For two years, Delhi has seen the Aam Aadmi Party use various forms of protests to make their point heard. There have been many paintings on walls, street plays, and roadside dharnas — tactics often unseen in politics. Now, to take their legacy forward, two AAP members — Ankit Lal and Sundeep Narwani — have decided to set up a centre to train students in the art.
The ‘Santosh Koli Centre for the Protest Arts’ will be started in September in Sunder Nagri, Northeast Delhi. The curriculum will include streetplays, songs, wall art, and even flashmobs.
Speaking to Newsline, Lal and Narwani said they drew inspiration from Santosh Koli, the former MLA candidate from Seemapuri who had passed away in 2013.
“Arvind Kejriwal used to say Koli needed nobody else. She was such a powerful performer that she could do a streetplay on her own to convey a social message. To take forward her legacy we are beginning this venture,” Narwani, who is part of the Events as well as the Tech team of the AAP, said.
Lal, head of the AAP’s IT team, said the centre would focus on forms of protest that did not require spending money.
“Many people have been doing things to make their voice heard without spending money. We are looking at starting the centre in Sunder Nagri, where Santosh belonged, in mid-September. We will also record the classes and put the videos online,” Lal said.
Organisers said while the curriculum was yet to be finalised, it would mostly be inspired by the powerful medium of street protests. “In Bandra, Mumbai, where I come from for instance, wall art is used extensively. Theatre has been used to increase awareness of the problems in PDS, water shortage and rising crime. Principles and ethics of how and when to use forms of protests will also be an intrinsic part of the curriculum,” Narwani said.
Narwani said the teaching at the centre will not be “enforced” but done on a “treadmill” system (open classes).
“Students should enjoy themselves. So there will be no enforced classes. Students can join and leave. We will have training at the Sunder Nagri centre and we also plan to go to schools to reach out to people. A modest fee will be charged as we want the centre to be accessible to all sections of society,” he said.
In memory of Koli
* Centre will be set up in Sundar Nagri, where Koli belonged
* Classes will begin in mid-September for a modest fee
* Focus on forms of protest that do not require spending money (street plays, songs, wall art, flashmobs)
* No enforced class, students can join and leave as they want
* Classes will be recorded, videos will be uploaded on the web