6th Aaina: South Asian Women’s Focus 2011


Posted on August 2nd, by admin in 2011. No Comments

March 25-27, 2011

Aaina, which in Urdu means mirror, focuses on and celebrates the artistic work of and about South Asian women. This year’s festival includes film, visual and performance art, speakers, and conversations aimed at highlighting issues relevant to South Asian women. The spotlight event of Aaina is Yoni Ki Baat, which will be directed byShahana Dattagupta.

Yoni Ki Baat is a growing collection of authentic, bold, vivid, tender, powerful, and poignant stories told by South Asian women. Seattle’s Yoni Ki Baat has taken a creative life of its own in a unique space of sharing and community through sourcing and presenting true stories from local South Asian women. Each year our narratives shed light on the special challenges and opportunities experienced in the South Asian socio-cultural context, whether in native lands or in adopted homelands. Acknowledging female sexuality as an essential aspect of identity, experience and expression, this transformative space encourages South Asian women to express their challenges, hopes, dreams, breakdowns, breakthroughs, and aspirations for change on behalf of their bodies.

Visit the Yoni Ki Baat blog for program, performer profiles, articles, and more!

All programs will be at The Seattle Asian Art Museum (Volunteer Park).

Management Team: Rita Meher (Executive Director, Aaina), Prachi Vora (Co-Director, Aaina), Shahana Dattagupta (Director, Yoni Ki Baat), Moumita Bhattacharya (Producer, Yoni Ki Baat)
Sponsorship Coordinator: Uzma Khan
Events Coordinators: Kiran Dhillon, Amruta Gulanikar, Shaman D’Souza
Community Partnerships: Alka Kurian, Manoshi Vin, Kruti Vora
Program Coordinators: Meenakshi Rishi, Gazelle Samizay
Festival Coordinators: Anagha Kulkarni, Runika Tiwari , Sonie John, Yeshodara Fisher, Meenu Bhardwaj, Aparna Venkateswaran, Semonti Hossain
Aaina Webpage Support: Sudeshna Sathe
Flyer Design: Zaara KittenChops

Gupshup and Opening Night

Friday March 25th, 2011, 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
1400 East Prospect Street – Volunteer Park, Seattle, WA, 98112
cost: Free

 

Join us for an evening of chit chat and gupshup with local South Asian women artists showcasing their art as we officially open Aaina 2011!! Paintings, illustrations, photography, fiber art, video installation, and more!

The Aaina organizers welcome you to enjoy some good conversation over warm chai, provided by Jaipur Avenue Chai and snacks from Shah Kitchen and Mayuri.

We are so excited to feature six amazing local artists for this year’s Gupshup. Come hear about the work they’re doing in our community and their inspiring stories.

 

Aaliyah Gupta was born in Kolkata, India and has lived, worked and exhibited in India, Denmark and the USA and traveled extensively throughout the world. She is deeply committed to social change work and is actively involved in the struggle to end violence against women and in immigrant rights and civil liberties campaigns.Over the years, her work has been rooted in the ideas of connection and interdependence, nurture and sustenance, microscosms and macrocosms. Most recently, natural disasters across the world have fueled her interest in the idea of dispersion, the movement of light, color and particulate matter. The dispersion of ash, smoke, clouds, wind, water have had a global impact on multiple levels, transforming entire geographies, economies and communities. On a more micro level, she has been exploring the themes of symbiosis and coexistence, looking at complex organisms that exist in symbiotic relationships.

