WE with Women Scream International Festival of Art & Poetry 2017 :
'WE - Poetic Justice' at the US Consulate, Dosti House, Mumbai (March 16, 2017) and
'WE Speak Up' at Kitabkhana, (March 18, 2017)
WE participated in the 7th Woman Scream International Poetry and Arts Festival in 2017. Two poetry readings held on March 16 & 18, 2017 are very special for us, as WE formed bonds with interesting groups and organizations, celebrating them with poetry and conversation. Eminent as well as emerging poets came together to speak up for an equal & safe world for women.
'Poetic Justice' on March 16, was collaboration between Women Empowered-India (WE), MPI's 'Woman Scream 2017, and the US Consulate in Mumbai. The sessions were -
1.Readings from Erotext & Fractals by Sudeep Sen,
2.Spiritual Bonds - Poetry That Heals, with Priya Sarukkai Chabria ( her poems were read by Sudeep & Smeetha as she could not be present), Anju Makhija and Vinita Agarwal; moderated by Sudeep Sen,
3.Tracing Trails - In Search of Roots, with Nabina Das, Gayatri Chawla & Smeetha Bhoumik, moderated by Bina Sarkar Ellias,
4.Women Today - Ties That Bind, with Sanjeev Khandekar, Smita Sahay, Sharon Irani, moderated by Vinita Agarwal.
As part of Women Scream 2017, 'WE Speak Out' was held on March 18 at Kitabkhana, with conversations, readings & a book launch; where poets-authors shared their thoughts on equal rights issues, on a journey towards an equal world. The poets-authors are Sudeep Sen, Vinita Agarwal, Smita Sahay, Smeetha Bhoumik, Sharon Irani, Mahesh Leelapandit, Ramneek Singh, Shuchi Mehta, Ankita Shah, Trupthi Shetty, Damini Kane, Harnidh Kaur, Mrinalini Harchandrai, Priyal Panchal, Prakriti Kargeti
The evening, saw the Mumbai launch of Erotext, Sudeep Sen's new poetry collection, followed by an illuminating conversation around the book with Smita Sahay & Sharon Irani. Describing the evening, Prof Ashwani Kumar puts it so warmly: '.....enjoyed “word by word, line by line” empowering feminist justice poetry from the Generation Next and Sudeep’s sublime ‘Ero Text’ a lexical and axial delight and wonder…' He then quotes from 'I Lalla', (The Poems of Lal Ded translated by Ranjit Hoskote):
I burnt the dirt from my mind,
a knife in my heart,
Spread my skirt to kneel at His door.
Only then did Lalla’s name travel from mouth to mouth.
WE are extremely fortunate to have the support and participation of Womaninc, and other like-minded community groups. It's a pleasure extending our heartfelt thanks to all poets & authors who read, and to all those who graced the occasion with their presence.
Women Empowered-India (WE) is comprised of you, and we are deeply aware of the brilliance, kindness, love and warmth that shines on WE because of you....
Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal Bob McKerrow Menka Shivdasani Upal Deb Arundhathi Subramaniami Priya Sarukkai Chabria Gjv Prasad Anju Makhija Ashwani Kumar Bina Sarkar Ellias Sudeep Sen Hemant Divate Nabina Das Smruti Divate Anjali Purohit Vinita Agrawal Rochelle Potkar Taseer Gujral SoniaRao Sanjeev Khandekar Jennifer Robertson Sumana Roy Smita Sahay, Gayatri Chawla, Sharon Iranii, Pervin Saket, Smriti Smriti Shetty Dalvii, Sucharita Balraj Mahesh Leelapandit, Trupthi Shetty, Ankita Shah Ramneek Singh Shuchi Mehta Damini Kane Priyal Panchal, Prakriti Kargeti, Harnidh Kaur & Mrinalini Harchandraii....many other friends, poets, beautiful people...
In our conversation 'Self-Expression in Feminism', Vinita Agarwal began by mentioning that self expression in feminism is not a new phenomenon. She quoted the rebellious poetry of Therigatha - a collection of Buddhist feminist verses written by women who chose the spiritual path written 2600 years ago during the times of Buddha. She revealed how poetry heals and alleviates the suffering of women to some extent at least, and spoke of the beautiful bonds that women create by sharing poetry; she then read an extract from a poem by Anu Mahadev, (editor - Womaninc.com). Smita Sahay read a poem by Sumana Roy in Veils, Halos & Shackles, which always elicits a startled response in listeners - immense sadness and an awareness of all the fleeting beauty amidst it. I spoke about the need to undrestand and define our own feminism, instead of trying to fit into a given set of descriptions by others.