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Sculpting Rural Revolution: Art and Agriculture Festival in Paradsinga village, Madhya Pradesh

Paradsinga’s museum will put to display traditional food of the region through artistic designs crafted with the help of crops and plants

An agricultural Land. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
  • A village to host a museum that will put to display traditional food of the region through artistic designs crafted with the help of crops and plants
  • Villagers are trained to create 300 wax sculptures out of traditional crops and dishes for the art-cum-agriculture festival in October
  • The idea of the upcoming ‘land craft’ festival originated from the ‘Beej Utsav’ 

A group of artists at Paradsinga in Madhya Pradesh is integrating a new style of farming by merging art and agriculture.
Working together with the artists, the local community is preparing to host Paradsinga’s museum that will put to display traditional food of the region through artistic designs crafted with the help of crops and plants.
“The museum will connect the village directly to the rest of the world. And our villages should be the cultural hub,” says Shweta Bhattad, an artist and activist, who is preparing the village for a grand edition of the festival in October.
      Bhattad has taken the lead in training the villagers to create 300 wax sculptures out of traditional crops and dishes, exhibiting the elegance of local recipes. For the first of its kind agriculture-cum-artwork exhibition, the village is being turned into an open site for seminars and workshops.
‘Dear Prime Minister Please Grow in India’, is the slogan of the ‘land art’ designed by the community with the help of leafy vegetables on a patch of farmland. The slogan aims to highlight the ongoing ‘Make in India’ campaign of the Prime Minister.
Keeping up with the ‘traditional spirit’ of the campaign, the villagers are using fresh organic produce as well as home-grown harvested seeds for the crafting out of plants. Other than the above message, the community aims to echo the importance of traditional farming methods over genetically modified varieties.
Indian farming lands during monsoon Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Indian farming lands during monsoon
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
  The idea of the upcoming ‘land craft’ festival originated from the ‘Beej Utsav’ (seed festival) which attracted about 50 visitors during the local exhibit.
“Just like there is artists’ exchange, we thought of creating a platform for farmers to exchange and meet and get involved. I realised that today a farmer feels very lonely,” says Bhattad.
Ms. Bhattad, who holds a Master’s degree in sculpture from M.S.U. Baroda has been camping for the same since 2013. She roped in other artists including Lalit Vikamshi, Tanmay Joshi, Aditi Bhattad, choreographer Parvinder Singh, for her innovative plan. To increase collaboration, Italian artist Virginia Zemati took to Skype for teaching the young village young girls to dance.
       “I saw the bio-diversity of the village get killed because the farmers were encouraged to grow only Bt cotton. It also led to fall in the water table. The youth in the village were frustrated. We wanted to address all of this and I felt that if there is an art angle to what we say it will reach out to more people,” says Bhattad.
         Bhattad, based in Nagpur, is attached to Paradsinga because her grandfather lives here.  This makes her deeply inspired to work on the idea. Her plans for the festival are building on different sources of inspiration for the local village community.
During the monsoons when farms used to get totally cut off from village, it was difficult for farmers without networked roads to carry on with farming. Influenced by Bhattad, a 21-year-old farmer named Ganesh Dhoke has recently built a 500-metre road that connects about 50 farms to the village.
Other than training the village youth, she is actively involved in providing equipments and machinery for the task.
 “As of now there are four farmers who have quit growing Bt Cotton completely and moved on to other crops,” says Ms. Bhattad.

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-By Maariyah Siddiquee, intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @MaariyahSid


  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Not only in one village, this should be done in many villages so that people come to know about the art and agriculture. Along with this, these festivals should have media coverage

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Live Music Can Now be Rocked Virtually Also

Hotels have started LIVE music entertainment for its guests and patrons sitting at home during the extended lockdown

Virtual concerts are taking a lead in music industry. Pixabay


Virtually bringing alive the energy and vibe of India’s most happening nightclubs and liveliest bars, THE Park Hotels has started LIVE entertainment for its guests and patrons sitting at home during the extended lockdown.

THE Park Aqua Sunset was released last month to set the weekend mood; its is a mixtape series releasing every Sunday at 5 PM on MixCloud and SoundCloud. A specially curated tracklist of a music extraordinaire is introduced every week. The genres range from electronica, downtempo, chillout, house, and world music – by the finest artist collective line-up from across the country. It brings the flavours of the crazy pool parties from the signature alfresco poolside of the hotel in Delhi.

Swarup Varma, VRIDIAN and Abhi Meer have released their curated tracklists till now. Celebrated artists including Xirer, Aaryan, Stalvart John, and Praveen Achary are going to play in the weeks to come. The artists are well-known, home-grown and heavyweight electronic music producers with a knack of musical diversity. The first tracklist by Swarup Varma organically made it to the eTop 3 track list in India for Chillout’ category on MixCloud. Tune in to these channels every Sunday at 5 PM for the weekend sunset party like never before at your home:

To bring the heady atmosphere, passionate live performances and bags of rock ‘n’ roll attitude, the iconic Someplace Else from THE Park Kolkata is going LIVE every day at 8 PM on its Facebook page with India’s most celebrated musicians and artists.

Virtually bringing alive music and vibe of India’s most happening nightclubs. Pixabay

Someplace Else which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary has been engaging with artists to spark up these grim times through live virtual sessions. Till now Behram Siganporia from Best Kept Secret, Salman & Zaman, Abha Hanjura, Wagah Road, Nilayan, Adil Rashid (Underground Authority), Kamran and Kolkata’s favourite Kaustav Banerjee has performed.

The live sessions have recorded more than 3,60,000 viewers for 35 artists and have received rave reviews from the music revellers for this initiative. The number of followers have been rapidly increasing on the Facebook page and the viewer’s look forward to these sessions every day at 8 PM. Few artists to look forward to in the coming days are Khurshid (Karaoke World Champion India in 2011), Bubbles from Chicago, Astitva, Abhishek Gurung (Gingerfeet), Faridkot, and many more.

