WHILE entertainment gives joy,it does not necessarily touch peoples hearts. This realisation is at the core of Mumbai Local a neighbourhood art initiative by Junoon,co-founded by Sanjna Kapoor and Sameera Iyengar. With this,they are taking steps to provide an experience that brings various art forms and artists to the citys neighbourhoods. Both Kapoor and Iyengar emphasise that under Mumbai Local,they will hold sessions which are interactive,engaging and intimate.
The initiative will take off in January across four partner venues Kitab Khana (Fort),MCubed Library (Bandra West),Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum (Byculla East),and Somaiya Vidyavihar (Vidyavihar East). The opening event has actor-director Rajat Kapoor engaging with the visitors at MCubed Library. The following events will have physicist Dr R Vijayaraghavan at Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum on January 14,molecular biologist Dr Srilaja Nair at Kitab Khana on January 17,documentary filmmaker Ajay Naronha at MCubed Library on February 1,and drama-therapist Ben Rivers at Kitab Khana (February 21) and Somaiya Vidyavihar (February 28),among others.
In each venue,there will be curated monthly programming in the arts and sciences to give regular participants a rich experience of diverse creative fields. Artists and scientists will share the magic of their chosen fields,the stories of their journeys,their searches,discoveries,experiments,efforts and inspirations,and the singular passion that drives their life and work, says Sanjna Kapoor,who stepped down as the director of Prithvi Theatre,Juhu,nearly two years ago,to launch Junoon.
Mumbai Local also intends to bridge the gap between achievers and the public. These sessions with some of the greatest creative minds of the city will bring new content into the public realm and touch us with the passion that drives them, says Iyengar of the Mumbai Local sessions which are free for all.
The timing for such a step seems to be perfect. A number of small venues have come up across the city and they are open to holding such events, says Iyengar. Junoon is also in talks with the government bodies and officials for support. The programming will keep changing and evolving at a regular basis.
Our dream is that the Mumbai Local programme spreads to every ward in Mumbai,including more intimate indoor spaces as well as open-air public gardens. For the long-term success of this initiative,we will make it a broad-based community effort where key stakeholders can contribute meaningfully in their own way, say Kapoor and Iyengar.
While Mumbai Locals programmes are expected to fire public imagination,the founders of Junoon are certain that they will also benefit the artists. Such intimate sessions give an audience a chance to enter the artists world. They also make the artists feel valued, says Iyengar.