Spoken 2.0: Check out a festival of storytelling in Mumbai
Today in New Delhi, India
Jan 19, 2019-Saturday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Spoken 2.0: Check out a festival of storytelling in Mumbai

The two-day event features 65 performers, from poets and storytellers to songwriters and musicians from around the world.

mumbai Updated: Jan 09, 2019 20:33 IST
Anesha George
Anesha George
Hindustan Times
Spoken fest,Mumbai,Performance arts forum
Actor Kalki Koechlin performing at the first Spoken fest, in 2017.

SPOKEN 2.0
  • WHEN: January 12 and 13; 2 pm to 10 pm
  • WHERE: Jio Garden, BKC
  • Ticket prices start at Rs 999; tickets are available online

If your idea of a perfect weekend involves stretching across a garden, listening to poetry, or singing along with guitar-strumming indie artistes, then the second edition of Spoken fest by performance arts forum, Kommune, is probably the place to head to this weekend.

The festival is buoyed on by the popularity of spoken-word performances online. Slam poetry, dramatic readings and even musical comedy about subjects as varied as love, loss and mental health have found fans across the world.

For television actor Sriti Jha, attending Spoken fest last year inspired her to write again. “After performing at two open mics, I am all set to present a piece here this year,” she says. Her poetry will be about holding on to one’s individuality with pride.

Held at JioGarden at the Bandra-Kurla Complex over two days, the event features 65 performers – storytellers, songwriters, poets and musicians from across the world. There are performances by renowned American hip hop and spoken-word artist Akua Naru, and award-winning American poet, Blythe Baird. Traditional story-telling forms also have a platform. There are performances by dastangoi artist Danish Hussain, Hindi-Urdu poet Hussain Haidry, Urdu poet Rahat Indori and musician Prateek Kuhad.

As with most spoken-word material, the line-up seems both personal and universal. “My first big spoken-word performance was about my estranged dad at Spoken fest in 2017,” says Kubbra Sait, actor and poet. “He reached out to me after that and we met after about four years,” she adds. This year, Sait performs a seven-minute conversational piece with actor Rajshri Deshpande.

For television actor Sriti Jha, attending Spoken fest 2017 inspired her to write again. “After performing at two open mics, I am all set to present a piece here,” she says. Her poetry will be about holding on to one’s individuality with pride.

A scene from Spoken fest 2017.

The event also gives budding poets a platform. Bangalore-based software engineer Shubham Negi, 21, got interested in spoken-word poetry after watching Kommune videos on social media. “I wrote a piece about childhood nostalgia and mailed it to them, never expecting to be selected,” he says. He’s ecstatic to be part of the line-up.

Sait, who been part of Kommune’s storytelling team for three years, says the festival stands apart from others because of it inclusiveness. “You could be anybody,” she says. “As long as you have a story to tell, there will be someone in the audience who will connect with it.”

First Published: Jan 09, 2019 20:33 IST