Sounds Of Freedom- Youth OutreachOctober 17, 2017
“It was great to be a part of ‘Naatya Raasta’ and performing in the Sounds of Freedom Festival. It has always been enlightening working under the direction of Mrs. Puneeta Roy. I think we as artists should come up with more programs like this. All the workshops, interactive sessions, performances took us a step closer to reality of Gender Issues. It was my very first theatre project and all the techniques and exercises were new to me. It helped me express myself better as a performer. I found a new direction, and different perspective for art.”
Amber Sahni worked with the Foundation for the first time as a part of the Sounds of Freedom Youth Outreach Program- 2015. A passionate dancer, Amber wants to dedicate his life to this art form. His hard work and commitment has helped him grow as an actor as well. In 2016, he played the character of ‘Munna’ in our play ‘Bargad Ki Chhaon Mein’ which traveled to Glasgow for the Home/Away International Theatre Festival. His journey has been quite an incredible one.
Conceptualized and produced by Teamwork Arts Pvt Ltd, Sounds of Freedom Festival provided a platform for Indian and International musicians, human rights activists and thousands of people to join hands in their efforts to raise consciousness and encourage Freedom of Expression, dialogue and discussion towards inclusive social change.
The Yuva Ekta Foundation was the outreach partner for the concert in 2014 and 2015. We conducted workshops across schools and colleges in Delhi/NCR that engaged the students through art workshops, performances, competitions and exciting interactions.
In 2014, as a part of College Outreach, students from various colleges across Delhi participated in theatre and music workshops held at Sri Venkateswara College, Delhi University. These workshops centered around Arts as a means of advocacy and spreading awareness on ‘Human Rights’. We invited college societies to work together on theme based performances with facilitators such as Taru Dalmia a.k.a Delhi Sultanate, Chayan Adhikari and Ujwal Nagar from Delhi fusion band Advaita, Pramada Menon (a dynamic gender activist and performer), Gilles Chuyen (choreographer and theatre performer). Our facilitators worked with students from different colleges to come up with original songs and nukkad naataks based on ‘Human Rights’. These nukakd naataks were then performed across the city to raise awareness about these theme as well as the concert. The music groups composed songs based on the theme, which were recorded and compiled into an online downloadable album: The Sounds of Freedom- a Beginning.
For the School Outreach, we selected five schools where the YUVA EKTA theater group performed a street play that focused on Gender Justice titled- “Garv Hai – Main Aurat Hoon”, kick-starting a conversation with senior school students on this theme. This was followed by an interaction with Taru Dalmia aka Delhi Sultanate – a rap, hip-hop and reggae artist as well as a Performance Poet, in which he shared his work with revolutionary singers across the country – from the fiery Dalit Singer, Bant Singh in Punjab, to Bhagwan Majhi, an Adivasi leader from Odisha. Inspired by Taru’s empathy and cutting edge lyrics, the students were invited to participate in 4 different workshops – expressing themselves through music, drama, creative writing, or art. The results were compiled into an online exhibition on the website.
Everything culminated at the concert venue, through the Expression Zone, which was a partnership between The Yuva Ekta Foundation and eight other NGO’s from Delhi. Each NGO had a stall with activities and information regarding social issued that they work on.
In the 2nd edition of the Sounds of Freedom Festival- 2015, the participation increased manifold. For that year we chose ‘Gender Justice’ as our theme.
Sounds of Freedom Youth Outreach Workshop was conducted at India Habitat Center on 31st August, 2014. A total of 175 youth attended the workshop. After the Outreach Workshops, auditions were conducted to select a choir-Vocal Raasta and a street theater group- Naatya Raasta.
Naatya Raasta worked with 20 actors for 6 months and created a street play called ‘Gender Bender- A step towards Gender Justice’- a play that questioned gender based stereotypes, patriarchal mindsets and social conditioning. Naatya Raasta did 11 performances in institutions and public venues across Delhi/ NCR.
Vocal Rasta trained 15 musicians in songs of Freedom and collectively re-arranged popular freedom songs: “Ederlezy” by Goran Bregovic, “Earth” by Imogen Heap, “Abantwana Basethempeleni (Children of the Temple)” and “Hum Dekho Chal Pade” – The SOF Anthem, composed by Kailash Kher. Also, the choir created original compositions “Freedom”, “Love”, “Respect”, “Chain”, “right left”.Vocal Raasta did 13 performances in institutions and public venues across Delhi/ NCR.
We have continued our association with the participants from both these festivals. Most of the participants from the group partner with us as guest facilitators and actors in several productions, projects and workshops on regular basis.