Aaliyah’s 2011 exhibitions include Erasing Borders Exhibition of Contemporary Indian Art of the Diaspora 2011, Indo American Arts Council, New York; The Sketchbook Project , Arthouse Co-op, New York; and a solo show at Core Gallery, Seattle in July. Her work can be seen on her website, www.aaliyahgupta.net

Ankita Patel started photography when she graduated law school. She took a black and white film photography class at the Photographic Center North West. There, she learned how to look at world through the lens, how to talk about pictures, and how to convey messages through pictures. Since then, she bought a dSLR and started to explore Seattle through her lens. For Ankita, photography brings balance. She currently works at the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WSCADV) on the Fatality Review Project. At work, she remembers and honors the lives lost due to violence, and with photography, she makes the time to capture and honor life as she knows it.Ankita’s prints will be for sale through the weekend. All proceeds will be donated to WSCADV to honor the lives of domestic violence victims. Founded in 1990 by survivors of domestic violence and their allies, WSCADV is a non-profit network of over 60 domestic violence victim advocacy programs across the state of Washington. Their work includes public policy advocacy, training and technical assistance to advocates and other professionals, research, producing educational tools, and promoting awareness about domestic violence. They improve how communities respond to domestic violence and work to create a social intolerance for abuse. Viewers are welcome to donate to WSCADV online.
Gazelle Samizay Gazelle Samizay was born in Kabul, Afghanistan and now resides in the US. Using video and photography she explores the intersection of her Afghan heritage and American upbringing through her status as a woman in both spaces. Memories are reinterpreted and performed to express the complex, layered world of an immigrant Afghan family, touching on both the personal and sociopolitical. Samizay often uses a female protagonist to question cultural definitions and constraints, revealing the burden of cultural and gendered expectations. By performing these rituals within the diaspora, she investigates how traditions may be perpetuated, reconfigured or challenged in new locales.Samizay’s photographs and videos have been exhibited across the US and internationally, including Brazil, Bulgaria, Egypt, France, Indonesia, Pakistan, and the UK. She will exhibit her first solo show in New York at the Guild Gallery this spring. In addition to her studio practice, she has taught courses in Afghanistan, Jordan and the US, and her writing has been published in One Story, Thirty Stories: An Anthology of Contemporary Afghan American Literature. Samizay is a recipient of the Princess Grace Experimental Film Honoraria, the 1885 Graduate Fellowship in Arts and Humanities, and the Northern Trust Enrichment Award, among others. She received her Master’s in Fine Arts in photography at the University of Arizona. Visit Samizay’s website for more information.
Shahana Dattagupta is a multi-faceted artist – design strategist, classical vocalist, visual artist, stage performer and writer. She believes that creative expression is the source of healing, empowerment and transformation, and she is, therefore, passionate about being a catalyst for others’ creativity and building creative communities – both of which are at the heart of her sustained engagement with Aaina.This year, Shahana is bringing to life her passion for collective creativity through directing Yoni ki Baat, and she is delighted to also share her personal expression through showing her visual art. Presently, her visual art consists of abstract expressions of her spiritual journey, commentaries on the social, political, cultural conditions and womanhood in her native India, or the transcultural experiences of being an Indian-American. View more of her work here.
Sharda Monga Sharda Monga is a dual citizen of India and New Zealand and has been residing in Auckland since November 2001. Sharda was educated at Banasthali Vidyapith and holds a Master’s in history from the University of Rajasthan. Her interests include Indian classical vocal and instrumental music (plays the sitar and gives recitals), reading historical books, watching Indian movies and TV serials, and writing Hindi poetry—which has been published online (OBO- Book on Line and Navageet Ki Pathshala).A beautician by profession, Sharda is an amateur painter in the field of portraits, nature, birds, and enlargements of Indian classical miniature paintings. Sharda’s blogs include: Sanskrit-Bharatasy JeevanamMeri Rachnayen- Mere Geet aur mere chitraSwarnim PalLokgeet,Smrutiyon ke chalchitra, and Mere sansmaran.
Smriti Rai is a Fiber Artist. She became interested in Fiber Art during her Master’s program in Clothing and Textile at Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda, India. Upon completing her studies, Smriti worked in her field in India. But her love for art led her to leave her job and become a full time artist.Smriti believes that her art is the best way to express her emotions, perceptions of surroundings, and her experiences in life. She mainly works with the idea of “spirituality.” She works by combining different mediums with fibers, yarns, and fabrics in her art. Smriti was born and raised in India, and currently lives with her husband in the US. She also shares her interest in Indian Classical music.
Also featuring an exclusive music video of “Roots,” an R&B and world music fusion experience, in which recording artist Prita Chhabra describes both the joys and struggles of being raised in North America while having cultural roots in another country (in Prita’s case, India). Currently based between Orlando and Toronto, Prita was born in Montreal but raised in Florida, receiving her first taste of showbiz while working and singing at Disney World. She recently sang the national anthem for the NBA’s Orlando Magic team at Amway Center, and performed for over 10,000 people at Palm Beach’s 8th annual Indiafest. For more details on Prita Chhabra visit: www.pritamusic.com.

