Archive för India

Voices from the Waters

A weekend in Göteborg full of films, seminars, discussions, and art works on the water situation in the world. The inauguration film Friday night, Like Fireflies, a film describing the consequences and human tragedies due to privatization of water resources in Chile, was the first of many important voices shown Friday through Sunday.

The festival, Voices from the Waters, is an initiative from Bangalore Film Society and has been running parallel in Göteborg this year with Nätverkstan, Världskulturmuseet (Museum of World Culture), Sjöfartsmuseet Akvariet (Maritime Museum & Aquarium) and funding from Region Västra Götaland.

Today was the final day and the festival ended with a debate on the situation of water with EU Parliamentarian Isabella Lövin, and researchers Henrik Svedäng and Sverker Jagers.

1 september, 2013

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Seminar on ”Feature film production catalyzing social change.. ” in Bangalore

The three year old current culture exchange program between the state of Karnataka, India and the region of vastra Gotaland, Sweden has kept developing and does incorporate collaboration in many art and culture fields today.

Nätverkstan was part of the initiating process concerning this collaboration and is still an active actor in Bangalore.

KMV, the film, culture and media production centre based on sociala entrepreneurship in Bergsjön, a suburb in Gothenburg, has since a year back started to cooperate with Nätverkstan and Mediaverkstan.

During the Bangalore International Film Festival a joint seminar by KMV and Nätverkstan was held with Leif Eriksson from Nätverkstan as the key speaker. The seminar, held at the Department of Information in Bangalore, attracted a large audience consisting primarly of youngsters and young women, most of them active as film makers, or studying film and media production in Bangalore.

The seminar emphasized new ways of funding feature film in the ongoing digital paradigm shift  as well as a case study on ”Bloody Boys”,  the feature film produced by KMV. Topics in the seminar included issues concerning how the film was financed, how amateurs and residents in the suburb collaborated with top actors and crew from the professional part of the swedish film business. An intense discussion was initiated raising questions about filmproduction, social entrepreneurship and media production catalyzing social change.

Another aspect of the discussion also included new ways of nonlinear collaborative postproduction work in the digital flow-work. ”Bloody Boys” was also screened during the fim festival and was sold out on every screening and did receive intense media attention.

Text by Leif Ericsson, film producer and Nätverkstan

The seminar is a cooperation between Nätverkstan and KMV in Bangalore, India. Se more posts here on the exchange in Bangalore.



27 december, 2011

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Back to the future 2

The second day in Bangalore started with a meeting with Shyamal Mehta, one of the co-founders of TechJini, a company with a very impressive track record when it comes to mobile applications. He showed us no less than 25 iPhone applications, ranging from business and travel to news and games applications, many of them built for foreign companies.

TechJini could absolutely be interesting for us, since they already built a store front for an American childrens book publisher, including inbuilt reader. They have also built store fronts for OEMs.

The third day we met with Zunaa, a relatively new company, only five months old but already having eight people employed and currently hiring four more. The shared offices, and some services, with a few other companies, among them an online advertising agency, in a very posh building. The attitude here was more laid back and in some ways more like home. Perhaps it is a telling sign that Zunaa’s flagship application is the popular Indian game Tiger and Goat, available in Apple’s app store for two dollars. But they have also developed a blog service, connected to the users google account, Voar.

The mobile application development branch is practically exploding in Bangalore. On the fourth day we attended the Mobile developer conference, arranged by Silicon India. The conference was unfortunately sponsored by Nokia, a very evident fact that nobody could miss. As an example, one of the keynotes turned into a product presentation for Nokia’s latest line of communicators. That was actually quite hilarious, as the keynote speaker asked the audience if any of them had owned a Nokia communicator. About half of them raised their hands. Impressed, the keynote speaker asked them how many enjoyed the experience. Nobody raised their hands, not a single one. People started laughing about the situation.

But the first four keynotes and the following panel debate were very interesting and gave a good perspective of the present mobile application market and what to expect form the future. Some important topics that were raised:
-    Cross platform compatibility. The situation here seems much more diversified than in Sweden, with no OEM dominating. Having your application ported to several operating systems becomes more important.
-    UI/UX. The market is evolving and the user interface and experience is now as important as the functions of the application.
-    Business models are changing every 12 months.
-    The life span of an application before it needs major function and/or UI updates is 3-5 months.
-    Few mobile application development companies have the stamina to stay in the business after the first critical 12 – 18 months.

