“Without contraries there is no Progression”
- » WELCOME FROM FIND’s Director Ion de la Riva
- » A HOMAGE TO STEPHAN KUDELSKI by Jacques Cloarec, Honorary President FIND
- » WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO WITH IT? CHALLEGING INDIA’S RAPE CULTURE by Ruchira Gupta
- » THE BODY CONFERENCE by Isabella Thomas
- » JOURNALIST IN RESIDENCE by Alan D. Taylor
- » THE INDIAN MINISTER OF CULTURE, SMT. CHANDRESH KUMARI IN FIND’s PARIS OFFICES
- » ALAIN DANIÉLOU: THE MUSIC OF GODS, a film documentary by Riccardo Biadene
- » ASIEUR: FIND’S PUBLISHING HOUSE, by Anne Ramaekers
- » THERE WILL BE SLAPPINGS, by P. French
- » PRESENTATION OF THE WORKS OF ALAIN DANIÉLOU IN MEXICO, by Oriol Ferrer
- » ALAIN DANIÉLOU’S DRAWINGS by Sofía Tarela
- » LÉGENDES DE L’INDE by Luís Filipe Castro Mendes
- » MINISTER SASHI THAROOR TO INAUGURATE FIND AT JUNE MELA
- » FIND IN THE INDIAN PRESS
- » A POSTCARD FROM DELHI, by Laura Vidal
- » A LETTER FROM LISBON by J. K Fernandes
- » FIND’s PROPOSALS FOR 2013
- » FIND’s UPCOMING EVENTS – 2013
WELCOME by FIND’s Director Ion de la Riva
It gives me great pleasure to bid you welcome to this first edition of the FIND Newsletter, InDialogues which aims to continue in the spirit of the previous Harsharan Newsletter. I wish to thank Sylvain Dumont for his constant work and dedication in the past and to give encouragement to Sofía Tarela in take the lead with the same passion and energy as Sylvain and that feminine “shakti” energy, of which she has lots!
FIND has a vision to lead us out of the labyrinth of mutual misperceptions and misunderstandings. This vision is based on the love and understanding that Daniélou demonstrated for India and Europe’s shared heritage, to the loyalty and adroitness with which Jacques Cloarec continued the work of the Foundation since its creation in 1969 and my personal admiration for these two persons.
FIND will examine today’s India in its role as an emerging world power; it will examine both its potential and its shortcomings and at the same time, will also place Europe and its present dilemmas under examination. FIND will tackle contemporary issues relevant to Daniélou’s message: the respect of tradition in an age characterised by modernity, the rights of minorities, the need to overcome prejudice and our need to deepen our insight and understanding of the complex, multifaceted society that is India today. We believe that this can partly be achieved through the work of thinkers and artists, by avoiding paternalistic post-colonialist attitudes and by encouraging dialogue through the arts and through free speech and thought.
We shall also expand our activities into new corners of the globe; starting from Mexico, we will take our activities to Brazil, Argentina, Russia, China and the Arab world. We will also continue to translate Daniélou’s works into languages of the Indian sub-continent and produce re-issues and e-book versions of his works to reach new audiences further afield in this IT dominated scenario.
FIND hopes to strike closer alliances in Europe and the world: we already have consolidated partnerships with the Smithsonian Institutions, Casa Asia, Cini Foundation, Musée de l’Élysée and Berlin Dahlem Museums. Our challenge is to search for new partners in Eastern Europe and Scandinavia with the aim of encouraging Indian studies in universities and higher education institutes following in the footsteps of other admirable think-and-do tanks such as the India Institute in London, SOAS, Asia Society or ASEF. Finally, we have India. My dream is to rekindle the flames that Daniélou left in cities such as Varanasi, Chennai and Shantiniketan. We would like to extend our work to other cities by creating new “FINDERs” in cities such as Kolkata, Bangalore, Mumbai and Trivandrum.
This year we have been honoured to host the Indian Minister of Culture at a dinner in our Paris headquarters. FIND has also been present at the Agra UNESCO Conference by kind invitation of Ambassador Oberoi and later in 2013 we will be present at the RIFF Festival in Jodhpur and at the THINK Conference in Goa, both for the second year running.