 

 

Yoni Ki Baat – 2011 premiere!

Friday March 25th, 2011, 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM
1400 East Prospect Street – Volunteer Park, Seattle, WA, 98112
cost: $17 SAM non-members, $14 SAM Members/ Student

 

Yoni Ki Baat 2011 is a collection of sixteen authentic, bold, vivid, tender, powerful, and poignant stories, all sourced and written locally in Seattle by South Asian women, through extensive story-building workshops, and also told on stage by local South Asian women. This year our stories connect the dots to form a master narrative, which asks important questions about gender, patriarchy, abuse and oppression, and also paints a bold vision for exercising choice and celebrating body, sexuality and love. Our narratives are as much daring questions and challenges posed to the world, as they are baring reflections of ourselves in the mirror, in the true spirit of AAINA.

This year’s Yoni ki Baat is directed by Shahana Dattagupta.

Tickets can be purchased through SAM!

Visit the Yoni Ki Baat blog HERE for program, performer profiles, articles, and more!

 

Gulabi Gang – Pink Saris and I Am

Saturday March 26th, 2011, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
1400 East Prospect Street – Volunteer Park, Seattle, WA, 98112
cost: $8 suggested donation

 

Reserve your seats now – Brown Paper Tickets!

Gulabi Gang – Pink Saris (Kim Longinotto, UK/India, 2010, 96min, Hindi)

“A girl’s life is cruel…A woman’s life is very cruel,” notes Sampat Pal, the complex protagonist at the center of PINK SARIS, internationally acclaimed director Kim Longinotto’s latest foray into the lives of extraordinary women (sisters-in-law, divorce Iranian style, rough aunties).

Sampat should know – like many others she was married as a young girl into a family which made her work hard and beat her often. But unusually, she fought back, leaving her in-laws and eventually becoming famous as a champion for beleaguered women throughout Uttar Pradesh, many of whom find their way to her doorstep.

Like Rekha, a fourteen year old Untouchable, who is three months pregnant and homeless – unable to marry her unborn child’s father because of her low caste. Fifteen year old Renu’s husband from an arranged marriage has abandoned her, her father-in-law has been raping her and she’s threatening to throw herself under a train. Both young women, frightened and desperate, reach out for their only hope: Sampat Pal and her Gulabi Gang, Northern India’s women vigilantes in pink.

PINK SARIS is an unflinching and often amusing look at these unlikely political activists and their charismatic leader; in extraordinary scenes, we watch Sampat launch herself into the centre of family dramas, witnessed by scores of spectators, convinced her mediation is the best path for these vulnerable girls. Her partner Babuji, who has watched Sampat change over the years, is less certain…

I Am (formerly Out & About)(Sonali Gulati, US/India, 2010, 20min, English, work-in-progress)What do parents do when they find out that their child is gay? Having lost the opportunity to tell her mother that she is a lesbian, a young Indian filmmaker in search of answers, travels across India to meet with parents of other gay and lesbian South Asians. I Am is a personal and revealing feature film that journeys to a landscape where being gay is a criminal and punishable offence. Can this documentary conversation offer any resolution for either the filmmaker or the parents she meets? With courage, determination, and humor, families share untold stories that have thus far remained in the realm of secrecy and silence.

