Tuesday, February 28, 2006

alternate india

so somehow our heroines have landed in some sort of alternate india (dubbed bangaluroo) where white people line the streets, cyber cafes are cheaper than dosas, and atmospheric coffee cafes are everywhere. its still hot and coconuts (india nuts according to marco polo) are less than 10 points a pop and damn good at that.

again, somehow. somehow we've found ourselves writing press releases for organic distributors and mali was never going to send it to you so i figured thats why i hacked into this particular corridor of the matrix to begin with.

so, look. if you're in bangalore tomorrow night please come to this. it's mainly intended as an eye-opener for mr. george bush, jr., but you're welcome. there's a lot of people here who are anti-american (note the 'c') and we're not two of them.

dolphins and rosebushes,


No 55 1st cross Marappa Block, JC Nagar

Press Release
February 27, 2006

Jaiva (which stands for life) welcomes Mr. George Bush Jr. to India through an evening of cultural and artistic events held at 6pm on Tuesday, February 28th, 2006 at Center for Film and Drama (CFD), 5th floor, Sona Towers, Millers Rd, Bangalore.

We have a cartoon showcase by Rasheed Kappen, a dance-poetry-theatre experience ‘Navashwaasam’ by Malavika Mohanan, a film ‘Battle’s Poison Cloud’ by Ceclie, a music video ‘America America’ by K.P. Sasi, and ‘Songs of Peace and Dignity’ by Ruth, Kamaan, Gail Hart, Sumathi, and others.

Through these events we hope to strengthen the channels of communication among the alternative voices in India, United States, and around the world.

Jaiva understands that the most constructive responses to repression, oppression, and violence are not fear, passivity, and anger, but creativity, solidarity, and love. We put our understanding into practice daily by bringing sustainably-grown organic food from local farmers directly to your shopping basket.

We invite the people of Bangalore to join us in celebration of Life

Sunday, February 26, 2006

press us

[ a description of malavika's opening performance for the trissur film festival ]

The medium is the message. The adjective is oppression. We are what we
are and nothing other. To call a peformer "Indian" or a banana
"Yellow" is to amputate. To amputate the wrong foot. The wrong foot?
The wrong foot.
If you could describe her ancestry correctly -- get the right
cocktail of Amerika, Singapore, and the shadow of a proud mountain
called Anangan -- then you'd get the right foot. But "Indian" doesn't
cut it. To call a banana "Yellow" is to ignore her shades of green
astringency and spots of sweet brownth.
To say nothing of the larger intent, the amputation. The implicit
Only sticks in the throat. Our protagonists -- peformers and bananas
-- are sweet and tender, frequently upside-down and, to a newcover,
not a little strange. One yellow adjective suffices not. Their nature
is to limit: to draw lines around the diversity of our subjects. The
contradiction then is immediate and unavoidable.

How then to say about the opening performance of this year's Film
Festival? Praise helps us neither. I want to tell you how she is
beautiful, how robots are the past, how stability is moving. But to
predicate is to lock an infinite genius (which we all must share) into
a velvet cage.

Malavika Mohanan is. A stage is. A dozen children are. A dozen
uniforms are. Diversity continues.

Naturally, as one would expect from the opening act of the VIBGYOR
"Identity and Diversity" festival, Ms. Mohanan leads the audience to a
realization of the theme. Surprisingly, she does it through the
theme's apparent destruction.

They parade onstage, teacher followed by column of robots.
Automatons. Identical uniforms holding names of Diverse letters in
Identical black: "V I B Y G O R". Drumbeat. She speaks. "Violet". They
echo. "Violet". Drumbeat. She speaks. "Indigo". They echo. "Indigo".
Drumbeat. She speaks. "Blue". They echo. "Blue".

The movement, the tempo, the style place us within a robot colony.
Friends or fellows? Before the dryness cracks, sometime in the second
colorless repetition of words, a stranger interrupts from the audi--
Drumbreak. She stutters. "Yellow". They stutter. "Yellow". Drumbeat.
She speaks. "Green". They echo. "Green". Drumbe--
Drumbreak. She stutters. "Orange". They stutter. "Orange".
The infiltrators swagger onstage like virii, corrupting robots into
dance with sashes of color. They waltz in cheap perfume and carry the
unmistakable odor of freedom.
Diversity is not in quantity. Seven colors are not more diverse than
two -- it is the quality, the inclusiveness, the openness that we
strive for. The colors are infinite. Nothing less will satisfy.
She attempts to pull it together. But the dream is over. Everyone is
dancing. She too succumbs. They whoop with delight.
As totalitarian pretense breaks into childish pandemonium we see spy
the second thread. We are training a generation of robots to feed
hungry vacancies in San Francisco, Dubai, Bangalore. They will walk
identically, speak identically, think identically about society,
diversity, individuality. For a time. Until the infiltrators emerge
from the audience, from us, to liberate them with dancing sashes of
color, to remind them that childhood is life and life is forever.
Such is VIBGYOR, a manifesto of its own self-subversion and
trascendence. These are not the droids you're looking for.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

what is the matrix?

we, ankurbhaiya and me, leave on a bus to bangalore in a few hours. we're not supposed to go to kannavu, a beautiful adivasi school/home/community/experiment in wayanad (in the north of godsowncountry kerala, which is in the south west of mangolandia, which in the matrix translates as india) on the way to bangalore because people (many many members of my very loving but socially very different-from-me) are uncomfortable about us travelling, what with one of us being a girl and the other being a boy, and not being blood related to each other. at some point i shall have to find a way to explain how there is no spoon (you think that's blood that's running through your veins?) and if there were a spoon, my brother (for those of you in the last version of the matrix without gmail formatting, brother is bold and italicized) ankur and i would share it and the world would still Be just as pure.

some brief notes on dealing with a) entering the matrix b) travelling and dealing with the mangolandians, specifically those located in godsowncountry.

* upon entering the stall in the internet "cafe" (so named, though pernod and revolution may not be found) establish your space. take the keyboard down from the totally unergonomic drawer and place it on your lap, with the chair facing the monitor that you have turned towards you. sit on your bottom, not on the bottom of your spine. hold your neck straight, shoulders relaxed, arms loose and out, remember to breath, get up and stretch every 15 minutes, and get the hell out of there after an hour, preferably half.
* leave at least a few days between every time you plug in. don't give in to the illusion that just today checking email is just totally necessary. tomorrow will always be today. the matrix will wait. your freedom will not.

* be aware of the balance between dressing as yourself, and dressing to avoid envy/threat/provocativeness/disrespect. learn to wear your body and clothes with no fear and no shame.
* don't take a dish with your right hand after you've started eating.
* eat with, only with, your right hand.
* these people talk a hell of a lot. don't get trapped. learn that you need not reply to everything everyone says. they say a lot. don't
* learn to never hear "i don't know".
* learn to always be told that you don't know, don't know anything about anything.
* travel at sunrise or sunset every now and then. sit on the appropriate side. remember that the sun that dips or rises is the same sun that dips or rises on everyone and everything you love around the world.

they've cut the hard line. time to go.

go and live out what you have learned on the other side of silence.