The Friday List: From a talk on tending houseplants to a Tai Chi workshop, your weekly calendar of virtual events

FP Staff
·9-min read

Compiled by Aishwarya Sahasrabudhe

Murmurs of a lockdown happening once again can be heard all around as the number of COVID-19 cases see a spike. Now more than ever, it is time to take utmost precautions, maintain social distancing and stay indoors. Over the last year, a shift to digital platforms has led to a number of events being staged virtually, especially for days like these, to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. So, a year into the pandemic, even as we have eased out of the most stringent of restrictions, 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: an environmental film festival, a Tai Chi workshop and Netflix's The Serpent.

€" Talks and panel discussions

To mark National Maritime Day 2021, AVID Learning has brought about the talk,> Indian Ocean Architecture in Bombay, a lecture demonstration which highlights the influences that the maritime proximity has had on the city's rich architectural legacy. Social anthropologist Sarover Zaidi, maritime historian Commodore Srikant Kesnur and urban conservationist Kamalika Bose will dive into a variety of concepts which explain how water ties together different places with Mumbai. What this leads to is a city which is a melting pot of many styles, languages and objects from the streets to the gothic facades to shrines and forts. A rather stimulating and fascinating event that demonstrates the transnational and cultural influences that the sea has brought to Mumbai's shores, this online session is definitely a must attend this week.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 8 April (6 pm)

How to Not Kill Your Houseplant is a talk brought forth by Penguin India and Sipping Thoughts which aims to address the most basic questions all of us aspiring and/or failed domestic gardeners always have: why did our houseplant die? In her new book, bestselling author, editor and plant keeper Trisha Bora gives a comprehensive guide on how to care for in houseplants in the context of Indian weather and temperatures. She articulates how plants can live on for years, how to choose the right plants that suit our lifestyles and living spaces, which equipment is required, which are the best potting mixes and lots more. Her talk elaborates on the concepts covered in the book making it a must attend for all home gardeners.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 2 April (5 pm)

In an in-person as well as an online session, academic Vivek Wadhwa and polymath alchemist Srivatsa Krishna will discuss how the times we are living in now are an exponential era for technological change. From a rebirth of agriculture to that of the internet, the next 100 years will witness so many innovations like flying taxis, autonomous vehicles and the most exciting of all: robots as personal valets. The speakers for the session >Incremental to Exponential, brought forth by Bangalore International Centre, are set to discuss what these technological upheavals will mean for government policy, how much the Indian government or those across the world will leverage this technology and whether our governing bodies will in fact remain immune to these changes.

To know more and register for the virtual session, click here.

When: 3 April (6.30 pm)

Even as museums continue to remain shut, Atlas Obscura has brought forth an experience which celebrates these cultural spaces and the artists and curators who have contributed to making them well-known places of art and artworks. In this edition, the hosts, Kylie Holloway and Zak Martellucci explore the >Strong Museum of Play and take a tour of the toys, video games, dolls and other exciting things on display in the exhibits here. Through a conversation with the chief curator at the museum, Christopher Bensch, the session will also explore some of the sublime and secret stories that surround the large and comprehensive collection of toys he has been looking after.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 6 April

€" A virtual film festival

A three-day long mini-film festival will present six thought-provoking short films that celebrate the natural beauty of the planet and shed light on issues of environmental degradation and rising concerns around climate change through touching stories and stirring narratives. Brought about by Royal Opera House, Mumbai in collaboration with AVID Learning and All Living Things Environment Film Festival (ALT EFF), the >Sustainability NOW: Wildlife and Environment Mini-Film Festival is a showcasing of those films which are driven by sustainability and awareness. One of the films, Christoph Pohl's Ever Slow Green tells the story of afforestation in a desert region of Tamil Nadu while Cries of Our Ancestors is a true account of the relationship forged between local humans and chimpanzees in Guinea. A series of films that draw our attention to the coexistence of natural elements within shared ecosystems, the film festival is definitely a must attend.