 

About Sonali Gulati

Sonali Gulati is an Assistant Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Photography & Film. She has an MFA in Film & Media Arts from Temple University and a BA in Critical Social Thought from Mount Holyoke College. Ms. Gulati’s areas of specialization are film production and experimental filmmaking.

She has made several short films that have screened at over two hundred film festivals worldwide including Canada, United States, Europe, Australia, and Asia. She has won awards and grants from foundations such as the Third Wave Foundation and the World Studio Foundation, and recently won the Theresa Pollak Award for Excellence in the Arts in Film.

 

Hiding Divya (Rehana Mirza, US/India, 2006, 86min, Hindi/English)

Saturday March 26th, 2011, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM
1400 East Prospect Street – Volunteer Park, Seattle, WA, 98112
cost: $8 suggested donation

 

Reserve your seats now – Brown Paper Tickets!

Post-film discussion with director Rehana Mirza.

 

Mirza’s powerhouse feature film debut provides a rare, realistic and poignant glimpse into the lives of three generations of women: the bipolar matriarch Divya Shah (played by revered actress Madhur Jaffrey); her estranged daughter Linny (starring former Miss USA India, Pooja Kumar); and, Linny’s 16-year-old daughter, Jia (newcomer Madelaine Massey), whose emotional turmoil is buried under a veil of secrecy.

Combining the deft humor of Mirza’s award-winning shorts with the philosophical twists of her acclaimed stage plays, HIDING DIVYA tells a story of denial, shame, guilt and, most of all, love. More on Hiding Divya here.

About Rehana Mirza:

Rehana Mirza is a screenwriter, playwright and director. HIDING DIVYA marks her feature film debut. Mirza, 29, is co-founder (with her sister Rohi Mirza Pandya) and Artistic Director of Desipina & Company, a South Asian and Asian-American arts company promoting cross-pollination in theatre and film.

Women of Nepal: 2 Films and a Play

Saturday March 26th, 2011, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
1400 East Prospect Street – Volunteer Park, Seattle, WA, 98112
cost: $10 suggested donation (all proceeds go to visiting Nepali artist)

 

Reserve your seat now – Brown Paper Tickets

 

Girlworld Project (Amy Benson , US, 2010, 20min, work-in-progress, Nepali/English)

Director Amy Benson, a West Seattle native, will be present.

GirlWorld Project is made up of intimate, in-depth portraits of three Nepali girls struggling to go to and stay in school. The final documentary will be told in three 90-minute films spanning a five-year period. In the film, they will introduce the main characters, watch them as they contend with major challenges as well as get the audience hooked on the girls and their stories. Compared to their noneducated peers, they will be getting married older, having fewer children. Their mothers will gain confidence and independence and their fathers responsibility. Their families’ standard of living will rise; their homes will improve. Not statistically—literally, visibly.

 

Chaukaith (“Threshold”) (Deepak Rauniyar & Asha Magarati, Nepal, 2008, 31min, Nepali)

Chaukaith is an encounter between two young women, a housewife and a single, divorced mother working as a census officer. All the acting is improvised, with no scripted dialogue.

Chaukaith portraits contemporary features of Nepalese society and it also raises questions about barriers among different people and societies, but in a more intimate and domestic context – in which a woman searches for her identity, a life outside her own threshold.

*Swasnimanchhe: A Married Woman (Asha Magarati, 30min, Nepali)

Swasnimanchhe is dramatic comedy based on lives of 3 wives of contemporary Nepal, and reflects how the relationships are changing here. It will be performed by our guest performer Asha Magarati from Kathmandu, Nepal.

1. Mamata Gurung, a schoolteacher, is married with a doctor.
2.Radhika Ghising, wife of an Indian Army.
3.Kavita Biswakarma, a sex worker.

Asha Magarati will be visiting from Kathmandu to perform in this one-act play. A well-known playwright actor in Nepal, she has acted in many Nepali films, and plays. When she is not acting, she teaches drama to kids in Kathmandu. She is the featured actress in the film Chaukaithi we will be showing before her performance.

