his book first published in 1976, that he learnt one lesson of film making. It is ”(…) by far the most physically demanding of all activities that are dignified by the epithet ‘creative’”. ”The whole process takes place in three broad stages: writing, filming and editing”, he writes and continues: ”All three are creative; but while in the first and the third one uses mainly one’s head, the second calls for the use of all one’s faculties – celebral, physical and emotional – going full steam at all times.”

Somehow our meeting at Toonskool, the education on animation, is about this. It’s about film making with animation, where you need several skills: craftsmanship of animation, cinema and film, filming, lighting, editing…Toonskoll started in 2004 and is India’s first degree programme in animation we are told. They have around 1000 students around India and the school is about the Art of animation. The focus is on the Artistic side and they even offer a course in acting so the student will better understand movement on stage as they animate their films. The concept is a lot about ”learning by doing” with the idea that you learn from your mistakes.

School of Film Directing in Goteborg has prolonged ideas of starting a school of animation in Sweden, and in the light of Toonskool, this seems necessary. How else will the field of animation evolve? Tarik Saleh, a film maker in Sweden, just launched the first full-length animated film in Sweden, Metropia (see clip below), a great piece of work. But how do you get more people involved in such risky and difficult projects? How do you make sure that skills are there for future projects?

An interesting discussion where film making, film directing and animation films seem very close in the thinking behind the making.

The visit is part of an exchange set up by Region Vastra Gotaland and Karnataka. Read o former post on animation in West Sweden and the making of Metropia here.

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14 december, 2009

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Education in cinema II • Bangalore

Gunilla Bursteadt and Leif Eriksson from Film School of Directing in Göteborg are discussing film education in Bangalore with Prakash Belawadi, filmmaker, and N Vidyashankar, Suchitra Cinema & Cultural Academy. What should an education look like with the aim of educating independent filmmakers in the Indian context? How do you secure a multi-level and cross-cultural approach in education?

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The visit is part of the exchange between Karnataka, India, and Region Västra Götaland, Sweden that started in 2007.

11 december, 2009

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Art and entrepreneurs

Archana Prasad, an Artist in Bangalore, has been extremely active the last year. It started about a year ago when she was having her first single exhibition in Bangalore and confronted the lack of Art spaces. There was no good Art space around at a decent price. She had her exhibition, but out of the experience grew a drive to find solutions.

So she started, together with colleague-Artists, a series of initiatives. Jagaa, described in the former post, was one of them. What if you could build a movable Art space and use empty spaces in town to temporarily put it up? The solution was one architect with a piece of land and a construction-site solution of an open gallery. The construction fits into one container when taken down into pieces and takes about a day to put up.

Together with a collective of Artists, she started another gallery, Samuha, where they shared a space to put up exhibitions. Just recently the Artist Raghavendra Rao had an exhibition called ”Between Yes and No”, where poetry met performance and movement. Archana is also releasing a web-based journal starting next week, Art and the City, where the Art scene in different Indian cities will be analyzed.

Another interesting space is 1 Shanti Road, an Artist led initiative that is a venue for exhibitions, seminars, debate, space and incubator of experimentation of contemporary Art.

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7 december, 2009

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Communicating with the other side

At 18.30 Bangalore time, people from three different places in the world; Göteborg, New Dehli and Bangalore, opened a communication with each other. Through shouting into a well.

Mandana Mogghadam, based in Sweden is the Artist behind the project. If you shout down to a well it echoes and sounds like you get a respond. What if someone was on the other side hearing your shouting and responded? What if we could communicate through the soil to the other side? The idea is fantastic and also reminds me of the tail as a child in Sweden that was said when digging in the ground. If you dig long enough you come to China.

In Bangalore the well was built by local expertize at the Jaaga. The gallery is in itself an interesting story. It’s built as a construction-site, open-air, with recycled billboards as walls. The grounds are lent to the Artists running it by the Archtitect V Naresh Narasimham who runs an architect firm near by and owns the land.

At the end of the evening a group of people from the native tribe Adivasis, situated in the central parts of India. They live in poverty and face two different threats, one being they are constantly abused by other groups and don’t get the justice they have a right to, secondly by governement who is trying to solve a growing middle class in India by taken on traditionally farming and forrest land. The performance was part of a round-trip to engage people from all over India in their fight. An interesting mix of Art, global communication, social practice and activism at an open gallery for anyone to drop in to.

The visit is part of the exchange between Karnataka, India, and Region Västra Götaland, Sweden that started in 2007.

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5 december, 2009

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Education in cinema • Bangalore

”There is something furiously wrong with the University!”

On the seminar ”Education in Cinema: a framework for studies and skills training” in Bangalore on the fourth of December, cinema and film education was debated. There is a need for film education with a holistic and artistic point of view, not only the handicraft on how to handle technical equipment, one statement was. On the other: Why make a dichotomy between commercial films and non-commercial? Is one more valuable than the other? And finally:

The Film Academy had invited in association with Centre for Film and Drama, and the showcase was the Film School of Directing at the Göteborg University. A unique example of film directing education also in Sweden, and it has been very successful. The audience, with representatives from film society in Bangalore, University,  animation, film associations and filmmakers, agreed  that there is a need for an education similar to the one in Göteborg. The debate was rather on who should take this initiative and why on earth has the University not taken it already? It’s their job to provide good education with different content, but they haven’t done anything so far? Prakash Belawadi, well-known filmmaker and theatre person in Bangalore, is straight forward in his opinion and with persistent states the above quote.

There is a balance between creativity and academy, is the experience from the Artistic faculty in Göteborg. A balance that is difficult sometimes and the only way to deal with it are to guarantee Artistic quality and always keep close contact to the Artistic practice. Not so easy, when you simply get caught up in the structures of the academy as a headmaster or lecturer. As the old saying that you suddenly defend the structure you were opposing once you work within it. It’s difficult to stay oppositional or even critical within the system.

The visit is part of the exchange between Karnataka, India, and Region Västra Götaland, Sweden that started in 2007.

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4 december, 2009

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What is democracy?

Vienna-based Artist Oliver Ressler just released a video-installation exploring the question: ”What is Democracy?”. Well, it’s actually not the (one) question, but two, he states on his website. One is focussed on how the parliamentary respresentative democracy and the conditions around, the other is encircling other options. What would a more democratic system look like? Artists and activists representing eighteen cities around the world have been interviewed since 2007, everything recorded on video.

The installation consists of eight videos: 1) “Rethinking representation” (16 min.), 2) “Politics of exclusions” (23 min.), 3) “Secrecy instead of democratic transparency” (13 min.),  4) “New democracies?” (23 min.), 5) “Is representative democracy a democracy?” (22 min.), 6) “Direct democracy” (22 min.), 7) “Reclaiming Indigenous politics” (18 min.) and 8) “Should we consign the Western democracy model to the ash heap of history?” (13 min.). The installation has been launched, and started of in Berlin. At the moment it can be seen at the Biennalie de Lyon.

3 december, 2009

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Authors

Lotta Lekvall
Director of Nätverkstan, a Cultural Organisation in Sweden. Nätverkstan provides services …

Cultural and Social Entrepreneurship

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