In the moment, Trimukhi platform is working mostly with villagers from West Bengal (social angle), in performing and plastic arts (arts angle) and in philosophy and sociology research (academic angle). Probably these specifications will take a different shape as the time passes. For now, more than half of the projects are focussing on developing a concrete and real platform: the Trimukhi Cultural Centre in the Santal Tribal village of Borotalpada. The main question is: How to to give proper life to this new-coming space?
NIGHT OF THEATRE n°9 - LA NUIT DES IDEES / performing arts and inventive thought [Borotalpada village]
The Night of Theatre n°9 / La nuit des idées is a night-long festival of contemporary performing arts and inventive thought, that took place on Saturday 28th January 2017 at Trimukhi Cultural Centre in the Santhal tribal village of Borotalpada, West Bengal, India. During the night-long event, artists and thinkers from Kolkata, Paris, Madrid and Montréal, together with Santhal actors, dancers and musicians both showcased in situ performances and evolved in stimulative conversations about art and thought. The night-long program ended with a multicultural dance party.
BACHCHADER EXPERIMENTUM / theatre of presenting [Borotalpada village & Kolkata, India]
Bachchader Experimentum is maybe not "theatre done for children" but surely is theatre done by children as this lively experiment is written and performed by Santhal boys and girls aged from 6 to 17: Anjoli Hansda, Chintamoni Hansda, Joba Hansda, Salkhan Hansda, Sukul Hansda, Ramjet Hansda, Surujmoni Hansda and Pini Soren - and performed in 3 different places simultaneously: on the top of a tree, in the middle of an open field and infant of a wall, live video being taken and projected by Dhannajoy Hansda, torch lighting assured continuously by Dulal Hansda, Dhani Hansda and Sumi Soren, and the whole coordination by Budrai Besra, Chandrai Murmu, Sukla Bar Chevallier and Jean-Frédéric Chevallier.
For all of those who could not make it in February 2015 and watch the first presentation during Night of Theatre n°8, this experimental performance has be presented again on 19th December 2015 in Borotalpada village and then from 8th to 12th January 2016 in Kolkata at Modern High School for Girls, Bangur Park, Magic Hours, Jadavpur University and Minto Park.
FABRICATE (FABRIC OF) ART / a yearly publication journal [Kolkata, Paris & Mexico]
On 20th June 2016 in Paris, France, 1st September in Kolkata, India and 29th Septembre in Chicoutimi, Canada, Trimukhi Platform launches a yearly publication journal called Fabrique de l’art in French or Fabricate (Fabric of) of Art in English. With 196 pages, sometimes in English, sometimes in French, the first issue contains experimental literature by French poet Joseph Danan, extracts from digital works by Indian visual artist Chittrovanu Majumdar and French Henri Barande, a study of the Bengali architect Bidyut Roy’s work, a manifesto by Argentine performer Emilio García Wehbi, a testimony by Colombian director Rolf Abderhalden, an interview with French philosopher Denis Guénoun, and a lot more...
CRASH COURSES FOR SANTAL YOUTH ON ARTS PROJECTS AND CREATION [Borotalpada village, India]
After signing an agreement with Barcelona Theatre Institute (Spain) to receive Master Degree students for final practice, Trimukhi Platform has started an innovative educational program aimed at giving to 10 young people in Borotalpada Santal village the tools and knowledge necessary to undertake important responsibilities in Trimukhi Cultural Centre. The first session courses, in Jully 2014, was given by Yazel Parra Nahmenes from Barcelona Theatre Institute, Jean-Frédéric Chevallier and Sukla Bar Chevallier from Trimukhi Platform. The second session was held in December 2014 with the participation of Ustardajana Mustuddi and Sanmoy Karmakar from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India. The third session took place in May 2015: computer and internet surfing were taught by the musician Sudipto Shekhar Mridha and the thespian Naireet Basak. The fourth session was held in October 2015 with sounds exploration activities leaded by Sudipto Shekhar Mridha and conversation about poetic of the land proposed by the French anthropologist Marc Hatzfeld. In October 2016, Subojit Bagchi, chief-of-bureau of The Hindu newspaper in Bengal, will be running a workshop on journalistic writing. In December, Pallabi Chakravorty, choreographer and anthropologist from Swarthmore College, Philadelphia, will be sharing her strategies to combine movements from Kathak dance.
TRIMUKHI CULTURAL CENTRE IN A SANTAL TRIBAL VILLAGE [Borotalpada, West Bengal, India]
Borotalpada is a Santal village in West Bengal, India, 230 kilometres from Kolkata, near by the Orissa border. Sukla Bar and Jean-Frédéric Chevallier had been working there since 2008. By building relationships of friendships and of work (Cf. Monsoon Night Dream), by having talked long with many, it appeared that an ambitious project could be launch: a Cultural Centre where to present art exhibitions (paintings, pictures, video installations), performance shows (specially for the drama competitions the surroundings villages organize each year), musical concerts, film projections, workshops, seminars, to welcome artists and researchers for residency and to develop a Documentation and Investigation department (mainly focused on art practices nowadays and their impact on social awareness) a well as a School of languages. Once the rainy season was over the construction of the Cultural Centre started. It was on 28th October 2011, after almost a year of talks -usually under the form of village assemblies-. A piece of land was chosen. The place was cleaned and a Santal ritual performed. A local priest gave instructions for the orientation of the building. A first draft was marked on the ground with strings and later with ashes. Then the foundations were dug.