*The Play will be in Nepali.

 

Yoni Ki Baat

Saturday March 26th, 2011, 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM
1400 East Prospect Street – Volunteer Park, Seattle, WA, 98112
cost: $17 SAM non-members, $14 SAM Members/ Student

 

Yoni Ki Baat 2011 is a collection of sixteen authentic, bold, vivid, tender, powerful, and poignant stories, all sourced and written locally in Seattle by South Asian women, through extensive story-building workshops, and also told on stage by local South Asian women. This year our stories connect the dots to form a master narrative, which asks important questions about gender, patriarchy, abuse and oppression, and also paints a bold vision for exercising choice and celebrating body, sexuality and love. Our narratives are as much daring questions and challenges posed to the world, as they are baring reflections of ourselves in the mirror, in the true spirit of AAINA.

This year’s Yoni ki Baat is directed by Shahana Dattagupta.

Tickets can be purchased through SAM!

Visit the Yoni Ki Baat blog HERE for program, performer profiles, articles, and more!

 

Aaina After Party

Saturday March 26th, 2011, 10:30 PM – 1:00 AM
414 East Pine Street, Seattle, WA, 98122
cost: Donations accepted

After an eventful day of Aaina, we’re making the celebrations last into the night by partnering with NetIP Seattle for the Afterparty!

Fancy a beverage, dancing, or hanging out with the Aaina crew and YKB performers? Join us at the Capitol Club around 10:30pm after Yoni Ki Baat on Saturday, March 26th.

There’s no cover! Donations are accepted. 21+.

Check out the Tapas-style Mediterranean menu and the dreamy ambiance at The Capitol Club.

Sponsored by:
NetIP Seattle

Afghans in America: a Reading from One Story, Thirty Stories

Sunday March 27th, 2011, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
1400 East Prospect Street – Volunteer Park, Seattle, WA, 98112
cost: Free

 

One Story, Thirty Stories is an anthology of American writing. As the military and media continue to spin their own agendas in and about Afghanistan, join us for nuanced perspectives on Afghans in America with Zohra Saed, Sahar Muradi and Gazelle Samizay.

Program includes readings, photographs and conversations with them.

About Zohra Saed:

Zohra Saed was born in Jalalabad, Afghanistan and came to the U.S. as a child. She completed her MFA in Poetry at Brooklyn College and is currently a Doctoral Candidate in English Literature at The City University of New York Graduate Center. Her poetry and essays have been widely anthologized.

Zohra is also the co-founding editor of Up-Set Press, an indie press based in Brooklyn: www.upsetpress.org

About Sahar Muradi:

Sahar Muradi was born in Kabul, Afghanistan and raised in New York and Florida. She holds a B.A. in creative writing and literature from Hampshire College, and an M.P.A. in international development from New York University.

In 2003, Sahar returned to Kabul to work for two years at the Afghan Foreign Ministry and at the Foundation for Culture and Civil Society. She is co-founder of the Association of Afghan American Writers and an Organizing Fellow for the Open City Project, a community-based writing project through the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. Sahar lives in New York City.

About Gazelle Samizay:

Gazelle Samizay was born in Kabul, Afghanistan and now resides in the US. Using video and photography she explores the intersection of her Afghan heritage and American upbringing through her status as a woman in both spaces. Her work investigates how traditions may be perpetuated, reconfigured or challenged in new locales.

Samizay’s photographs and videos have been exhibited across the US and internationally, including Brazil, Bulgaria, Egypt, France, Indonesia, Pakistan, and the UK. Samizay is a recipient of the Princess Grace Experimental Film Honoraria, the 1885 Graduate Fellowship in Arts and Humanities, and the Northern Trust Enrichment Award, among others. She received her Bachelor’s from the University of Washington and Master’s in Fine Arts at the University of Arizona.

