Documentary theatre performance on technology, communication and distance



This immersive workshop and performance took place in September-October 2020 and was the result of a collaboration between Dr Amelia Bonea, Anuja Ghosalkar, a documentary theatre artist based in Bangalore, and the students of Focus High School, Hyderabad. The aim of the event was to encourage students to reflect on the past and present of technologies of communication and to interrogate the myriad ways in which they shape our lives.

The workshop was conceptualized using an illustrated children’s story–The Magic Mango–written by Amelia Bonea on the basis of her doctoral research at the University of Heidelberg and published in 2018 in collaboration with Pratham Books’ StoryWeaver. The final performance, streamed live on 17 October, was an imaginative recreation of the original plotline that used a very novel means of communication, Zoom, to reflect on the meaning of distance, our yearning for other places and the possibility of traveling within the confines of one’s home with the help of self-made maps.

The show was conceived by Anuja Ghosalkar and benefited from the design and conceptual assistance of filmmaker Aliasger Dhariwala. The organizers wish to acknowledge the generous support of Prof Sally Shuttleworth, the John Fell Fund and the European Research Council Project 'Diseases of Modern Life,' all based at the University of Oxford, as well as Sabika Javeed of Focus High School and Abeer Gupta on behalf of the Krishnakriti Foundation.
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