Speaking on these initiatives, Ruchika Mehta, Corporate Director- Communications & PR said, “While we continue to do our community initiatives, we also realize that people are getting jaded sitting at home in this extended lockdown and are looking for things to bring in cheer and positivity. We at THE Park are known for our nightlife and F&B offerings, therefore have introduced these LIVE sessions with musicians and celebrated artists. We have been receiving overwhelming response till now. And the teams are set to continue the LIVE entertainment for the days to come.”

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MixCloud – https://www.mixcloud.com/THEParkHotels/

SoundCloud – https://soundcloud.com/theparkhotels

The music lovers can join in the LIVE session every day at 8 PM via https://www.facebook.com/someplaceelsethepark/ (IANS)

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First Virtual Concert Launched with Help Of Artist Support Platform

StayIN aLIVE will launch its first virtual event with Help Of Artist Support Platform

Artists unite to bring a virtual event to audince amid COVID. Pixabay

Taking cognizance of the COVID-19 impact on the live art space, a few India-based arts and media organizations have ideated, debated, and created an artist support platform, stayIN aLIVE, which is all set to launch its first 24-hour event on Saturday with over 60 artists.

Performing artists from various fields will cover a range of topics, such as, ‘How does one deal with a creator’s block’; or ‘Know your digital rights as an artist’; or even jam with fellow artists on viewers’ screen. Participating artists include Uday Benegal, Naezy, Kubbra Sait, Tanmay Bhat, Shilpa Rao, Nakash Aziz, Dualist Inquiry, Nikhita Gandhi, Suhani Singh, Nikhil D’souza, Tejas Menon who will be sharing their stories, learnings and art, all through the day.

According to organisers, it aims to build a long-term, sustainable platform for artists to nurture, support and strengthen each other in the coming years.

“Fuelled with a deep love and admiration for the live arts and performance industry, this is a collective of organisations and individuals, hoping to create a movement of awareness and self-sufficiency for the live industry. The aim is to educate, inspire and support artists and at the forefront of that aim and vision is a commitment to cultivate best practices, encourage thought leadership and become compassionate, yet impactful and sustained, voice of advocacy for government policies related to the live arts industry,” they said.

Their motto, #StageBadlega has never been truer. The ‘stage’ is no longer the wood panelled, sprawling space with clear entry/ exit points and synchronised lighting. It is now a soothing cosy corner of the library or a neatly organised living room dotted with personal photos. New trends are currently being witnessed but what happens once this lockdown is lifted? What is the long-term solution for freelancing artists and the live events industry to become self-sufficient and holistically support itself?

Virtual event
Artist support platform to launch first virtual event. Pixabay

“It has taken us almost two months to set our vision and to bring together like-minded individuals that view this as a long term platform. On 16th, the first half of the day is dedicated to information exchange, experience-sharing and really just opening up the hearts and minds of artists to each other and to the audience. This is only the beginning of our journey into building a solid support system for performing artists across fields,” Roshan Abbas, Founder – Kommune shared.

The stayIN aLIVE Foundation is a collective between Kommune, Big Bang Music, Tabhrasa, Priyanka Khimani, KWAN, OML, The ArtX Company, Alok Parande, Paytm Insider, Shark & Ink, Tape A Tale, Artist Aadmi, Unmute, Women of India, Gully Gang and Tarsame Mittal Talent Management.

As per music and entertainment rights expert Priyanka Khimani, many artists who work in the now prevalent gig ecosystem face issues like not being paid on time or at all, struggling to protect their creative work and a myriad of other problems that arise from being an independent creator. These are issues that arise in addition to several things that artists, represented or independent, have to deal with on a regular basis.

Also Read: Don’t throw COVID-caution to the wind

The new initiative aims to be that single body that will hopefully be the backbone for every artist to follow with regards to industry best practices, government representation, and advocacy when needed. The funds raised from this initiative will be directed towards supporting artists in need. (IANS)

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“Music Has Become the Daily Partner for People”, Says Gaana CEO

Music has become a daily partner of people during crisis, believes Gaana CEO

Gaana has observed a significant increase of 13 percent in music consumption during the lockdown. Pixabay

By Siddhi Jain

With self-isolation and social distancing imposed across India, music has become the daily partner for people trying to beat boredom and anxiety as they stay indoors, says Prashan Agarwal, CEO of music streaming application Gaana which has noted a significant 13 percent rise in music consumption during the lockdown.

In a recent study of listening patterns of over 150 million of its Indian users, the app has found that Indians are relying on music more than ever before in these tough times.

“The study revealed a 13 per cent rise in music consumption across India, with a notable 12 per cent spike in romantic playlist streams across all age groups and 14 percent increase in devotional playlists – even among 18-24 year olds,” Gaana said.

There is a significant spike of 12 per cent in romantic playlist streams across all age groups. Pixabay

Besides romance and spirituality, they noted a 36 percent surge in workout playlists as people are workout at home, and a 24 percent surge in motivational or self-help podcasts as they are keeping themselves focused to power through the odds.

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“At Gaana, we are glad to be able to be the country’s go-to music app as they go about their daily chores, working out, meditation, etc and feel more hopeful about the future. It’s time for us to connect and share the simple things like a common love for music that spark joy in our daily lives,” Agarwal told IANSlife.

In terms of artist picks, Arijit Singh, Tanishk Bagchi, Neha Kakkar, Pritam and Badshah emerged as the most popular Indian artists, and Justin Beiber, Alan Walker, Billie Eilish, Selena Gomez and Ed Sheeran were the most popular global artistes. (IANS)