For the future we can expect applications that takes advantage of the mobile handsets inbuilt core technology, like sensors, gyroscope and GPS. We will probably see more kinds of sensors in the phones. Locality seems to be a trend and we should probably expect more location based ads, as well as a development of money transfer functions beyond mobile banking.

The conference was filled to the last seat with mostly young developers. Unfortunately, and probably due to Nokia’s sponsorship, the sections dealing with iOS and Android development very much smaller than the one dealing with QT, Nokia’s newly acquired cross-platform application framework. Although we had registered late and paid the 500 Rs entrance fee online just the night before, we managed to sneak into the iOS section after some haggling.

The keynote there was very basic in nature, an in itself interesting fact. Apparently, judging from the following questions, many developers had come there almost as a sort of extra curricular activity. That really shows the hunger for knowledge within the development sector here in Bangalore.  We couldn’t help wonder how many Swedish engineer students that would take their Saturday off school to attend a full day, paid conference – sharing knowledge they really should be getting as a part of their education.

Outside the iOS auditorium we met Indpro, a Swedish mobile application development company, based in Bangalore since the last 3 years. This is probably becoming more and more common, as many customers in the field of applications already are foreign companies. For long time relations, it makes sense to establish a local presence or partnership, just like Nätverkstan are doing with NamNätverkstan.

The night before the conference, we had updated our project specification and took the chance to discuss it with some of the attending developers. Many were interested but very few seemed skilled enough to make serious offers. At the end of the day it was still a very worthwhile experience for us, to be hurdled directly into the epicentre of Bangalore’s emerging mobile application development scene and to learn more about the challenges it’s facing, and what the market looks like.

Text: Carl Forsberg, Nätverkstan

26 januari, 2011

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Back to the future

It may sound like a futuristic, or even slightly crazy project, to travel from Gothenburg to Bangalore in search of a developer that could build a framework iPhone application, a white label, for Swedish cultural journals. But we did it anyway.

Nätverkstan has been providing services like accounting and distribution to cultural journals for over a decade. We were among the first organizations in the cultural sector in Sweden to host our own web server and we have always tried to use new technology to empower the small-scale publisher. It is about time we find a way to get the cultural journals their own applications. And we need to find the right solutions, cheap but still meaningful and user friendly.

Why Bangalore? Are there really no able developers in Sweden? Of course there are, and we have talked to some of them. And we have learnt a lot, especially by hosting our own online bookstore, Samlade skrifter. But through Västra Götaland’s strategic cooperation with the Karnataka region, we have been able to assist in the development of our first international subsidiary company, NamNätverkstan, based in Bangalore. It is our aspiration that the project to develop applications for Swedish cultural magazines could be our first cooperation. Our colleague in Bangalore, Anand Varadaraj, has been immensely helpful in setting up meetings.

And it was in Bangalore that the IT-revolution really started in the 80s. Try googling Infosys, if you haven’t already heard of them. In every nook and corner of Bangalore, young engineers, many of whom started their career at Infosys, now emerge as entrepreneurs of their own. Many of them work in the explosive mobile sector. For an organization looking to learn more of mobile applications and to develop for their clients, like us, it feels like coming home.

After an early morning arrival, some hours of sleep and a late breakfast, we set of to our first meeting with a company, Mobisy.  From what we could learn from their website they had developed a really interesting platform called Mobitop, enabling them to port standard web development script languages to all the major mobile platforms. Impressive indeed! We were equally impressed with their young CEO Lalit, who immediately understood our needs and raised a few interesting questions of usage and further development.

To be continued…

Text: Carl Forsberg, Nätverkstan

25 januari, 2011

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Cultural Innovation Seminar

Wagner is said to have stated that if everything is destroyed, the nation clinging on to art will survive. A nation ignoring it’s art ends being a nation.

Arvind Lodaya’s thoughts of cultural innovation and democratizing culture seem to begin with the same standing point. Culture, art, innovation is done in everyday life among ordinary people – i e all of us. Without the social capital – all those things that count for most in the daily lives of people (to use one of the definitions put forward) – we will be poorer. And we seemed to have lost track of this.

Civil society is mentioned in every policy document now-a-days, from local, regional, and state level in Sweden to EU. We have to cooperate with civil society, we are told. Definitions vary and no-one seem to fully understand what it means. Another fact is that policy documents rarely reach ordinary people, Arvind Lodaya argues. ”Temples of Culture” are built and nurtured; artistic and cultural institutions whose existence only gather a few initiated and seem to exclude others. It’s dilemma not only of policy makers and politicians who put a lot of money into sustaining our cultural institutions. It’s something  also pursued by artists themselves, artistic universities, and cultural and art organizations.