This year our intellectual dialogue, directed by prestigious British analyst Isabella Thomas, will examine issues regarding “The Body”, a very topical dialogue which will involve debate on philosophy, nutrition, health and sexuality and death. For our artistic dialogues, we are preparing our presence in EUROPALIA Brussels and in Berlin for the 50th Anniversary of the Institute set up by Daniélou and also the presentation of the first documentary on Daniélou by the director of the Artistic Dialogue programme, Riccardo Biadene.
Finally, Daniélou’s estate in Zagarolo has become a FINDER’s Residence (for artists and thinkers) and the “Cloarec Grants” will be awarded in Switzerland every year for cultural projects. Our 2013 residents include Tarun Tejpal, Malvika Singh, Subodh Gupta, Shoma Chaudhury, Bharti Kher and S. Kalidas.
This year we have bid farewell to Ravi Shankar, a good friend of Alain Daniélou; his daughter Anoushka has graced us with her presence on our Honorary Board and his music will be played to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the conferment of the Nobel Prize to Rabindranath Tagore.
We firmly believe in creating waves; we will strive to put FIND on the map and will help young people understand India better by sharing our love and respect for perhaps the most complex and fascinating place on earth. We have the faith and we are ready to take this leap! Join us!
Best wishes, Danevad
From left to right: Ravi Shankar, Maurice Fleuret
and Alain Daniélou by Jacques Cloarec
IN MEMORIAN: HOMMAGE À STEPHAN KUDELSKI, by Jacques Cloarec
Jacques Cloarec is the Honorary President of FIND
During the 32 years I spent at Alain Daniélou’s side, I met some real superstars, meetings that were decisive and had a definitive influence on the way I have led my life. Daniélou was the first of these, but also the dancer and choreographer Maurice Béjart, the composer Nicolas Nabokov, the painter MacAvoy and many others, and, of course, Stephan who recently left us. Adapting to their differences was a difficult task, but an exceptional privilege; having the opportunity to be in the company of such uncommon characters was a most rewarding experience. The bond that united Stephan and Alain Daniélou was noteworthy both for its strength and its duration.
What brought these two figures of such different ages and origins together?
Daniélou went to see this rascally young genius to look at the first hand-operated Nagra and a true understanding and complicity was born immediately between the two. Daniélou had not yet returned from India, but was already recording Asian music on behalf of UNESCO. He was captivated by the brilliance and genius of the then very young Stephan. And not only: despite their very different backgrounds, they shared the same values, the same approach to existence. The word ‘definition’, the verb ‘to define’, give the idea of ‘finishing’ that is so foreign to their mind, inventive minds that can only operate by reassessing everything continually. As Daniélou told me, this is the way of thought that is widely taught in traditional Hindu circles, and I think that Stephan must have been greatly influenced by Indian philosophy, of which Daniélou considered himself a witness.
Their freedom of thought, their absence of taboos, their curiosity, rendered them highly unsuitable for membership any clique or kind of sectarianism. I ask you to accept this philosophic-gastronomic summary which I am sure would not have displeased our two mischievous friends: neither of them could stand a set menu, they only liked choosing à la carte, according to the place, the moment, the situation, the event. Here too, the pluralist philosophy of Indian culture influenced their behaviour.
The two friends met with great regularity. We often visited Lausanne and not once did we miss the opportunity of a visit to the warm family home of the Chemin de la Croix in Mont-sur-Lausanne, where we would find the whole family gathered together and we were almost under the impression of belonging to it.
Our two friends would have long discussions about this and that, sometimes frivolous and light-hearted, sometimes impertinent but never pedantic. Their talks would be interrupted by giggles and iconoclastic stands, all washed down with one of the excellent bottles that Stephan kept aside for us.
In this moment of sadness, this is the image I wish to treasure of those happy and glorious times.
Dear Stephan, we already miss your affection, but may your energy, your kindness and your example accompany and guide us.
