UnBox is looking for a festival director to anchor the processes that will go into putting UnBox 2013 together, along with management and conceptualization of the festival itself. Those interested, look up deets here. APPLY! APPLY! APPLY! and SHARE.
The UnBox Festival kicks off tonight with its Opening Act: The Light Surgeons.
For the UnBox Team however, things have been moving at a breakneck speed for much longer. But the speakers + workshop anchors + fellows + participants are all finally here. The team is rearing and (almost) ready to go. And last evening, there was an informal meet for all the fellows and anchors too. People have been acquainted. Conversations have begun. Ideas have (hopefully) been ignited.
The UnBox Festival, only in its second consecutive year of being, began from a simple idea: there is an infinite amount of innovation, creative thinking, cultural reinterpretation and research & documentation that is taking place in all parts of the world. This has led to the emergence of multiple sub-cultures of experimental art forms, new media developments, and sustainable living practices. But the interaction between these amazing forms of approaching the world remain within limited and exclusive spaces.
So UnBox, placing itself at the intersection of multiple disciplines, seeks to stir this complacency in a way that could have potentially big results (or small too). We start here: to build a platform where an exchange of knowledge and ideas can take place. We insist on this: all the myriad activities that have been put together look at original thinking, and new ways of going foward in a world that cannot exist for long enough with adapting to sustainable ways of functioning. And we encourage: real impact solutions and projects.
Finally: we welcome and invite every one of the curious minds in you to learn. But more importantly, to also unlearn and unbox!
And even better: for those of you who cant make it to the festival (this year), I’ll keep the blog updated on daily events and behind the scenes. We also have our documentation partners, Now Delhi Films and Lucida that will be capturing a range of experiences through film and photography, so keep a look out for what they churn out too.
Nishant. Technodrome Festival. Flip, Flop and Fly!
At the Sustainable Fashion fellowship that is being curated by CellDSGN for UnBox, fellows are already immersed in work and learning. The focus of this piece however will be on two of main techniques of creating fabric designs that the fellows will be learning from local artisans in Gujarat. Taking the philosophy behind UnBox forward, the work will encourage reinterpretation of traditional crafts with other fabric techniques.
For example, applying the ancient Japanese art of marbling to cloth fabrics (!). Marbling is essentially a method of creating patterns on an absorbent surface by floating colours on either water or a viscous solution (known as size) and successfully transferring that design on to the absorbent surface (in this case, cloth). “Its a funky alternative to print!” says Mehr Seth, one of the selected fellows whose photograph of the work she is doing can be seen below -
Fellows will also be learning about the traditional style of creating bandhani (or tie & dye) prints on cloth. Bandhani comes from the root word “bandhan”, translated to mean “a tie”. The art of bandhani is exactly that. One creates patterns on the cloth by tying different parts of it with a thread (and then dying the cloth). The thickness of this thread varies depending on the pattern desired (as does the number of places the cloth is bunched up and tied). Traditionally, this method was exclusively carried by the Khatri community of Gujarat.
During the course of this fellowship, the fellows will be working with KALA RAKSHA, where a trust has been set up to preserve traditional arts of Gujarat. Kala Raksha has been working on establishing fair wages for all artisans involved with it, and helping them set up direct links with the market (instead of going through middle men that usually reap most of the profit).
You’ll also find a guest blog on what sustainable fashion really means, and its potential in the commercial fashion world here.
Kapil gives us a short introduction to BlowUp! 2012
Joern talks about his ideas for FoodLab at UnBox 2012 !
Avinash talks about (his lack of sleep for) UnBox 2012
The Root defines itself as a platform for social and environmental expression. It is an organization that was born out of the idea that a collective of like-minded people - people with similar opinions on social, cultural, historical, and environmental issues - could come together to engage with each of these themes in creative, constructive ways.
Based out of Mumbai, The Root poses itself as a design forum that has inspired the creative expression of community issues. Over time, it has also become a space where the sharing of ideas and stories has led to a diversification of approaches on the kind of work they do.
Currently, The Root organizes Craft and Art workshops, Film Screenings, Music Festivals and Concerts (with a cause!), and Heritage Trails. They have also recently launched a range of organic collectibles: T-Shirts and Hand Made Recycled Notebooks made from (yes!) elephant poo paper (you know you’re intrigued!).
Nitesh Mohanty, Co-founder of The Root will be presenting at the Unbox Conference on 3rd February, 2012. He is part of a panel called FutureForms that will analyze the relationships between enterprise, reform, technology and habitat.
One of the pivotal goals of the UnBox conference is to challenge the way development advocacy has been previously approached. Most policy makers still have a very top-down approach to implementing social change. Civil society organizations have of course, in many ways, been able to bridge some of these gaps. And increasingly, the need to understand the picture on the field both from a micro and macro perspective is gaining popularity.
Simultaneously, the conference is also seeking to promote the use of technology in different disciplines. Especially in the context of its potential in finding innovative solutions for social issues.
Video Volunteers (VV) captures the spirit behind these two aspects in an interesting way: First, by encouraging people from the grassroots to build their own narratives, the reality captured has an insider’s perspective (because often, those trying to capture a situation from the periphery, miss the deeper complexities) - thereby inverting existing paradigms that govern how development is understood. Second, VV has been able to make use of technology to aid in their goal of pushing the frontiers of reportage. Film making no longer requires a graduate degree: by providing it’s team of volunteers with simple, easy-to-use video cameras and recording equipment, the organization has been able to tap the interest and inclination of young people who have gone on to make award winning documentaries that bring to the forefront, issues that mainstream video channels give an easy miss.
VV provides disadvantaged communities a platform to engage in critical thinking of their own lives, and learn basic journalistic skills to communicate their ideas better. More importantly, they encourage the emergence of locally owned and managed media content.
Stalin K, one of the speakers at the UnBox Conference is the Founder of Video Volunteers. He is also a well renowned documentary filmmaker. You can hear him speak in more detail about the work VV does, the films he’s made, and the vision of this organization.
Stalin will speak on a panel regarding the impact of media in activism, along with Sonali Khan on 3rd February, 2012 at the UnBox Conference.