IFA@Delhi: Readings of Feminist Street Theatre from the 1970s & 80s | Studio Safdar | May 13, 2016

India Foundation for the Arts (IFA)
in collaboration with
Studio Safdar
Zindagi Ke Natak, Natakon ki Zindagi
A Presentation of Excerpts from Feminist Street Plays
Followed by a Q&A Session

by Deepti and Shanti of the Sampurna Trust
Duration: 60 minutes | Language: Hindi
Friday | May 13, 2016 | 05:00 PM | Studio Safdar

2254/2A Shadi Khampur, New Ranjit Nagar, New Delhi 110008

Join us for a dramatised reading exploring feminist street theatre in the 1970s and 1980s, on May 13 at Studio Safdar.

The featured plays, Ehsaas and Aurat aur Dharm, and others such as Om Swaha and Parivaar ki Gaadi, were created by ordinary women from colleges and bastis in Delhi and elsewhere, and performed hundreds of times during the 1970s and 1980s. Through these plays, women articulated their hidden experiences of pain, love, anger, and resistance making visible the social structures that oppressed and exploited them. Deeply political, the feminist plays unearth patriarchy, discrimination, violence against women, communal violence, and state complicity.

Sampurna Trust members, who were part of the original street plays, recall, "We voiced our own truths, for all to hear. It was completely subversive - we really thought we could change the world! We performed anywhere and everywhere -- parks, courtyards, schools, colleges, hostels, hospitals, at protests and celebrations. We were breaking taboos, awakening into wider worlds... There was a progressive broadening of horizons."

Today, these plays will be read against the shifting background of personal lives, political consciousness, social customs, society, and state, to interrogate, explore, and extend the inherent possibilities of feminist theatre.

Shanti is an intrepid activist, singer and thinker.
Deepti is a dreamy writer, political scientist and teacher.
Sampurna Trust is a registered charitable trust that supports grassroots action and research for children, education, and women's empowerment.

Studio Safdar is an independent, non-funded space for arts and activism. It was established in 2012 by India's preeminent street theatre group, Jana Natya Manch. It is dedicated to creating an alternative and affordable space in Delhi for staging and experimenting with the arts. It supports activism that explores the multiple intersections of communities and politics.

Sampurna Trust received a grant, with Deepti Priya Mehrotra as the Principal Investigator, under the Arts Research programme of India Foundation for the Arts, with part support from South Asia Women's Fund.

Photo Credit: Sheba Chhachhi, in Radha Kumar, The History of Doing, Kali for Women, 1993

Directions to Studio Safdar
Please do note that finding parking is difficult near Studio Safdar. If you must drive, parking is available at the Shadipur Metro Station, or in front of Satyam Cinema.
Metro: Shadipur on BLUE line.
Landmark: Shadipur Metro – Satyam Cinema – Cycle rickshaw to 'Biyaasi number' – May Day next to Rahmat Medical Store.