In anticipation of the conversation, interested participants can familiarise themselves with the projects of The Seagull Foundation for the Arts:
For over three decades The Seagull Foundation for the Arts has been actively supporting, nurturing and disseminating creative and critical activity in the field of the arts in India, especially fine arts, theatre and cinema, out of a deep conviction and commitment to the belief that the arts are everybody’s responsibility and a social commitment. The only one of its kind multi-faceted arts organization in the country, Seagull fulfils the need of the arts community in a unique manner— promoting collaborative and experimental arts activity across and within disciplines; publishing in the arts and culture and media; making available documentation and critical commentary; working with youth through the arts to address issues of social concern.
The foundation’s major projects include:
History for Peace - A network of educators and members of civil society in the subcontinent, the History for Peace project serves as a platform for discussion, debate and the exchange of ideas pertaining to teaching and learning of history for peace and understanding. The website also acts as a repository of resources—academic papers, talks, podcasts and teaching aids. History for Peace conducts an annual conference as well as shorter talks and workshops through the year. The objectives of the project are:
· Exploring multi and inter-disciplinary and creative approaches, with emphasis on the arts
· Developing and collating resources
· Addressing bias and prejudice
· Promoting initiatives and exchange of ideas across South Asia
· Teacher development
PeaceWorks – a project that works through arts and culture, with young minds, to foster a spirit of peaceful coexistence, mutual respect across differences, and equality thus catalysing social change. For nearly a decade now, PeaceWorks has worked with scores of students and teachers, in India and across the border with schools in Pakistan, and lately in Kashmir. With children from privileged backgrounds and with street and slum children—often designing projects that bring the two together and thereby developing sensitivities and creating a platform that facilitates ‘learning to live with difference’. In 2010, PeaceWorks received the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Award. The objectives of the project are:
· Address attitudes that lead to strife, intolerance, conflict, war
· Effect attitudes and values, in order to change thinking, break mindsets
· Instil values that accept differences, understand differences and respect differences.
· Build cross-cultural bridges between young people from different socio-economic backgrounds
· Use the arts for education and empowerment