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Towards peace, three day youth festival starts in Pune today

The event is organised by Maharashtra Cultural Centre (MCC) and Max Mueller Bhavan (MMB)

pune Updated: Jul 14, 2019 16:32 IST
Prachi Bari
Prachi Bari
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Maharashtra Cultural Centre,Max Mueller Bhavan
The conference will be held from July 14 to 16 at Jyotsna Bhole Sabhagruha, Shukrawar peth.(HT PHOTO)

The word hate has many nuances, but that does not mean you take it to an extreme, said actor and playwright Vibhawari Deshpande.

The same analogy has been highlighted in two plays — one in Marathi and another in German — which will be showcased during the three-day “Towards Peace” conference on youth radicalisation.

The event is organised by Maharashtra Cultural Centre (MCC) and Max Mueller Bhavan (MMB).

It is the culmination of a four-year-old project initiated by playwright Shrirang Godbole, German theatre group Junges Schauspielhaus Dusseldorf and Deshpande to brainstorm youth on the reality of radicalisation through theatre, with the help from Rang Shankara, one of Bengaluru’s well-known theatres.

“One can strongly feel the polarisation and radical thinking among the youth in the current socio-political scenario of our country. It lies somewhere deep within their minds,” said Deshpande.

Godbole said, “When we met with the German playwrights from Junges Schauspielhaus in Dusseldorf during the play “Du ani Me”, we were looking for a subject that was youth oriented and had global significance since we mainly worked on youth theatre. During that time the phenomenon of youth joining the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), getting lured into Jihadi movement, becoming suicide bombers was found to be cool and it was the glorification of violence which we thought to be a good relevant subject to work on.”

Speaking about the rock concert that is a part of the conference, Pragnya Wakhlu, singer, said, “Music is a powerful tool. If used responsibly, it can inspire, touch the hearts of people and bring people together. As part of the conference, I will be performing a peace concert accompanied by Gandhaar Amin on flute where we will be presenting an audio-visual performance.”

The conference will be held from July 14 to 16 at Jyotsna Bhole Sabhagruha, Shukrawar peth. It will be inaugurated by Jurgen Morhard, Consul General of Germany in Mumbai, at 10.30 am.

“The world is at the crossroads. Violent extremism and the underlying forces of radicalisation constitute a pervasive global challenge for all. While radicalisation is not confined to any age, sex, group or community, young people are particularly vulnerable to the messages from violent extremists and terrorist organisations. In the face of such threats, our youth need relevant and timely learning opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes that can help them build their resilience to such propaganda,” said social activist Arun Wakhlu, who is a part of the panel discussion on youth and radicalisation to be held at the conference.

The events at Towards Peace

July 14

10.30 am: Peace, a rock concert by Kashmiri singer Pragnya Wakhlu and Gandhaar Amin (flautist)

11.00 am: Welcome address by Dr Mohan Agashe, psychiatrist

11.10 am: Official inauguration by Jurgen Morhard (German consul general) and poster competition awards

11.30 am: Y, a play, by Maharashtra Cultural Centre, Pune.

July 15

5.00 pm: Welcome address by Vibhawari Deshpande

5. 10 pm: Screening of short films, jury speech and awards (jury: Umesh Kulkarni and Sunil Sukathankar)

6. 45 pm: Souvenir publication

7. 00 pm: Panel discussion on youth and radicalisation

(Panellists: Arun Wakhlu, Shanthie D’souza, Khalid Shah. Moderator: Rahul Chandawarkar)

July 16

5.20 pm: Welcome address by Shrirang Godbole

5.30 pm: Play Paradies by Dusseldorfer Schauspielhaus -Junges Schauspiel

7.30 pm: Play Paradies exclusively for Max Mueller Bhavan students followed by a discussion

First Published: Jul 14, 2019 16:29 IST

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