I think we need some space!
The Story of Space’ is set to soon unfold in Goa. Café looks at the event, hoping that like its predecessor, ‘The Story of Light’, the event sets Panjim alight once more
Fernando Monte da Silva
In 2015, a rather unique event made its way to Goa. Known simply as ‘The Story of Light’, the event was a step towards building two important communities: one for intersecting science and philosophy to bring out our interconnectedness in this world and universe and two for using art and design more effectively in learning and education, both formal and informal and really stretching all boundaries. At the time that the event was underway, the founders of the project went on to say that this was the first edition of a regular movement as well as a stepping stone to more developed, innovative and evolved spaces. Fast forward two years, and The Story of – Foundation is back with its next big event, ‘The Story of Space’.
Artists, scientists, researchers, educators, and philosophers from around India and the globe, including the Netherlands, France, the UK, the US, Poland, China, Japan, and Brazil, are coming together to turn Panjim into a city that is a learning playground for 10 days, from the November 10 to 19, 2017. The festival will have 72 projects running; live experiences, a film program, installations, workshops, talks, and panels— on critical questions about space. The various projects have been carefully curated by the organising team, with the aim of engaging audiences of all ages, from all walks of life, in a cross-disciplinary, creatively and intellectually stimulating experience. Most importantly, much like its predecessor, ‘The Story of Space’ is free for all, and is for anyone and everyone to attend.
One of the founders of the project, Jaya Ramchandani talks about the nature of the exhibits and points out how events such as these can help perception develop, saying “This year there are so many projects, and audiences interacting with them! Personally, I'm biased towards the more science-philosophy/science-art/science-society/science-education oriented projects. They have the potential to add real value to the way we currently perceive the world right now. ‘The Story Of’ is currently essentially a community driven project and engaged currently in the creation of an interdisciplinary platform that can have the capacity to solve problems of society.”
Some of the highlights of the festival include an interdisciplinary exhibition looking at the ‘void’ across science, philosophy (both Indian and Western) and art by theoretical physicist, Giuseppe Bozzi, philosopher, S Bhuvuneshwari, and architect and designer Manuel Scortichini with video inputs from the famous Minute Physics YouTube channel. Visitors can also learn about the life and death of stars in an art-meets-science, larger than life spectacle by the Polish Institut B61. Mumbai-based Akash and Thomas, who go by ‘Sound.Codes’, have collaborated with the Archeological Survey of India to acoustically map 45 sites over Goa, covering the state’s heritage and culture, reproducing and archiving the sites and sounds of Goa at the cultural Fundação Oriente building. Over the 10 day festival, US-based Migratory Cultures will project local and international narratives around people’s experiences of migration, including stories of migration unique to the Goan diaspora, all over the city. The program also has panels making relevant inquiries like ‘What is sustainable development to Goa?’, ‘What should learning in the 21st century look like in India and internationally?’. There will also be talks by the likes of NASA scientist Henry Throop, exploring the question, ‘Are we alone in the universe?’
Another founder,Akshay Roongta shares his elation at being able to finally present a project that’s been a while in the making, saying “I am extremely excited about all the programming. As part of the evaluation team I've been lucky, that I've gotten to engage with so many of the different pieces and teams, and I'm especially psyched for experiences like the evolution of the stars, sounds of the spectrum, a strange new space, space in relationships, and the acoustic history of Goan heritage. I really hope that with this second edition of the festival, we are really able to set the ball rolling on thinking about education and learning in the country differently. We hope that these approaches, processes and knowledge areas permeate into learning and education in schools in particular, but in our daily lives in general.”
The festival has been made possible through collaboration with the Corporation of the City of Panjim, Department of Art & Culture, Department of Science & Technology, Department of Education, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), partnership with embassies and cultural institutes like Fundação Oriente (Goa), Alliance Française (Goa), Italian Embassy Cultural Centre (Mumbai Section), Pro Helvetia - Swiss Arts Council (New Delhi), The Polish Institute (New Delhi), Consulate General of Israel In Mumbai, The Japan Foundation (New Delhi), and collaborations with design schools like Srishti School of Art, Design, and Technology (Bengaluru), National Institute of Design (Ahmedabad), Pearl Academy (New Delhi), and gold sponsors Only Much Louder and 91 Springboard.
The Story of Space is a community-led initiative. The festival committee continues to work tirelessly on project sponsorship. Interested donors can contribute towards the initiative on: www.thestoryof.org/space2017/donate
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