Cultural Innovation is about art and culture found in our ordinary lives, is the message of Arvind Lodaya. This is where the driving force for cultural change takes form. The Indian context where he takes his staning point is also like a melting pot of cultures, languages, and people. Small-scale cultural entrepreneurs are found in every corner in the urban India; tailors, fabric producers, crafts, design, game, IT-experts, writers and so forth. In Europe cultural entrepreneurs are also small-scale, although working in a different fashion and structure. It’s in this small-scale environment innovation and new ideas start growing. How can cultural institutions facilitate everyday cultural innovation and what does the interface between an institution and social capital look like? What could policy makers do to support innovation within culture?

Arvind Lodaya’s answer is clear: Innovation needs to be nurtured rather than strangled. One way is to stop reducing people to only being customers and from policy level regarding them as much more complex than this.

See the slideshow of Arvind Lodaya here. A film of the seminar will be available on Internet soon. The seminar was held in cooperation between School of Design and Crafts, University of Gothenburg, Region Västra Götaland, Encatc and Nätverkstan on May 24 2010. More on Arvind Lodaya can be found here and under cateogory ”India” on this site.


30 maj, 2010

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Visiting Scholar from Srishti

As part of the project Linking Initiatives, a project between Region Västra Götaland and Karnataka, Arvind Lodaya from Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore will be a visiting scholar for one and a half month in West Sweden. His main project is to look c_innovation_web1into the notion of Cultural Innovation and explore this further with partners from different areas. Due to this a seminar is held on May 27th. Read Arvind Lodaya’s discussion note here: arvindlodaya_discussionnote.pdf.

School of Film Directing at University of Gothenburg, and has just come back from another visit in Bangalore to continue and be a partner of the start of a Film School in Bangalore for film directing and artistic film making. Also this is part of Linking Initiatives. Read about the results here: FH/Bangalore201005.pdf.

Read more under the category ”India” or the tag ”Bangalore”.

17 maj, 2010

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Entrepreneurs in Bangalore, India

Shiva Subramanian is a cultural entrepreneur. He has a business degree, which he doesn’t use, he says: ”That’s why it works”. His view is that businesses put up so many barriers, so finally you can’t be human.

He has set up a row of different small companies and run different ideas and initiatives. His idea is to just get going, build on a social network and ”no paperwork!” He owns the Sona Towers on Millers Road in Bangalore, and has put up a space on the fifth floor for other entrepreneurs such as internetradio, an architect, a lawyer, graphic designer. What is the key factor for success we ask? The informal setup, his social network and culture.

”This wouldn’t work if it wasn’t within the art.”

Indian Institute of Management, along Bannerghatta Road within a green garden domain, would love an entrepreneur like the ones on fifth floor. On the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning the idea is to work within three areas: Research, teaching and training entrepreneurs, and incubator. In the incubator they look for unique and scalable ideas and a passionate team. During ”punchwhole meetings” they judge and try to punchwhole the idea and see how the entrepreneur respond to this. One challenge is to get the person focussed on the idea; a start-up work seventy percent with other things and not with the idea.

Alternative Law Forum is a collective of lawyers starting in 2000 with the idea that there is a need for an alternative practice of law concerning social and economic injustice. They have run several campaigns for sexual, women and civil rights and questions like: How do minorities get access to their rights?. The eleven laywers connected to ALF cover a large variety of issues, do research, campaigns and publish articles.

Running a perfume business these days is hard. Globalization has changed the market completely, and being a smaller business you just can’t compete with the large ones. The international connection is asked for by customers who would like to order a new perfume, and for a small business it’s just not possible. They have instead accepted to be in the second layer, Mr Vijayakumar explains, when he with love for his profession explains how it works.

The perfumery is one part of what they do at Vijayakumar Farm. The farm is named after the family name, where they have over the past few years planted over 250 species of plants and trees; endangered species, the sainted trees, spices and other things. One part is the breeding of a rare cow, which we are told, is both intelligent and has feelings. We also get to see a wonderful dance performance by Raadha Kalpa and the story behind traditional dance.

One sentence stay in your mind, said by one of the entrepreneurs: ”In India if you don’t succeed you die.”

The visit is part of the exchange program Linking Initiatives, an initiative between Region Västra Götaland and Karnataka in India. Read more under tag ”Bangalore” or category ”India”.


5 maj, 2010

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Cultural Innovation

Another buzzword in Europe is ”Innovation”. A word making the eyes of policy makers, economists and others shine with expectation. Last year in Europe was dedicated to the year of Creativity and Innovation and the creativity around how to get the attention from the EU Commission was interesting to follow.

