Display screen + Sound + Stage
Textual content by Shubham Ladha
What do TV, theatre and radio character, Roshan Abbas, VJ-turned-anchor, Gaurav Kapoor and indie musician, Ankur Tewari have in widespread?
Aside from being storytellers in their very own medium, their widespread appreciation for the artwork led them to start out Kommune, a platform for artists to nurture their expertise for dwell spoken artwork performances and promote its consciousness by means of movies on digital media. One of the vital important types of communication, storytelling performs an necessary position in at the moment’s world, which is nearly hyper-connected. Whereas Kommune began 4 years in the past in an condo, its presence has expanded over time. Their efficiency fest, Spoken, now in its second version, includes a line-up of 65 artists and is attended by 1000’s in Mumbai’s Jio Backyard.
We caught up with Abbas to study extra about Kommune’s significance, Spoken 2019’s curation and the journey between it.
What’s the significance of Kommune in at the moment’s age?
Roshan Abbas (RA): I genuinely consider that every one of us have tales inside and solely a few of us have the enjoyment of turning that right into a occupation. However there are a lot of different individuals who have a narrative and wish to inform it, however don’t have a platform. And that’s the place Kommune as an concept started; in case you have even a small concept of a narrative within the performing arts – dance, theatre, storytelling, poetry or music – that was the place it might be created.
I do consider that in at the moment’s day and age, the place everybody is continually making an attempt to create a picture of themselves behind a display, the one factor about performing arts is, as a result of it’s a human-engaging medium, there’s actually no pretence between the performer and the viewers and once you drop that veil, there’s a lot extra humanity and vulnerability. We’ve got been in a position to give a voice to a technology that fairly often appears to be hidden behind a display. Kommune is a non-judgemental platform the place folks should get snug with the concept they’re in a secure house – that’s when there’s such an outpouring of tales on a really human stage.
How’s the journey been from the beginning of Kommune to the second version of Spoken?
RA: I’m a giant client of life experiences – even once I journey overseas and I had heard from associates in regards to the pleasure of the Edinburgh or the Glastonbury competition, or Coachella and Burning Man – every time I heard about these festivals, I assumed if I ever create a competition, it should have the spirit of those occasions.
Once we crossed 100,000 subscribers on YouTube my fundamental thought was even when 1% of these wind up, it will likely be 1000 folks – that was the precursor when it comes to scientifically making an attempt to say, if 1000 folks come, we will at the least create a groundswell. There was a imaginative and prescient in my head of individuals sitting on the bottom in a Hyde Park-kind of location and listening to folks – an immersive expertise. Once we began with the price range, I used to go to sponsors and discuss to them. Performers, due to Kommune having been round, have been way more excited, however the sponsors have been nonetheless considering twice, however I managed to persuade them. Final yr the outpouring on social media was a lot that manufacturers seen it and reached out to us. All of them are saying that storytelling is on the core of their model and on the core of the competition, so that may be a nice synergistic partnership.
We do a ‘Younger Poet’s’ space and recover from 1000 entries, which is phenomenal as a result of it means there are a 1000 people who find themselves hobbyists however are this as a occupation. We do really feel that when folks collect at one thing that turns into the holy grail of what you do, then it’s cause so that you can return and say, “I’m going to work my ass off this yr to be referred to as to carry out at Spoken.”
What sort of a line-up can we count on this yr? How did you curate these artistes?
RA: There are 65 performers. From Prateek Kuhad to Indian Ocean and plenty of extra. We’ve additionally acquired the likes of Jim Sarbh, Anya Johar, Kubra Sait and Rajshri Deshpande, in addition to totally different codecs we’re making an attempt out, the place poets are performing collectively. There’s a poem being mimed by 20 actors.
Our curation philosophy is “by no means earlier than, by no means once more”. Lazy curation is when you’ve got entry to of us who will come and do the identical factor they at all times do. Then folks don’t wish to come. The fantastic thing about not appointing one single curator, however having 5 to 6 folks — who all journey and are uncovered to exhibits all over the world — is that they create expertise with out ego to the desk, and objectively resolve what works and what doesn’t. A whole lot of performers anticipated us to only invite them however we refused… if we will create alternatives to pressure folks to develop into masters of their craft, it’ll solely assist them.
Spoken 2019 can be held on 12th and 13th of January, 2019 in Mumbai’s Jio Backyard. You could find extra data right here.