The success of television music shows that have artistes team up to create innovations proves that content derived from such collaborations makes for a good watch. And things can only get more exciting if such partnerships feature artistes from unrelated fields.
Collaboration Culture, a new television series that will soon be aired on BBC World News, will do just that. The series documents the multiple processes involved in creating an inter-cultural artwork, such as travelling to unfamiliar locations, meeting new people, brainstorming and execution. One cross-country team that the show will boast of is that between Indian dancer Shakti Mohan and Arab-American classical composer Mohammed Fairouz. Another will have British contemporary artists Bob and Roberta Smith partnering with Ghanaian coffin-maker PaaJoe to create outfits.
The seven-part series, that will witness artistes travelling to places like Trinidad, Dubai, Lima and Tokyo, also features city designer Little Shilpa. She will be working with Argentinean fashion designer Martin Churba to produce a creation that will best represent both their cultures. For the project, Martin travelled to Mumbai. “It was his first visit. We just had three days to work on the creation. So I took him to our street markets to show him the fabric stores and export garment shops. We bought a lot of raw materials such as buttons and chain feathers,” she says.
Despite their different backgrounds, Shilpa says that working towards a common goal turned out to be a cakewalk. “We both got along well. That’s what broke the ice and made things easy for us.” The duo created seven looks that feature elaborate headgear and vibrant outfits.
“We had opposing ideas. Martin likes to work with different textures on the same material, whereas I work on different materials. It was a challenge,” she says. Adds Martin, “The experience was more than I had imagined — India, Shilpa, filming on the streets of Mumbai — it was great.”
The series will air from June 30 on BBC World at 1 pm.