Through April 2020, the SAF Newsletter was a weekly broadsheet for engagement with the arts, a platform for us to share, connect and engage with one another through love for art, creativity and dialogue.
Volume 1 – It’s Time to Watch
It might be In Vol 1, we revel in the joy of beholding—the open sky, a still moment, a flicker in light, the deft movements of a dancer’s feet, unspooling celluloid reels, the frozen portraits of video calls, the ascending grid of our phone albums. Beholding each other, watching the world as it spins.
As you scroll down, you will find stories told in many forms. You may pause, you may wander—you may even fall asleep.
We’ll wait for your return. As art does.
Volume 2 – It’s Time to Listen
In Vol 2, we ask you for quietude. For closeness. For sounds and voices that reside in you and refuse to leave; tunes you wake up to, melodies that visit your dreams. For childhood, and school jingles, recitations, awkward performances for aunts and uncles; for laughter, the sound of a wicket falling, the cheer of a goal.
We ask you to pull out a Q-tip, and begin the journey of cleaning up auditory clutter, to make way for a new palette—the patter of rain, the sound of whisking coffee, the chimes of birds, the joy of a dog’s bark, the clickety-clack of your slippers on a bare floor.
So come, eavesdrop with us, as we discover that music is as much within, as amidst us.
Volume 3 – It’s Time to Feel
In Vol. 3, we consider: what happens when the heart erupts? When body takes over performance, and when performance disrupts a canon? Or when yearning becomes radical, in spaces as small as a charpai? What happens when we bring out old photographs, neatly contained in floral-patterned, plastic-coated albums and gilded, musty frames? How do we dance to the music of separation?
Through a playlist of isolation, a roadmap for losing oneself to sound, provisional recipes from our kitchens, an essay on a dance-theatrical performance, a journey through the photo albums of Goa’s families—we explore the ever-changing forms of feeling. You will find videos of performances that will evoke responses—shame, nausea, horror, affinity, belonging. There are poems that will intrude into the personal, the ugly, the nerve-wrecking. And then, there is delight: at reciting and reading together; at the multilingual tongues of history.
Join us in feeling, as a refusal to forget.
Volume 4 – It’s Time to Speak
As we have meandered through the past three weeks, stumbling into the pangs of separation, the invasion of complex, mangled feelings—exhaustion, heartache, worry, resilience, kindness, anger, empathy—has connected us in new ways.
This week we present glimpses of collectivity in history, that continue to seep into and enrich our present. We showcase writing that unravels the courageous narratives of voices from the margins, captured through the alchemical medium of photography; a project that showcased the confluences of music and solidarity through the medium of songs; a dance performance that rises like an anguish, a deep, enveloping cry against injustices wrought on the female body; a critical travelogue through colonial methodologies of writing the South Asian dancing body; a virtual reading group that is reiterating learning as a shared, collective activity; a design studio that is reclaiming ownership of skills otherwise extracted as surplus labour in a caste-based economy.
We request you to speak to us, even as we have turned to you these past three weeks. We thank you, for your companionship, for your patient listening, for your resolve to stay together.