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Elsewhere Foundation Launched In Memory Of Missing Playwright Swadesh Deepak

Its first presentation -- Mahmood Farooqui's 'Dastan-e-Karn Az Mahabharata' will be held at the Rock Garden in Chandigarh on November 16.

Elsewhere Foundation Launched In Memory Of Missing Playwright Swadesh Deepak

Conceived in memory of Sangeet Natak award-winning playwright Swadesh Deepak (of 'Court Martial' and 'Meine Mandu Nahin Dekha' fame), who has been missing since June 7, 2006 -- when he went for a morning walk and never returned -- the Elsewhere Foundation was today announced in his memory by art management expert Nagina Bains and the writer's son, Sukant Deepak.

Headquartered in Chandigarh, Elsewhere Foundation would not be geographically confined to a particular city, and aims to curate performances, film screenings, art exhibitions and workshops, lectures, art appreciation workshops, and book readings, and facilitate collaborations between different art forms across the country.

Its first presentation -- Mahmood Farooqui's 'Dastan-e-Karn Az Mahabharata' will be held at the Rock Garden in Chandigarh on November 16. It is a retelling of the life of the warrior Karna, based on Urdu, Persian, Hindi, and Sanskrit sources that explores his life, from his birth to his death.

Speaking to the media, co-founder, Sukant Deepak said, "Collaborations between different art forms and messaging through art on contemporary political and social issues have always interested me. It is the idea of 'other' that has always fascinated me. While the foundation is in my father's memory, its purpose is not to promote his works - he would not have liked that at all. Frankly, this idea would not have taken a concrete shape without Nagina's encouragement and expertise in the field of management. I hope the artists and audiences will appreciate our effort."

Co-founder Nagina Bains stressed, "In my professional and personal journey, Elsewhere Foundation comes closest to my core. We would like to present the work of artists belonging to one region, to another. Also, the foundation has a much bigger purpose than just shows. Art education, interactions with artists, and working on social themes by commissioning art projects are high on our agenda. "

The foundation's advisory board includes Padma Bhushan awardee Mallika Sarabhai (classical dancer and actress), Padma Shri awardee Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry (theatre director), Sahitya Akademi award-winning author and poet Jerry Pinto, Pooja Sood (Director, Khoj), Ravi Singh (Publisher, Speaking Tiger), Diwan Manna (photographer), Nirupama Dutt (poet and critic) and Chander Trikha (Director, Haryana Sahitya Akademi and Haryana Urdu Akademi).

Talking about the foundation, author and Trustee, Kochi Biennale Foundation, NS Madavan, said, "I have high hopes for Elsewhere Foundation -- a platform open to multiple arts and their confluence. Throughout the world, diverse art forms are coming together and strictly defined ones do not really exist anymore. We must get over binaries. It is extremely important that audiences of a particular region are exposed to art forms belonging to other ones. Cross-fertilization is always a great idea."

Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry stressed, "Mahmood Farooqui is an outstanding dastango. It is a real coup that Elsewhere Foundation has invited him to perform in Chandigarh on November 16. The audience will experience an outstanding performer, and hopefully, interesting conversations on art will emerge."

Sahitya Akademi award-winning Poet Arundhathi Subramaniam added about the Elsewhere Foundation, " At a moment when we are all trying collectively to understand how to be global without turning rootless, how to be local without turning insular, how to remain different without turning separate, the Elsewhere Foundation is a wonderful step in the right direction. I am delighted to hear that it is in the memory of a man of letters and that it is committed to promoting conversations across the frozen attitudes that divide our world."

National Award-winning lyricist, writer, and filmmaker Varun Grover said," Such an independent initiative is paramount in contemporary times considering we have forgotten how this country is connected. Elsewhere's constitution of not being geographically restricted is bound to bring people closer through artists when they are exposed to art forms other than what they generally consume."

Filmmaker and anthropologist Ashish Avikunthak feels, "Swadesh Deepak's body of work astonishingly epitomizes the enduring quality of being an outsider who was deeply cognizant with his interiority. At the center of his literary output was a peripatetic imagination of the journey within. Elsewhere Foundation takes the infinite possibility of this essence to explore the itinerant wonderous of our contemporary times. It attempts to foster an urgently needed multi-disciplinary conversation between art, performance, music, films, and literature to open our world to inventive collaborations."



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