Water and Caste: Part One - History of Mahad Satyagraha
Our podcast Stories from The Subverse returns with a second offering. Meet our host Swati Kamble, an anti-caste intersectional feminist researcher-activist. In Part one, Swati guides us through the history of Mahad Satyagraha, the march for equality, dignity, and access to water, led by anti-caste leader and statesman, Dr. Bhim Rao Ramaji Ambedhkar on 20th March 1927. These are underpinned by two inspiring conversations with Disha Wadekar, advocate and Hira Kanoje, a local anti-caste activist from Mumbai. Artwork credit: Shrujana Shridhar.
Water for All
On 4th and 12th March 2023, Vyaktitva Learning Labs, a media literacy initiative, conducted a two- part session for children on Water for All in Navi Mumbai, India. This session was in commemoration of the 96th anniversary of the Mahad Satyagraha and features lovely artworks by the children. Art credit: Nirvana, 11 years.
Archiving Somali Folktales: Language, Song, and Rhythm as Old as the World
For Numbi Arts, an arts and heritage organisation in the UK, retelling a popular Somali folktale is an attempt to archive their oral histories. Founder Kinsi Abdulleh and animator Aindri C tell us about preserving old stories, and their new film ‘Dhagdheer’.
Words by Lina Krishnan and Artwork by Lucia Dami. The siren call of the sea, the river entering a dream and can landlocked limbs find their way? Artwork credit: Lucia Dami
Communing with the Cosmos
A Postmodern architectural experiment, the Cosmic House, is the legacy of Charles Jencks and his family. Their family home is filled with referential, fascinating, and distinctive design. Anjali Alappat writes about her visit to this eccentric museum in the heart of London.
The Beach House: Watery Transits and Muddy Logics
In this blogpost, Susan Mathews closes out Season 2 of The Subverse by delving into what we’ve learnt from our watery preoccupations. Channelling Douglas Adams, we embrace some muddy logics, explore life at water’s edge, and water as passage and porous border. Artwork credit: Adrija Ghosh
The Slow Pleasures of Analog
Returning to analog altered Vivek Muthuramalingam’s relationship with photography. Sharing a set of images that emerged from his experiments with analog photography, he writes about finding inspiration in a bakery in Goa, and setting up his own darkroom during the pandemic with his artist friends.
An Evolving Arc(x)
The host of Arcx, Anjali Alappat, shares what we’ve learnt from season one, our hopes for season two, and what should be on your reading list regardless.
Drawing inspiration from Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, visual chronicler Gaurav Ogale reimagines Leonia, an opulent city of waste and expelling. Fifty years later, the novel remains just as relevant, as we continue to discard with abandon, quick to forget our ever-growing mountain of trash. Watch Leonia, a dazzling and inventive short film from Dark ‘n’ Light.
The Old Science is New Again: Revivals of Ancient Ideas in Modern Physics
Sometimes, ancient ideas simply get left behind. And sometimes, they blossom. Ideas like the ultimate nature of reality itself. Join astrophysicist Paul M. Sutter for a revival journey into the tiniest crevices of existence and see where insatiable curiosity leads.
Eye in the Sky
Examining the defence strategies of butterflies and moths, ecologist Anisha Jayadevan reflects on how women are raised to take up less space, constantly fear potential predators, and find inventive ways to camouflage.
Water is a strong conductor of sound. In our second outing with Cosmodernism, join us for a voyage into cymatics, the study of sound and vibration made visible on water.
Reviving the Art of Letter Writing: Artist Sumedha Sah on the Snail Mail Project
Does anyone still write letters the old-fashioned way? Is letter-writing dead? We speak to Sumedha Sah, who not only refuses to give up on letters, but also responds to them by creating gorgeous art.
Máhccan/Homecoming: songs from Karasjok/Kárášjohka (Northern Sami)
What does home sound like? Join us for a revival journey in Northern Sami with artists from Karasjok who keep yoiking alive through their music and performance. Yoik is a form of song tradition of the Sami people whose meaning transcends its musical and poetic dimensions. In this film we see yoik through the eyes of the band Rolffa and the music producer Rolf Amundsen, the narration and art of Jo Morten Kåven and the amazing footage from Jan Helmer Olsen.
Introducing Arcx, a Podcast About Literary Inspiration
In Arcx, a six episode mini-series, we talk to six South Asian sci-fi, fantasy and speculative fiction writers, and trace their ideas from conception to execution. We’re peeling back the layers to learn about the media that influenced them, the stories that changed the way they see the world, and the stories they have yet to tell.
The Chandigarh Chair: Exploring the Nuances of a Revival
What was once designed as a utilitarian chair for government employees in Chandigarh has now become a sought-after design classic. Following the journey of the Chandigarh chair, design historian and graphic designer Nia Thandapani looks at the ethics and mechanics of revival.
An Institution Reimagined: Aditi Nayar-Zacharias on Redefining Museum Culture
By actively encouraging people to use their space and connect over shared discoveries of art and culture, a museum in Kerala is rediscovering its purpose. Aditi Nayar-Zacharias, director of the Kerala Museum, speaks to us about changing people’s perceptions of museums, community sculptures, shared spaces, and what revival means in the context of a museum.
