Bringing exhibitions and workshops to Chennai, the Auroville Festival reintroduces us to its multicultural society
None of us are strangers to Auroville. After all, a quick visit to the township is part of many a weekend spent in Pondicherry. However, the organisers of the Auroville Festival, which begins in the city on March 1 (and goes on tillA� April 12) think otherwise. a�?Since it is a working township, it is difficult to see the life there. This is a way of reintroducing ourselves. Moreover, there are a lot of interactions between Auroville and Chennai that the public is not aware ofa��like how one of our initiatives, WasteLess, has introduced a garbology course in eight Kendriya Vidyalayas schools in the city,a�? says Krishna Devanandan, one of the organisers.
The festival encompasses several eventsa��from exhibitions, seminars and workshops to markets and presentationsa��spread across several venues. a�?Around 40 artists will be showcasing their works across nine galleries, including Lalit Kala Akademi, Apparao Galleries and Art World,a�? says Marco Feira, a painter and curator. a�?The uniqueness of their work is that they explore ideas, materials and expressions but with a global sensibility as they are from all over the world.a�?
Another key event will be the ethical market (at Amethyst, March 5-7), which will showcase 16 Aurovillean units. a�?While some of them, like Wellpaper and Matrigold are familiar to many, almost 70 per cent will be new to Chennaiites,a�? admits Tejaswini Mistri-Kapoor, an architect and the force behind Woodscape, which designs organic wooden furniture. a�?Look out for Light Fish, which makes 100 per cent recyclable lighting solutions, products from Sedab, our rural development programme, and also our in-house publications,a�? Kapoor adds. Other highlights include a choir concert (March 7, at Sir Mutha Hall, from 7.30 pm), the Giftival at ReStore (March 14) and a tour of Auroville farms (March 18-21).
a��Surya Praphulla Kumar