No Rain over AF Bombay’s Parade!

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The monsoons of Mumbai are legendary – and not in the way Barney Stinson uses the word! For a city known for the resilience of its denizens, nothing quite brings Mumbai to a halt like a downpour – trains get delayed, roads get blocked and appointments are rescheduled. The rainy season in Mumbai presents a unique set of challenges for organising cultural events – challenges which Alliance Française de Bombay has been living up to admirably since 2012 with its Monsoon Project!

Monsoon Project Banner

In essence, the Monsoon Project is a series of workshops organised on an annual basis in collaboration with individuals and organisations across the city. For the 2017 edition, AF Bombay partnered with Chaitanya for a Lindy Hop Dance workshop at St. Andrew’s College (July 8), Furtados School of Music for a Music Workshop (July 8), Todi Mill Social for a Discussion Philosophique (July 13), Indranil Mukherjee of Agence France-Presse for a Photography Workshop (July 22), the Women’s Self-Defence Centre for a Self-Defence Workshop (July 22), QTube Café for a French Games Evening (August 9) and The Poetry Club, Mumbai for a Poetry Workshop (Aug 19).

Posing after shaking a leg at the Lindy Hop workshop

Posing after shaking a leg at the Lindy Hop workshop

Lindy hop is an American dance form which is traced back to Harlem (New York City) of the late 20s. It is considered to be a member of the swing dance family and was extremely popular in the Swing era of the late 1930s and early 1940s. The Lindy Hop Workshop introduced the basics of this energetic dance to both singles and couples and was quite a hit amongst the participants! For the Music workshop, participants were given an introductory lesson to a few musical instruments. They spent a memorable evening strumming the guitar, beating the drums and playing the piano.

The DIscussion Philosophique

The Discussion Philosophique

The Discussion Philosophique was an extension of the regular Café Philo offered by AF Bombay and saw participants passionately discussing and debating philosophical concepts. During the Photography Workshop, the history of photography and various techniques to take better pictures were elaborated upon. The photographic submissions of each paticipant were also analysed to provide them with insights on the technical aspects of the craft. The Self-Defence Workshop was organised for females only. The importance of reacting immediately and basic moves to protect oneself in a dire situation were stressed upon.

Participants listening intently about the basics of Self-Defense before the practice session

Participants listening intently about the basics of Self-Defense before the practice session

For the French Games Evening, participants were introduced to a variety of French board games, card games (Loup garou, Jeu des sept familles etc.) and evidently video games (Octodad, Journey etc.) since introducting serious gaming within the AF India Nepal Network has been a major project for the past two years. The Poetry Workshop provided a platform to introduce the works of the celebrated French poet Jacques Prévert along with equipping budding poets with the tools to hone their skills. It was heartening to see that the workshops were attended in large numbers despite the heavy rains thereby ensuring that the events were anything but a washout!

The Poetry Workshop

The Poetry Workshop

Monsoon Project 2017 also provided an ideal opportunity to explore partnership opportunities with organisations which could potentially be beneficial for the platform Bonjour India 2017-18.

Siddharth Bhatt

Rédaction, AF Magazine Inde-Népal

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Rédaction

Directeur de publication : Délégation Générale de la Fondation Alliance Française en Inde et au Népal

Rédacteur en chef : Laurent Elisio Bordier

Rédacteur/Coordinateur national : Siddharth Bhatt

Rédacteurs, contributeurs : Guillaume, Abhirami, Alexandre, Chintan, Cléa, David, Eleonore, Elie, Kanika, Karine, Nita, Thomas, Malvika, Marie-Joëlle, Meera, Mayuri, Mitushi, Alice, Prutha, Romain, Ritika, Manas, Supriya ...