The Friday List: From a discussion on India's public health policy to renaming a street after Kala Bagai, your weekly calendar of virtual events

FP Staff
·9-min read

Compiled by Aishwarya Sahasrabudhe

As we approach the first anniversary of the lockdown brought on by the coronavirus pandemic that had us confined to our homes, it also a time to reflect on the inspiring moments that each one of us has experienced during this health crisis. Many have taken up hobbies long shelved, others have written books long procrastinated and countless have turned to baking to put these months to effective use. Amidst it all, our collective leisure time has turned into a largely virtual experience filled with online concerts, virtual plays, literature festivals and movie premieres galore. So, one year into the pandemic, even as we have eased out of the most stringent restrictions, we continue to shift more and more to the virtual space and the landscape of our engagements and weekly dosages of entertainment, continues to be moderated digitally, through the screen.

Every Friday, we'll bring you a curated list of online experiences €" performances, talks, tours, screenings €" to mark on your weekly calendar. On this week's #FridayList: a virtual event that renames a street, a discussion on India's public health policy and a symposium to observes the changed meaning of 'walking' during a lockdown.

€" Talks and panel discussions

Brought forth by AVID Learning is the discussion >Cultural and Digital Diplomacy During a Global Crisis, which will examine the potential impact of cultural diplomacy and art in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Director of Public Affairs at the US Consulate General, Ben East, former diplomat Navdeep Singh Suri and co-founder of NICE Sanjay Anandaram will be in conversation with Manjeet Kripalani around the future trajectory of cultural diplomacy and the role that it will play in fostering a cohesive response to the global crisis, enabling cooperation and international ties. The discussion will also cast a spotlight on some of the initiatives, programs and diplomatic entities which have already made a tangible impact in the wake of the worldwide health crisis.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 25 March (6 pm)

An upcoming event is set to rename a street in Berkeley, California after Kala Bagai, an Indian activist who was among the first South Asian women living in the United States of America, and a staunch advocate for immigrants. The curators of Berkeley South Asian Radical History Walking Tour, Barnali Ghosh and Anirvan Chatterjee along with the leaders of the movement that shed light on the life of this extraordinary woman forced out of the city in the 1910s have developed a community that would support the cause of commemorating her legacy with the Kala Bagai Way. The online event, >Renaming a Street, Growing Our Movements: The Campaign for Kala Bagai Way in Berkeley will not only highlight the multiracial alliances formed as part of this small initiative but also bring to light how the group discovered and shared Kala Bagai's story and opened up some difficult conversations about the country's immigrant history.

Where: Immersive Trails' Facebook page

When: 19 March (8 pm)

An upcoming session brought about by Atlas Obscura will explore the relationship between the occult and protest politics and trace their shared roots. Featuring award-winning author and occult scholar, Mitch Horowitz, the session will dive into how there exist historical ties between alternative spirituality and radical politics drawing on examples that show the connections between seances, spiritualism and liberation movements and even thought connections between the occultist Madame HP Blavatsky, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr. A session which promises to be thoroughly compelling and engaging, >Radical Spirits: How the Occult Shaped Progressive Politics draws an alternate links between our past and present and is definitely one to attend.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 24 March

The session, Our Public Health Journey, brought about by Bangalore International Centre is a power-packed panel discussion which drives straight into the inadequacy of our public health infrastructure and policies exposed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Public policy researcher Pavan Srinath, professor Giridhara R Babu and National Health Mission's director, Vandana Gurnani will be among the panellists who will touch upon the lessons that are to be learnt from the pandemic, action plans that can be undertaken to strengthen public health policies and how communities and the private sector can be mobilised to partner with the government on various health schemes. For researchers and medical professionals, this sessions is the place to be.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 19 March (6 pm)

€" Virtual murder mystery

An Easter special five-day long virtual mystery set up by Murdered for Money is an epic place to be for fans of Agatha Christie, who are well familiar with the intellect and reasoning and stories of Miss Marple. >The Rotten Egg challenge is set in a quiet town in England where sits The Chocolate Box, a quaint little store owned by Granny Chocolate. Now, it's time for her to retire but when tensions and rivalries mount as the Easter fete approaches, the shop is under risk and an unexpected murder just pushes everyone over the edge. Participants must solve the crime with the help of video footage, evidence and dozens of clues. Tune into this thrilling challenge which is sure to make for an exciting affair ahead of Easter.

To know more, visit Murdered for Money's Facebook page.

