IFA@Delhi: Readings of Feminist Street Theatre from the 1970s & 80s | March 19 & 20, 2016

Dramatised readings exploring feminist street theatre in the 1970s and 1980s, on March 19 and 20, at two exciting venues.

ज़िंदगी के नाटक, नाटकों की ज़िंदगी -
Zindagi Ke Natak, Natakon ki Zindagi
A Presentation of Excerpts from Feminist Street Plays
Followed by a Q&A Session
Duration: 90 minutes | Language: Hindi

by Deepti, Shanti, and Indira of the
Sampurna Trust
in collaboration with
Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art
Saturday | March 19, 2016 | 05:00 PM
FICA Reading Room

D-42, Defence Colony, New Delhi


The featured plays, एहसास and औरत और धर्म, and others such as ओम स्वाहा and परिवार की गाड़ी, were created by ordinary women from colleges and bastis in Delhi and elsewhere, and performed hundreds of times during the 1970s and 1980s. Through these plays, women articulated their hidden experiences of pain, love, anger, and resistance making visible the social structures that oppressed and exploited them. Deeply political, the feminist plays unearth patriarchy, discrimination, violence against women, communal violence, and state complicity.

Sampurna Trust members, who were part of the original street plays, recall, "We voiced our own truths, for all to hear. It was completely subversive – we really thought we could change the world! We performed anywhere and everywhere -- parks, courtyards, schools, colleges, hostels, hospitals, at protests and celebrations. We were breaking taboos, awakening into wider worlds… There was a progressive broadening of horizons."

Today, these plays will be read against the shifting background of personal lives, political consciousness, social customs, society, and state, to interrogate, explore, and extend the inherent possibilities of feminist theatre.

Shanti is an intrepid activist, singer and thinker.
Deepti is a dreamy writer, political scientist and teacher.
Indira is a gifted storyteller, writer and teacher.
Sampurna Trust is a registered charitable trust that supports grassroots action and research for children, education, and women's empowerment.

Sampurna Trust received a grant, with Deepti Priya Mehrotra as the Principal Investigator, under the Arts Research programme of India Foundation for the Arts, with part support from South Asia Women's Fund.

Photo Credit: Sheba Chhachhi, in Radha Kumar, The History of Doing, Kali for Women, 1993