In memoriam: Tribute to Stephan Kudelski
Cathedral of Lausanne, 30 January 2013
WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO WITH IT? CHALLEGING INDIA’S RAPE CULTURE by Ruchira Gupta
Special Lecture for Indira Gandhi Centre and Patha Chakra, Vishwa Bharati, Shantiniketan, by Ruchira Gupta, 14 February Chaired by Professor Sushanta Dattagupta, Vice-Chancellor, Visva-Bharati
I had a surreal moment when I watched the Steven Spielberg movie-Lincoln, last week. The debate over the Thirteenth Amendment to end slavery in the US, was in another century and in another country-but the questions posed to me as an anti-trafficking activist in India, hundreds of years later are exactly the same. How would slaves survive if they were freed? Would not abolition deprive poor, black people, of the only livelihood that existed for them?
While preparing submissions to the Verma Commission and later defending and explaining the recommendations on human trafficking, I have been asked repeatedly what would prostituted girls do if they were freed? Would not the punishment of their owners, buyers and sellers, deprive the prostituted girls of a livelihood? How would they survive if their prostitution was called exploitation and their exploiters punished?
And as Abraham Lincoln said to the concerned nay-sayers, I feel like saying, “First, they will be free.” Second, the livelihood of those who buy and sell them will be affected, not that of the prostituted girls, who are mostly kept in debt bondage by the sex-industry. The money made by the traffickers coerces the sex from hundreds of poor and low caste-girls, making prostitution a practice of serial rape.
In fact, prostituted people pay for paid sex. Even among those who are remunerated, their income includes disease and violence along with cash, pushing them deeper into poverty. Having gotten in because of poverty, almost no one gets out of poverty through prostituting. They are lucky to get out with their lives, given the mortality figures.
Even the women in the industry known as “flying sex-workers” who rent a room in a brothel district, and come daily, to earn cash get deeper and deeper into debt. The lion’s share of their prostitution profits goes to others-landlords who charge exorbitant rent, take chunks of their earnings, sometimes refusing to let them leave the house or do anything else before they pay more than the daily rent sometimes, the pimps who find clients for them, doctors or quacks who rip them off to deal with all the violence and diseases they pick up, the police who extort money for them, money-lenders who charge them steep interests, musclemen who protect them from client violence, bootleggers who give them alcohol and other substances to deal with the repeated body invasion, transporters who bring them and recruiters who introduced them to the sex-industry.
Disproportionately, people in prostitution are members of socially dis-advantaged groups of lower castes. Everywhere, prostituted people are overwhelmingly poor, indeed normally destitute. There is no disagreement on this fact. Urgent financial need is the most frequent reason mentioned by people in prostitution for being in the sex trade. No woman says prostitution is a free choice. At best it is a survival strategy-an absence of choice.
Women members of the Nat caste, for example, are selected to prostitute by men in their families; men of this caste are supposed to prostitute women to higher caste men. As this example suggests, the structure of who is in prostitution often derives from colonialism and persists after it. Nats were labelled a Criminal Tribe by the British and excluded from education, housing ad jobs. No one chooses the class, sex or caste one is born into. No country freely chooses to be colonized.
Most of the women and girls I have met in brothels in Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Bihar were first prostituted at age ten. This is not a time when you are fully empowered to make a choice about the rest of your life. It is not a time when, if you decide not to let family members or other adults do something to you; you have much power to stop them.
Across cultures, at all levels of economic development, whether street or house, when asked, “What do you need?” the answer of 90% of women in prostitution is to “leave prostitution.” It is the most frequently mentioned reply. They want to leave but feel they cannot or do not know how.
This is because they have hope. They have hope- of a different future for themselves and certainly for their daughters. Every single prostituted woman I have met wants to save her daughter from the same fate as herself. And they think someday society will stand by them, and create laws to protect them and their daughters and hold accountable all those who rape her, buy and sell her.
And because they have hope, they constantly seek love. Sometimes even from their clients or pimps. And they are constantly betrayed. One of the most repeated words that prostitutes use, is Dhoka. They feel betrayed by family members who let them go, pimps and agents who sell and buy them, clients who rape them and a society and a country which does not stand by them.
Love visits them in the shape of entitled men. Men who want to “love” girls or infantilized women-women who don’t talk back, who smile even when being abused, who submit to any kind of violence. A ‘love’ from the men that is based on not relating to the woman as a person, of having sex with someone who is watching the cracks in the ceiling, inspecting the clock and thinking of “England.”
