Whose language is it anyway?

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by Padma Damodaran (proposing) on Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Performing Arts

Session type

Technical level

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To explore the importance or lack of it in theatre. And consequently to figure the problems related to knowledge or lack of regarding a particular language in a multilingual country such as ours, where social status often can be attributed to knowledge of certain, even foreign, languages. In contemporary theatre, language plays an important part. We even award playwrights Nobel prizes. However we can watch a beautiful Japanese Noh performance or a Kudiyattam performance and be moved by it without understanding a word. Theatre companies today travel across the globe, often using multiple languages, and performing them without subtitles even. When globally we are transcending language barriers, why then do people whose knowledge of Hindi and English are poor find it difficult to get into mainstream India?


Set up participants into two teams, one who believe in the power and depth of language and that it is the most powerful tool of communication. And the other who feel language is just one mode of expression.


A good moderator.

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