VISIONS OF THE LAND IN INDIA / launch of an online workshops program [www.trimukhionline.org]
With the desire to produce more inventive and creative ways to think of and act in our surrounding realities, Trimukhi Platform is launching a series of Online Workshops. This online learning forum is to engage with a range of disciplines (Arts, Esthetics, Philosophy, Sociology, Anthropology, History, Political Thinking) and problematics of both contemporary import and relevance across diverse geographic locales. A wide selection of eminent scholars and artists from across the globe is offering and guiding these online learning modules. To propose Online Workshops may sound contradictory. If done “online”, the activity may be seen as a virtual one while a “workshop” always calls for going deeper and concretely into some real problematic/issue. But precisely, each Trimukhi online workshop will start by inviting the participants to develop a real practice: doing a survey, going to photograph the next by street, watching a film, writing a text, reading a book, recording sounds, etc. And it is from this real involvement and the critical analysis of these involvements/experiences that a reflection will be developed online – through discussions in forum. Visions of the land in India: Approach of an anthropological survey is the first online workshop in this progrem. It is offered by Professor Marc Hatzfeld, a French anthropologist working on social and urban issues whose recent work encompasses India.
MATTERS OF FACT IN A CALCUTTA STREET [Outside Showbabazar Metro Station, Kolkata, India]
In the northern part of Calcutta, outside the Shobhabazzar Metro Station entrances, families are living on the footpath. It would be inadequate to say that they have no fixed address since they are occupying specific point of the city for four generations. However, footpaths and some steps are not exactly a “house”. But, these families, all originating from the same rural area of southern West Bengal, are not without shelter: if it rains or the sun beats down or some new films have to be watched on the rented video set, plastic shades will soon be constructed. Although without ID (and therefore unable to receive government assistance) and regularly annoyed by the police (beatings however ended with the arrival in power of a new political party), these folks who live here appreciate the freedom that gives them their lifestyle: less subject to legal regulations that if they would have returned to settle in their village, less financially obliged than if they would have rented an apartment in the periphery of the city, they benefited from a certain freedom that other urban living people can not afford. Unlike homeless people in the centre of Delhi, these are extended families who live together (grandparents, parents, children), who have a job (housecleaning, rickshaw-puller, tea shop) and whose children are enrolled in one or sometimes two schools. Thus, a number of clichés that come to mind when one tries to think of a situation of this kind quickly collapse. To make a film with a dozen of them can be an occasion, in addition to the collapse of platitudes, to share the sensitive, the peculiarity of their lives –without idealizing it, and without dramatize it either. It can be way to give to experience what is becoming-singular in this existence of a minority.
DROWNING PRINCESS IN ART GALLERY [Alliance Française du Bengale, Kolkata, India]
Once Kolkata had the fame to be a place for arts and open-mind thinking. But recently it appears that in West Bengal City, killing of girls foetus is taking place massively. In the eighties, the sex ratio was around 962 girls for 1000 boys. Twenty years later it felt to 927 for 1000. It is in part due to the uncontrolled development of private nursing homes where a middle class couple can pay to know the sex of the foetus and, in case it is a female one, to pay again to perform abortion. In this context, Drowning Princess in Art Gallery Project is a video installation divided in seven video-sequences projected in seven different dark rooms and in between two rooms, newspaper and magazine articles about the disappearing daughters system presented in frame as art painting. The set-up ends with the exhibition of a publicity campaign strategy to make the killing more efficient and financially profitable. The images of the video-sequences were shot with Bombay slum children, Kolkata Muslim women workers and dancers from Ahmedabad. They are edited by Jean-Frédéric Chevallier and Maïa Nicolas and the publicity campaign organized by Samia Singh, an Indian artist designer working for Tehelka magazine. The purpose is obvious: to provoke the Bengali middle class where its members use to go – for instance an art gallery.
RE-CREATIVE REFRESHMENT [Mandarmoni Beach, West Bengal, India]
Rich or poor, it is sometimes impossible to stop, to look around and think again. The project Re-creative refreshments has its start in this simple idea: to invite a small group of persons from different social backgrounds to go for holidays and to proportionate them a proper set-up (some time out of usual time and a mind free from usual worries and tensions) so that everyone can take time to reflect and dream about the life he wants to live.
Tags: jean-frédéric chevallier, sukla bar, trimukhi platform, kolkata, west bengal