Dear friend,

Lokayat through its cultural club AAGHAZ is also organising a 2 day cultural festival titled

Understanding nuclear politics through songs, film and theatre

on August 5 and 6. The invitation is attached. The venue is Sneh Sadan next to Narayan Peth Police Chowky on Aug 5 and LOKAYAT HALL on Aug 6. Do join us for this inaugural program of AAGHAZ in its second year. It is a rare opportunity. The play HAMLET MACHINE is by one of Europe's best playwrights Heiner Muller, and Hamlet machine is supposed to be her greatest work.


Understanding nuclear politics through films, songs, theatre



Day 1: Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Venue: Sneh Sadan, Near Narayan Peth Police Chowky, Pune


6 pm:    Inauguration and program of songs by Sambhaji Bhagat,

             the famed folk singer from Mumbai



              by Parnab Mukherjee

             renowned alternate theatre director from Kolkata


7.00 – 8.00 pm: Play    HAMLETMACHINE

                        by Best Of Kolkata Campus

                          Directed by Parnab Mukherjee

                          Based on writings by Heiner Muller, world famous East German playwright

                          Additional text by: Badal Sircar and Tagore


This play by BEST OF KOLKATA CAMPUS  is adapted from the famed play HAMLETMACHINE by the world famous East German playwright Heiner Muller. Heiner Müller is considered one of the most important playwrights of the 20th century and HamletMachine, his greatest work.  On the other hand, Shakespeares Hamlet is considered the greatest play ever written. HamletMachine was written in 1977 and had its first production in France in 1979.  The play reflects Muller's critique of the intellectual in conflict with history.


Best of Kolkata Campus is a Calcutta based group of young actors who have been performing for the last 15 years. The group believes that theatre is an important and independent tool of dissent outside the ambit of party politics. They have merged HAMLETMACHINE and Muller and modified it using additional text by Rabindranath Tagore and Badal Sircar to create a play to discuss contemporary nuclear politics.


SYNOPSIS OF THE PLAY: Fragmented landscape, post-cold war politics of nuclear power, Jadugoda, Domiasiat, Nalgonda, the uranium politics, lost voices from Baliapal, Bhoma fighting in Sunderbans to save the grass from radiation… images of life and death play themselves out…as the arms race gathers momentum… What would Hamlet do in such a landscape? The play poses hard questions about a world dominated by nuclear powers and nuclear politics and also an India where the policymakers use nuclear politics to create amnesia about other pressing questions…







Day 2: Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Venue: Lokayat Hall, Opp. Syndicate Bank, Near Nal Stop, Law College Road, Pune.


6.00 – 8.00 pm:  Film: JANG AUR AMAN (War and Peace) – film in Hindi

                           Directed by Anand Patwardhan (Mumbai)

                           To be followed by a discussion led by Anand Patwardhan




Synopsis of JANG AUR AMAN:


WAR AND PEACE documents the current, epic journey of peace activism in the face of global militarism and war. WAR AND PEACE examines not merely the militarization of India, but analyzes the human cost that is extracted from its citizens in the name of 'National Security.' From the plight of residents living near the nuclear test site, and the horrendous effects of uranium mining on local indigenous populations, it becomes clear that, contrary to a myth first created in the U.S., there is no such thing as the "peaceful Atom."


WAR AND PEACE slips seamlessly from its analysis of homemade jingoism to focus on how an aggressive United States has become a Foreign Relations role model. The unofficial U.S. doctrine of 'Might Makes Right' is only too well absorbed and emulated by aspiring Third World elites.


As we enter the 21st century, enemies are being re-invented, economies are inextricably tied to the production and sale of weapons, and in the moral wastelands of the world, war has become perennial. Memories of Gandhi seem like a mirage that never was, created by our thirst for peace and our very distance from it.

In solidarity,

Neeraj Jain

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