Fragile, Handle with Care

A Workshop on Working with Letters and Texts

Facilitated by Anuja Ghosalkar

07 – 08 January 2022, 4.00 to 6.00 pm

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Fragile, Handle with Care

The workshop entails participants to look into their collection of letters, emails, post cards, greeting cards, handwritten or typed, on fraying paper or scribbled on note pads— fragile documents of ourselves and our exchanges with those close to us. The intent is to read these documents together and through it access our personal collections and find a performative language in the act of reading. Reading here constitutes the literal act or interpretation, by re-writing, underlining, folding, drawing over words, texts. A response to the objects, materials presented, but with fragility.

Fragile, handle with care is designed to look carefully at documents that may have been forgotten. For this workshop along with letters, participants can bring in receipts, notebooks, diaries, pamphlets, emails or what’s app exchanges—ephemera that participants have saved or stored for reasons unknown, strange or deliberate. Participants will be encouraged to share these with the group and work with them together, with their trepidations, vulnerabilities.

This workshop stems from a performance that Anuja Ghosalkar has designed and curated since 2016, called The Reading Room. In The Reading Room, there are no performers, a closed audience of ten to 12 people bring in letters from their personal collections and read them alongside ones curated from the public domain. At the end of each Reading Room the letters are donated to Ghosalkar— that become part of future readings. Over the years Ghosalkar has collected over 80 letters— intimate letters between mothers and daughters or between lovers, official correspondence, historical exchanges, printouts of emails with emojis, form part of this collection.

The workshop is open to all participants who are 18 years and above. Interested participants are expected to commit their presence on all days. The sessions will take place on Zoom.

Material Required:

Pen, Paper, Notebook, Drawing or Painting Supplies (optional), and most importantly their set of documents, photocopied or printed. Participants should ideally be present with the documents and texts on Day 1

The workshop is open to all participants who are 18 years and above. Interested participants are expected to commit their presence on all days. The sessions will take place on Zoom.

The workshop looks at the act of reading everyday documents with care, as a performative act, and perhaps a gentle mode of questioning grand historical narratives. The gesture of searching and uttering words from a private collection may lead us to the start of a small but significant resistance. The workshop also focusses on forgotten objects of communication in our homes, that are fragile and need to be handled with care rather than carelessness.

Anuja Ghosalkaris the founder of Drama Queen—a Documentary theatre company, evolving a unique form of theatre in India since 2015. Her practice focuses on personal histories, archival absences and blurring the hierarchies between audience and performer—to extend the idea of theatre to create audacious work. Iterations around form and process, modes of (social) media, sites, technologies, reclaiming narratives on gender and intimacy are critical to her performance making and pedagogy.

Her performances and workshops have been programmed by University of Oxford, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Sophiensale, Serendipity Arts Festival, National Centre for Biological Sciences, Forum Transregionale –ZMO, Frankfurt University, among others. Anuja is the co-curator of the international workshop series on Documentary Theatre with Kai Tuchmann—that programmed artists like Gob Squad, Boris Nikitin, Rimini Protokoll, Zhao Chuan. She co-curated VR based performances for the Serendipity Arts Virtual 2020. As visiting faculty at Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology she leads practice based pedagogy. She has written on film and performance for Nang Magazine, Art India, Bioscope, Hakara

Her recent work The Lonely Hearts Club, started as an instagram handle in March 2020, is now an online show about voyeurism, relationships with screens and erotica. Her newest live performance premiered at Sophiensale, Berlin in November 2021– I Promise the Bearer frames questions about art, money and why we return to the theatre.

Methods: A series of artist led medium workshops organised by KNMA

The force driving at the crux of the segment has been to re-examine the mandate of a medium centric ‘workshop’ and looks beyond the usual format of craft-hobby workroom sessions. At the heart of each session is a chosen artist with their unique style of expression and fashioned in an actively interactive module of facilitator-participant format. This KNMA series highlights how the paradigmatic shifts in contemporary art making need to be registered at individual levels and not merely as institutional applied skill dissemination. The workshop opens up room for both artists and non-artists as well as keen learners to interact with practitioners from a wide spectrum of styles and media to reimagine the tools and raw material for art making - ranging from drawings, maps, personal memories to printing techniques to textual excerpts to found or broken objects, just to name a few.

Module curators: Neha Tickoo and Madhurima Chaudhuri



New Delhi

145, DLF South Court Mall, Saket
New Delhi, Delhi 110017
011-4916 0000

10:30 A.M - 6:30 P.M

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10:30 A.M - 6:30 P.M

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