When: 22 March

€" Music and virtual poetry

Series of Sarang is an upcoming recital which will be screened by Royal Opera House, Mumbai featuring the Indian music maestro and sitarist Baluji Shrivastav. Accompanying him will be United Kingdom's Inner Vision Orchestra, an ensemble made up entirely of blind musicians. The excerpt which will showcase them in concert has been plucked from the virtual recital Inner Vision Concert Series brought about by the Baluji Music Foundation. The initiative has been set up with the aim of promoting visually impaired musicians and creating a platform for them to take the stage, this recital being one such performance which attempts to showcase the wondrous talent of these artists.

When: 20 March

Where: Royal Opera House, Mumbai's YouTube channel

Poetry with Prakriti is back with its virtual edition which features a reading and conversation with a poet for the first three Saturdays of every month. This weekend, Prakriti Foundation will host poet, playwright and painter Gieve Patel who subscribes to what is known as the Green Movement created in a bid to protect and conserve our natural environment. His poems are a prolific depiction of his concerns around climate and environment and how human intervention is crucial in preventing our cruelty towards nature. In this session, he is sure to touch upon his poetry collections like How Do You Withstand, Body, Poems and Mirrored Mirroring. For those interested in this emerging contemporary take on environmental poetry, this session is definitely the place to be.

To book your spot, click here.

When: 20 March (7 pm)

€" Virtual symposium

A two-day digital symposium brought about by the Chennai Photo Biennale explores the concept of 'walking' through photographs and invites researchers and artists to engage in a discussion around the topic through digital 'thought walks' that transcend boundaries to take into account the social, habitual and political aspects of this simple exercise. During the lockdown brought into effect a year ago, walking suddenly took on a new significance as strolling along deserted streets towards the supermarket or moving in circles on roof terraces or walking to a family member's house all manifested as forms of movement. Speakers like Paroma Mukherjee, Boris Sievert and Siddharth Agarwal among others, will engage in a discussion about this phenomenon in the show, >About Walking, brought forth in collaboration with Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 25 March and 26 March (2 pm)

€" Streaming this week

Coming up on Zee5 this Friday is the horror flick >The Wife featuring Gurmeet Choudhary and Sayani Datta in the lead. A couple moves into a new, luxurious apartment in a large complex and just as everything seems to be going well for them, dark, supernatural forces converge on their home forcing them to understand that something devilish is really happening in the new flat. As they battle disbelief and denial, they realise that the spirits lurking about have a dark, terrifying past and soon seek the help of a medium to dig into history and find out why their house is haunted. The Wife promises to be a thoroughly thrilling and bone chilling horror story and is definitely a must-watch this weekend.

When: 19 March

Where: Zee5

An upcoming series on Netflix tells the story of three prostitutes running away from their pimp and his henchmen following a ghastly accident in the hopes of getting a fresh start. A terrific chase ensues where the three try to protect themselves at all costs and attempt to outwit the dangerous men gunning for their lives. >Sky Rojo, created by the makers of Money Heist promises to be just as equally thrilling a Spanish drama as the 2017 show, perfect for a weekend of Netflix binge.

When: 19 March

Where: Netflix

Arriving on Disney+Hotstar this weekend is Marvel Studios' next superhero movie,> The Falcon and the Winter Soldier featuring Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie in the titular roles. The story takes off from the conclusion of Avengers Endgame where the duo has to come together to thwart a global threat. Burdened by the responsibility of being Captain America after he receives the shield from Steve Rogers in Endgame, Sam Wilson or the Falcon battles his own worries as he tries to collaborate with his new partner on a dangerous adventure.

When: 19 March

Where: Disney+Hotstar

Rammat Gammat, the critically acclaimed 2018 Gujrati film will be dropping on MUBI this Saturday. Directed by Ajitpal Singh, the story follows two boys growing up in rural Gujarat. One of them comes from an upper caste, rich family, the other is a poor lower caste lad. Together they form a beautiful bond which is sourly tested to breaking point when one of them is gifted a pair of golden yellow coloured football studs. A film that exposes the cracks within rural social structures and the caste system, Rammat Gammat is a densely emotional drama that provokes a critical gaze at the norms that govern society.

When: 20 March

Where: MUBI

Also read €" Coronavirus outbreak: A database of books, performances, courses available online in these times of social distancing

Also See: The Friday List: From talks marking women's day to a workshop on building a terrace garden, your weekly calendar of virtual events

The Friday List: From a lecture-demonstration on kalbeliya to an unrehearsed, spontaneous play, your weekly calendar of virtual events

Watch: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier final trailer — Sam and Bucky prepare to battle a global threat

Read more on Arts & Culture by Firstpost.