Posts tagged global talent project

Kashmir shawls – Wani’s self-help group

Wani

How do you find the talents? It’s one of the most asked questions people ask me about the project. It’s always different and that’s what makes it so interesting. My time in Kashmir was definitely different… I arrived in the middle of Ramadan and celebrated AID (the end of it) with the local sufi-muslims. It turned out to be a very welcoming and open atmosphere in one of the most disputed areas of the world. Since I had seen Kashmir-shops all over India, I was anxious to see where these products came from. Especially the Kashmir shawls drew my attention. Since everybody I talked to seemed to be of the male-gender, I decided to search for a women’s group. Surely this wouldn’t be too hard?

A full week I stayed in Shrinagar, asking anyone that would listen where I could find a group of independent women that make Kashmir shawls. Nobody knew. Or if they knew and enthusiastically told me ‘sure, no problem!’, the shrewd Kashmiri businessmen would follow that sentence with a ‘so what will you pay me for that information?’. Youssef, owner of my regular restaurant, shook his head sympathetically each time he saw me coming back empty handed. Eventually one day he came up to me and told me for Allah’s sake to go to the local television studio. ‘They are educated people, there they will help you.’ Figuring I didn’t really have any alternatives, I decided to follow his advice.

My first attempt to get in failed miserably (‘no sir, security problem sir’). Being Kashmir’s voice to the world, the television station (Durdarshan), is one of the most guarded and well-defended buildings in India. The next day however, I met a more willing attendant and after some phone calls, some questions and a lot of waiting I could go through the multiple military check posts to visit the head of operations personally. I was pleased to see that the Durdarshan director turned out to be a woman. She immediately decided to help me and pulled some strings to find me my women’s group. In fact, she liked the idea so much, that she decided to make an item of it herself and consequently sent a whole television crew with me! Deep into the Kashmiri valley of paradise I eventually found what I was looking for: an independent women’s group making Kashmir shawls: Wani’s self-help group!

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The Sufyana music performed in the video was done by Mohammed Yaqoob Sheikh & Party. Their group is a well known performer of Sufyana music and is one of the only professional groups in Kashmir that consists mostly of women (albeit, being led by a man). Like with the women’s self help group, the Durdarshan director also assisted in arranging this music-performance in her studio.

To get in contact with Wani might be challenging. None in her group speaks English. If interested however, the contact details of the government official that helped funding their group are available by contacting the GTP. The same goes for Mohammed Yaqoob!

Drama in India – Rudradeep Chakrabarti

Rudradep

The GTP has been dangling on a very thin rope this last month. Or maybe not the project as such, but more the technical expression of it. It’s not that surprising, considdering that I myself almost got a system overload going through some of the beautiful, mindblowing areas of this country. But where my brain only just could process the information, my laptop wouldn’t take it anymore and decided to block the Indian world and me out from its most inner files. Fortunately, a local geek was able to breath life in my heavy companion once more and I could refresh most of its memmory. A memmory that was already full of what one could call ‘the beat of India’. Being in this country has not given me a single boring day. On the contrary. With millions of people, it is sometimes difficult to find the time and the place to be with your own thoughts. India seems to be the stage for a never ending play. One scetch even more bisar than the last.

The first talent to turn the spotlight on, not surprisingly, is therefore not the usual GTP-suspect, but a creative talent nonetheless. Meet stage director Rudradeep and let his words and his world inspire you.

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Music by Ustad Hanif and two of his students from the ‘Delhi Music Emprium’ in Changspa, Delhi. Their video can be found here.

Although Rudradeep is a gifted ‘scatcher’, which he does sometimes to prepare for his plays, he has learned to trust on his instincts and let his plays form while he works on them. Therefore, none of his creative work can be purchased. He is a talented upcoming stage-directer nonetheless and for any kind of information on Indian performing arts, Rudradeep is the guy to talk to and learn from. Contact the GTP to get in contact with Rudradeep!

Rudradep Chakrabarti
Rudradep Chakrabarti
Rudradep Chakrabarti

Madan Shrestha – A ‘Moment of life’ in Nepal

Madan

‘It takes a crane to build a crane’… (Jason Mraz in his song: ‘Life is wonderful’) Life certainly is wonderful in Nepal, or at least: if you know where to look! Madan Shrestha knows this very well and has both a talented eye as a talented hand when it comes to painting the moments of life that make Nepal such a unique country. Being only 22 (1989), Madan is a remarkable talent. He is part of a group of upcoming artists, schooled in the school of arts in Kathmandu. In Madan Shrestha’s case, it takes an artist to make an artist. Not only did he become passionate about art because of his teacher when he was a little boy, he now also shares this passion with the vast amount of children that he teaches in school.

When I met Madan, he had just finished a very successful first solo-exhibition in Kathmandu called ‘moment of life’. I couldn’t wish for a better moment to help Madan with more digital promotion. It should be noted that Madan considers himself to be in the experimental faze of his painting-career and that he will experiment further with different styles and materials. One thing is very clear however. Madan is very much inspired by everyday life in Nepal and how it relates to Nepalese natural beauty. I, for one, am very interested in where his creative career will lead him. For the Global Talent Project (and because my knowledge of the Nepales language is limited to ‘namaste’), Madan bravely talked with me in English.

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Music by Kutumba, a very popular Nepalese band, that I had the fortune to visit when they where practising. The full version of the music in this video can be found here.

Madan’s art has mostly been sold, so this time it will not be possible to buy his art via the GTP. If you are interested in contacting him however, you can contact the GTP for his details. More photo’s of his work here.

Moment of Life - by Madan Shrestha
Moment of Life - by Madan Shrestha
Moment of Life - by Madan Shrestha
Moment of Life - by Madan Shrestha
Moment of Life - by Madan Shrestha
Moment of Life - by Madan Shrestha
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