 

Sponsored by:
Retail Therapy

Afghan Girls can Kick (Bahareh Hosseni, Afghanistan, 2007, 50 min, Dari, English subtitles )

Sunday March 27th, 2011, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM
1400 East Prospect Street – Volunteer Park, Seattle, WA, 98112
cost: FREE; $8 suggested donation

 

Reserve your seats now – Brown Paper Tickets!

Post-film discussion with director Bahareh Hosseni and local SA girls who love soccer.

“Afghan girls can kick” is an intimate fly-on-the-wall documentary portrait of teenage girls breaking the stereotypes set for them by intensely conservative Afghan society, in some cases escaping grinding poverty, gaining self-esteem and confidence as players in Afghanistan’s first ever women’s national football team.

The film follows the team during preparations for their first competitive international matches, concentrating on a number of the players and their journey from growing up under the Taliban, to their life in modern-day Afghanistan and their hopes for the future. Afghan Girls Can Kick offers a rare and intimate insight into the lives of young Afghan women, showing them as people individuals striving for a future and not just passive victims.

About Bahareh Hosseini

Bahareh Hosseini is a 32-year-old freelance Iranian film-maker based in Britain. After studying fine art in Tehran, Bahareh worked as a painter, actress and performance artist, before moving into film-making. She has since worked as a self-shooter director/producer on a range of documentaries and has shot a variety of projects in Afghanistan,Africa and the UK. For her first solo documentary production, Bahareh spent three months living in Afghanistan following a group of young women breaking the mould of what it means to be an Afghan woman in the national football team.

www.baharehhosseini.com

The post-film discussion will be moderated by Dr. Sonora Jha, associate professor of journalism and media studies at Seattle university. Dr. Jha teaches courses in journalism and international cinema and is a former bureau chief with The Times of India as well as the newspaper’s foreign film critic.

Participants– (in alphabetical order)

Devika Chipalkatti is 11 years old and currently is a 5th grader at The Overlake School in Redmond. She loves to act, paint, and sing. And, she LOVES soccer. Devika loves to learn about current day events and history . She is very interested in this movie and is pleased to participate.

Geetanjali (Geeta) Iyer is 11 years old and is a 5th grader at Thoreau Elementary in the Lake Washington School District. Her many passions include soccer, oil painting, and theater. She is grateful for this opportunity to participate in this panel because the film has broadened her interests in politics and current events.

Isha Korde is 12 years old and a 6th grader at Beaver Lake Middle School. Her favorite hobby is Photography. She usually takes pictures of plants and wildlife. She doesn’t like hanging out with people that much, but enjoys going for walks with her dog, Sparks, and the neighbor’s dog, Buster. Isha plays cello and piano. She doesn’t enjoy wearing dresses or skirts, and the only types of jewelry she wears are nose studs and earrings.

Mallika Wagle is 12 years old and a 7th grade student at Vista Academy at Open Window School, in Bellevue. She is an avid skier and table tennis player, loves math, enjoys playing the piano, and can get completely lost in books for many hours at a time.

Sponsored by:
Kabul Afghan Cuisine

Yoni Ki Baat

Sunday March 27th, 2011, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
1400 East Prospect Street – Volunteer Park, Seattle, WA, 98112
cost: $17 Non SAM Members, $14 SAM Members/ Student

 

Yoni Ki Baat 2011 is a collection of sixteen authentic, bold, vivid, tender, powerful, and poignant stories, all sourced and written locally in Seattle by South Asian women, through extensive story-building workshops, and also told on stage by local South Asian women. This year our stories connect the dots to form a master narrative, which asks important questions about gender, patriarchy, abuse and oppression, and also paints a bold vision for exercising choice and celebrating body, sexuality and love. Our narratives are as much daring questions and challenges posed to the world, as they are baring reflections of ourselves in the mirror, in the true spirit of AAINA.

This year’s Yoni ki Baat is directed by Shahana Dattagupta.

Tickets can be purchased through SAM!

Visit the Yoni Ki Baat blog HERE for program, performer profiles, articles, and more!

 

 





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