As was said on the Forum of Cultural Industries in Barcelona recently, cultural and creative industries are still high on the priority list among cultural ministers in Europe. And with this also the question of how you could foster creativity and innovation within art and culture.  KEA European Affairs was commissioned last year by EU to do a study showing with facts how culture in itself had an impact on creativity.  Interesting, but is culture and art necessary always creative? And for the concept of innovation we are often stuck with the classical understanding of the word; as an invention you get patented, often found within medicine and technique. Structures are built to support and foster creative ideas within these fields, often together with technical Universities.

c_innovation_webHow does that apply on cultural products and artistic expressions? Very few of these can be patented. What would be innovation in a cultural and artistic context? What is cultural innovation? Where is the driving force for (cultural) change in society? How does cultural innovation happen?

On a meeting last week with one of the finance and support structures for SME’s put up by the Swedish state, two things were evident. They had never given finance support to cultural entrepreneurs as they could remember, and on a discussion on innovative ideas, art and culture was not on the agenda.

In May and June, Region Västra Götaland will host Arvind Lodaya, Senior Faculty and Dean, Research at Sristhi School of Art, Design and Tecnology, and an artist from Bangalore (India) as a visiting Professor. His working place will be Nätverkstan and his main focus is cultural innovation. Two seminars will be held in Göteborg to explore the topic together with participants.

Download the invitation here: Cultural_Innovation.pdf . You can also download a discussion paper by Mr Arvind Lodaya here: arvindlodaya_discussionnote.pdf. More can be read of Arvind Lodaya and Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology here. and here The residence is part of the programme Linking Initiatives, a cooperation between the state of Karnataka and Region Västra Götaland.

20 april, 2010

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Young Choreographers Platform

Did you know that in India hand movements are an important part of traditional and contemporary dance, expressing abstractions giving another dimension or parallel understanding to a story or performance? In European dance-tradition feet and foot movement have a central part, we are told. In a dance studio on Oskarsgatan in Göteborg today, dancers and choreographers from Bangalore (India) met professionals from Göteborg (Sweden) in a three-hour workshop. After warming up; experimenting with movements, traditions, experiences took place and ended in a twenty-minute lunch performance for invited guests.

The Bangalore-based Centre for Movement Arts, Attakkalari, is in West Sweden for a tour visit, and started with a full-length performance of Chronotopia at Vara Concert Hall. This was followed by a seminar on their research project and short performances of the choreographers and dancers at Museum of World Cultures in Göteborg. Then workshops with young dancers in Vara, with theatre students at the School of Music and Drama. And now they met with professional dancers and choreographers from Dansbyrån, a production platform for dance based in Göteborg run by the three choreographers Moa Matilda Sahlin, Marika Hedemyr, and Paula de Hollanda.

The idea of a Young Choreographers Platform where choreographers and dancers meet to work and build something together is an integral part of the work at Attakkalari in an ambition to continuously explore and experiment with movements and expression. A sort of lab of movements easily set up with dancers and choreographers from any part of the world if you just have a studio to work in. As Jay Palazhy, Artistic Director at Attakkalari once put it: “The beauty of collaboration is that it’s not about rationalizing. You don’t have to speak so much, just do it”.

The visit of Attakkalari is part of the agreement ”Linking Initiatives” between the region of Karnataka and Region Västra Götaland. Read former posts of the exchange project under India on this site.


23 mars, 2010

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Beyond Bollywood in Göteborg

When Bangalore-based film director Girish Kasaravalli introduces his film Gulabi Talkies at the Göteborg International Film Festival and Museum of World Cultures in Göteborg, he very humbly describes his idea as trying to grasp three processes in India that occurred simultaneously: The war between India and Pakistan that affected the relation between Hindus and Muslims, the change in fishing regulations on the coastal villages in Karnataka, and the introduction of private and public cable TV in villages. He wanted to show the effects of these processes in the everyday life in a small village.

The film is one of the films within the theme Beyond Bollywood at the festival. It has lifted the question of independent film making as such, as well as the Bollywood film industry and the specific situation for filmmakers in India. At the seminar after the show of Gulabi Talkies, Girish Kasaravalli and film- and theatre person Prakash Belawadi discuss the situation in India and point out that a theme like ”Beyond Bollywood” creates another misunderstanding. It’s as if Bollywood films are the narrative, everything else is beyond. This is not true, they say. Bollywood might involve a lot of money (often connected to either illegal or accounted activities we learn), but seen in the number of films produced, it’s a small part of films – less than 25 procent – made in India. Yet, it’s seen by the world as the pan-India, while in fact it has very little to do with ordinary life in India.

