May 15, 2022 4:36:20 am
As part of Bonjour India, the recently concluded Night of Ideas event presented an opportunity to explore the latest discoveries in knowledge and arts.
The event included discussions around different issues including a debate on ‘rebuilding together’ in a post-Covid world. Six eminent speakers from India, France, Spain, and the Czech Republic participated in the debate which was moderated by Swati Janu, an award-winning architect and artist.
The speakers included Vandana Shiva, Indian environmental activist and scholar, Léopold Lambert, French activist, architect and writer, Marie Darrieussecq, French writer and translator, Shrayana Bhattacharya Indian economist, Lukáš Houdek, Czech activist and artist, and Juan Arnau, Spanish philosopher and essayist.
The discussions revolved around gender, male gaze, society’s attitude to the trans community, sexual abuse, violence, and many other areas, some of which have translated into the work of the panellists as authors and activists.
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They also discussed how the pandemic has made the economic position of women dismal, and how the labour of women at home remains unrewarded, and unrecognised. The importance of care workers in the pandemic, the need for them to be paid well, was another point of discussion.
An international event held annually by the French cultural network, The Night of Ideas, was held at the Open Hand Monument, a symbolic structure designed by the architect Le Corbusier in Chandigarh’s Capitol Complex.
The monument and the Pit of Contemplation were opened especially for this event. The theme of the event revolved around living together, a sense of community, and building new solidarities.
Speaking about the Night of Ideas event Ophélie Belin, Director of Alliance Française Chandigarh said “We are living in turbulent yet exciting times. On the one hand, there is great optimism that a utopian world – which has been the dream of mankind for centuries – may finally be within reach. Yet alongside this great optimism, there is considerable turbulence and much that can derail our quest. However, listening to the eminent panel, I felt convinced that a more unified and peaceful world is indeed within our grasp. The ideas that were shared during the event, when implemented, can help build such a world.”
The way of rebuilding together in the post-Covid world elicited diverse viewpoints. The Open Hand of receiving and giving, is the way forward in today’s divided, economically inequal world, where everything is fluid, and interrelated, it was stated.
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