When: 2 April to 4 April

Where: Royal Opera House, Mumbai's YouTube channel

€" Virtual play and poetry reading

On the first Saturday of this month, as part of Prakriti Foundations' virtual poetry reading, >Poetry with Prakriti, the contemporary visual artist, writer and poet Parvathi Nayar will be interacting with audiences around the themes in her works and the photo poetry she has produced over time. The poet has experimented with the traditional form of poetry by blending contemporary art pieces into her work. Her 2014 solo, The Ambiguity of Landscapes was accompanied by an installation Mappings - In a Fragmented City while another one of her poems, Black and White was part of a catalogue accompanying her work, Drawing is a Verb. For amateur poets still discovering a way to present their verses in the most effective ways, this reading by a contemporary poet can become a stimulating space with a learning bent.

To know more and register, click here.

When: 3 April (7 pm)

Thespo's >The Right Way will be streamed for two days this weekend, featuring a series of performances that narrates a tale of Bartolini's investigation of the ever transforming global world through his own experiences as an artist who migrated to Canada. The performance which received its debut at the 48th International Theatre Festival of La Biennale Di Venezia is an experience that engages a single spectator at a time equipped only with curiosity and a laptop. The participatory affair involves a discussion on cultural heritage and values in different parts of the world and questions the role of art in the context of a continually transforming world. A highly interactive theatre experience, this play is definitely a place to be for fans of the medium.

To know more and get your ticket, click here.

When: 3 April and 4 April (4 pm)

€" Workshop

A workshop set to be conducted by artist and curator Hammad Nasar will be all about exploring Tai Chi and the experience of pushing hands as a model of movement which practices redirecting the incoming force or allowing it to exhaust itself. A collective exercise for artists, curators and researchers, it is a useful workshop which openly engages in questions of ethics and curatorial thinking. The workshop requires prior application and participants will be chosen based on their responses and the diversity of the group as a whole. Brought forth by the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, >Pushing Hands promises to be an enlightening experience for those willing to engage with questions around risk, authorship and togetherness.

To know more, click here.

When: 7 April (4 pm)

€" Streaming this week

Coming up on Netflix this weekend is the limited series, >The Serpent which is a thrilling narrative of the serial killer and thief, Charles Sobhraj. Based on true events, the eight-episode long series follows the investigation to nab this notorious criminal and his escapades as he murdered gullible tourists travelling in South Asia. Active during the 1970s or what were known as the 'hippie years' in America, the show draws out the inner workings of this serial killer, his most dangerous operations and how he eluded the investigating officers hot on his trail. For all fans of the crime drama and thriller genre, this show is the perfect binge-watch for the weekend.

When: 2 April

Where: Netflix

Madame Claude, dropping on Netflix this Friday, is a crime drama which promises to be an exciting narrative of a madam running a high-end set up of escorts in the Paris of the 1960s. Her influence extends beyond the realms of sex work, and she finds herself at the top of her game until a young woman she hires threatens to destroy everything she has built. When the state authorities are entangled in this game of seduction, lives and fortunes are at stake and Madame Claude is caught in a trap she cannot find a way out of. A film which has all the qualities of drama and intrigue associated with French movies, Madame Claude is worth a watch.

When: 2 April

Where: Netflix

If the series on Harshad Mehta, Scam 1992 had piqued an interest in the story of this stockbroker involved in embezzlement and fraud, then the upcoming Disney+Hotstar film, The Big Bull is surely one to look forward to. Featuring Abhishek Bachchan, Ram Kapoor, Nikita Dutta and Ileana D'Cruz among others in the lead, the film, directed by Kookie Gulati shows the rise and fall of this money man through the course of a decade. This story, based on real events, is sure to become another insight into the workings of this stockbroker and promises to be just as exciting.

When: 8 April

Where: Disney+Hotstar

Also arriving on Netflix this weekend is the Malayalam film, >Irul, a whodunnit featuring Fahadh Faasil, Soubin Shahir and Darshana Rajendran. When a couple is trapped with a novelist in a dark and macabre house on a rainy evening, they start discussing the writer's bestselling work which revolves around a murderer who killed five women. Secrets and lies unravel as they dig deeper into the story and when a mysterious dead body is found in the basement of this house, more questions are thrown up. A crime thriller perfect for a weekend indoors, Irul is definitely one to catch.

When: 2 April

Where: Netflix

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

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