There is a strong urge for simplicity, for stereotypes. Francis B Nyamjoh, Head of Publications and Dissemination in Senegal, quoted before on this site, writes in Cultures and Globalization: The Cultural Economy, that the global cultural entrepreneurs; the large film, music and literature companies are asking only for stereotypical stories from African scene. They don’t want to distribute alternative stories, since this is said not to sell.

At a workshop in Nairobi last September (look under Kenya) many of the participating writers were saying that if you want to sell, you need to write stories of the Big Five, the largest wild animals in the African wild life. Otherwise no one will invest money or distribute your story. Doreen Baingana, a Uganda-born writer wrote a beautiful story of three sisters growing up in modern Kampala a few years ago. The Tropical Fish has won prizes and can be found on searches on the Internet. Anjum Hasan is a Bangalore-based writer who recently published her book Neti, Neti, a wonderful story of being a young woman in modern Bangalore. So, there Is no need among young women in the world of these stories?

Who is continuously reproducing the need for stereotypical stories? The audience, customers, distribution chains, large global entrepreneurs, investors? Perhaps Internet can be an important tool to change this.

Photos and film: Leif Eriksson, Filmhögskolan Göteborg University.


4 februari, 2010

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Beyond Bollywood

Today tickets are released to the next Göteborg International Film Festival, a festival visited by around 200.000 people every year who during ten days go to films, listen to seminars, hang in the festival tent or take part of many of the other events connected to the festival. For a small city as Göteborg it’s quite a thing to host, as said on the festival website, the fifth largest public film festival in Europe. It’s a time when you can see film otherwise not reachable for the public and from all corners of the world.

This year there is a section ”Beyond Bollywood”, a very concrete result of the three-year cooperation between Region Västra Götaland and the southern state of Karnataka in India. Bollywood is the largest film industry in the world, economically it’s way past Hollywood. According to, fourteen million Indians go to see these ”Masala” films, the films produced according to the format with dance, song, love, a hero and a happy ending. But what are produced beyond Bollywood? What questions are the ones of today’s modern India?

The films showed at this year’s festival aim to show a wider perspective, the other films produced. Reading at Wikipedia, India has two official languages, unofficially up to 300 languages are mentioned. In a republic with over one billion inhabitants, of many religions and beliefs, twenty-eight different states, with an incredible economic growth rate and urbanization that is said to be one person per every other second moving in to the cities, the varieties of stories to be told are enormous. In discussion with filmmakers in Bangalore, the lack of quality film education is put forward as one obstacle as why it’s so difficult for the alternative film industry to grow in India. The festival will be visited by the well-known Karnataka film director Girish Kasaravalli and film maker Prakash Belawadi, where questions like this will be discussed.

For more on the cooperation and discussions on film, film education between Region Västra Götaland and Karnataka, look at the section ”India” on this site.

16 januari, 2010

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Art and entrepreneurship @ Srishti

Göteborg University is planning a one-year master on Art an Entrepreneurship. The idea is that students start in Göteborg and do part of the education in Bangalore, India. Hopefully the part in Bangalore would be Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology.

A base for the cooperation would be student exchange, where Indian students go to Sweden and the other way around. For Swedish students there are great opportunities in learning a completely different environment, spend a longer time in a different context to get input about Art and entrepreneurship by mixing the theoretical with social practice.


5 januari, 2010

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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.


Categories: Blogg Economy India

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28 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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


4 december, 2009

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Business through the eyes of mythology

Devdutt Pattanaik has the fantastic titel of being Chief Belief Officer at Future Group in Mumbai, India. His idea is to look through the lens of myths to understand our different ways of thinking in business. The logic of behaviour in decision making, relationships with customers and stakeholders, are done differently depending on beleifs and myths. Not suprising, but the base of many misunderstandings in cooperations between East and West, Indian and western companies.

Which is the better way of running business? To try to answer this, Mr Pattanaik answer, is leaning towards fundamentalism. This can’t be answered. But realize, his point is, that your truth is a subjective truth and will be different for other people with other backgrounds and myths. It affects not only the relationship with other business colleagues, but also the market behaviour, customers, business ideas and so forth. Understanding this is fundamental in running business.

The seminar is posted on

21 november, 2009

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

Cultural and Social Entrepreneurship

On this blog we would like to explore entrepreneurship from a cultural and social point of view. Or rather put forward entrepreneurial initiatives within these two fields.




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