Introducing The Revival Project: Stories of Reclamation and Rediscovery
We are in the midst of a modern-day Renaissance, where eager minds are exploring the rebirth, revitalisation and reintegration of neglected and forgotten arts, cultures and ideas. In this series, we will be delving into the nature of these revivals and the stories surrounding them.
Becoming Water: Highs, Lows, Ebbs, and Flows
We know what water is. We’re surrounded by it, composed of it, we drink and expel it. And yet, it remains unfathomable. Dark ‘n’ Light founder Susan Mathews plays with the different faces and interpretations of this life-creating molecule.
A visual poem with art by Lina Krishnan and text by Priyanka Sacheti about finding value in solitude and togetherness, in seeing things alone but also witnessing it in unison. Photo credit: Priyanka Sacheti
Overturning Desi Stones and Bones
Anupama Chandrasekaran, writer and podcaster, takes us behind the scenes of her audio documentary series—Desi Stones and Bones. Tracing her personal odyssey from Chennai to the heart of dinosaur country, she visits sites of ancient seas and dinosaur nests and introduces us to a host of intriguing characters. Learn more about her adventures in this essay.
A Tamil Animist: Gleaning Identity, Nativity, and Animate Wisdom from Tamil Culture
As a naturalist, writer, educator and activist, Yuvan Aves has a unique perspective. In this personal essay, he explores animism in Tamil culture and literature, and delves into themes of philosophy, ecology, polyvocalism, education and identity.
Connecting impossible corners, this poem by Devaki Panini celebrates the spider and its prolific world building. With Vinayak Varma's animation plus music and Umberina Rao's narration, we journey through landscapes to the red spider nebula near the heart of the Milky Way.
The Now That Never Is
Can we agree on a universal ‘now’? Astrophysicist Paul M. Sutter ponders and plays with the idea of the fleeting and ephemeral now.
Sunsets, Long Walks and Mimosas
Poet and writer Joshua Muyiwa takes us on a journey of rediscovery. In this personal essay, he explores themes of identity, the wonders of the natural world, the spaces we inhabit and how we do so. Read on and let yourself be immersed in Joshua's musings.
Dance with Gravity
Introducing ‘Dance with Gravity,’ a Dark ‘n’ Light production that takes its inspiration from the Earth Board, a modern manifestation of the centuries-old Shena Board. The film honours the Persian culture and traditions that conceptualised the board and combines mythology, poetry, movement and music to tell a unique story.
A Fraction of the Universe
16-year-old astrophotographer and stargazer, Prathamesh Jaju, takes us time travelling using only a camera, a tripod and a telescope. Through his beautiful images, we’re able to catch a glimpse of our vast universe and capture a small fraction of it.
A Modern Manifestation: The Evolution of the Earth Board
Ancient Persia has given the world many things that have endured the passage of time. One such object is the Earth Board, a fresh take on the Shena Board, a tool that has been used for hundreds of years. Learn more about the history of the board and the storytelling and myths that were the catalyst for many aspects of Persian culture.
On Nothing: A Journey Into the Void
Paul M. Sutter, astrophysicist, contemplates the vast emptiness of the cosmos and how we have grappled with the concept of "nothingness" through philosophy, art, music and science.
Spinning a Cosmic Web: It’s Filamentary, My Dear
In this blog, we speak of cosmic webs and spider webs and their filamentary structures. Through myth, folklore, and artistic representations, we explore further the scaffolding from which galaxies were born and our own stories emerged.
A Natural Dissonance
Vena Kapoor discusses spiders, invertebrates and other creatures that have been labelled 'creepy'.
The Crystal Lab
We teamed up with Cosmodernism which oscillates around experimental audiovisual arts and performance to create this film using amino acids.
A gut feeling: Finding beauty in the wabi-sabi way
Wabi-Sabi, a Japanese philosophy, is the beauty of all things imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. We harbour our own army of micro artists — the gut microbiome. The gut of the human body nourishes a secret garden arranged in asymmetric, mismatched patterns, creating a wabi-sabi masterpiece of symbolism.
Welcome to the Subverse: of sonic and liminal crossings
The Subverse is the vessel for our sonic voyages, partly a take on the uses of subversion to thwart power, and about stories that lie in the margin and the ‘liminal’.
An illustrated poem that features tweaks, beaks, and the intricate origami of thoughts. Folding and unfurling an excerpt from "Of bug, bee and beast", a book of poetry by Devaki Panini.
Dispel the inky darkness
Behind every project is a story. A personal essay by Devaki Panini on the writing of her book “Of bug, bee and beast”, a tender portrait of other species and the species that we humans ‘other’.
Between the dawn and the dark of night
The title is a line from the song ‘Ripple’ by the Grateful Dead. The song lyrics embrace paradox, contradiction, and non-duality and we will explore that and more in our Dark ‘n’ Light journey.