Men are buying the sex of domination. They are buying the sex of submission to violence. All women in prostitution face violence from their clients in legal or illegal brothels. In Victoria Alberta where prostitution is legalized, brothels had to remove pillows from the rooms, because by the time a woman would press a button to call a bouncer, clients had already tried to suffocate her with the pillow.
Women in prostitution don’t even know that sex is mutual, and is its own reward. They experience sex as violence and think that if a client paid for it, he can beat them and abuse them and that is what he is paying for. They don’t know that sex is supposed to be chosen and wanted; When you are having sex with someone you want to be having sex with, you aren’t generally paying each other. Being one of those things money cannot buy, the real thing is neither bought nor sold. In this light, if sex is for survival—as in the term “survival sex, sometimes used to describe forms of prostitution—the sex is coerced by the need to survive. So prostitution is a sexual act “for a consideration which is non-sexual”.
Prostitution is rape for profit. Commodification of Sex, has paved the way for the commodification of love and vice versa because of which we are ending up with numb men and exploited women. The brutality of the Dec 16 rape is a case in point.
The rape inside red-light areas of poor, low cast females simply normalizes rape in our society, because we begin to accept the inevitable excuse that ‘men will be men’ and allow them impunity for all their acts of violence. This is what creates a rape culture. If the rape of marginalized women is excused, then the rape of privileged women will also be eventually excused.
Justice Verma has rightly placed prostitution as a form of violence against women. By doing so he makes unacceptable the rape of poor, low-caste and marginalized women whose survival strategies are written off as choices.
In his recommendations and the subsequent Presidential Ordinance, prostituted women and children are seen as victims of male violence who do not risk legal penalties. Instead, they have a right to assistance to escape prostitution.
The definition proposed by the Verma Committee hold accountable the pimps, traffickers, and prostitution buyers, who, knowingly exploit the vulnerability of the females caused by high rates of poverty, unemployment, discriminatory labour practices, gender inequalities and violence against women and children.
These recommendations pave the way for our country to create a contemporary, democratic society where even the most marginalized women and girls can live lives free of male violence.
Even if other people cannot, prostituted women can imagine a world in which their options are not limited to domestic work, rag-picking and an abusive marriage. Some who have the choices women in prostitution are denied, cannot seem to envision prostituted women’s lives outside prostitution. The women themselves have no such trouble. They see real work, real love, dignity, and hope. They seek work, which is sustainable and dignified. Prostitution is neither sustainable-in fact prostitutes earn less as they grow older, nor is it dignified as it is based on body invasion, which is inherently exploitative.
They see sex which is based on collaboration and not domination and they see love as something which is not commodified into a marketing campaign. They stand in solidarity with India’s youth who marched on the streets after the Dec 16 rape. Their protests have created a shift in consciousness -a consciousness that is being siphoned off into a Public Relations event centred around a Valentines Day that most women don’t even know the meaning of. But they do know the meaning of rape and they do know the meaning of love and together they question all rape culture and ask the question so what’s love got to do with it?
“At every moment now my love
The birds do sing in pairs above
Around this grove, one flits one flies
As they look into each others’ eyes!
Thus sunk in Youth’s intoxication
My heart swings in slow sensation
And my limbs in lazy indolence
Wilt at this hour of dalliance!”
This is part of a song from Bhanu Shingher Padavali that Tagore wrote at the age of 19, for his sister-in-law Kadambari Debi, in Braj Bhasha.
Can any female in a red –light area even know what is dalliance?
THE BODY Conference: An outline, by Isabella Thomas
Isabella Thomas, director of The Body Conference
The Body is the essential feature of all human beings and yet different cultures relate to, and represent, the body in highly diverse ways. Humans are usually prepared to reveal the flesh of only parts of the body in public, and yet Asian and European attitudes towards the body are highly differentiated. As we become closer and closer neighbours through increasing global interconnectedness, we are learning the hallmarks of those differences very rapidly; in much of the media, they are deeply caricatured. But it is nonetheless the case that where exposure of the midriff, say, or the hair on the head, or the top of the arm, is normal in some cultures, it can be shocking or disrespectful for others, and so on.
This merely betrays important differences in conceptions of the body, as well, of course, as divergent religious connotations.
In many ways, these contrasts in dress and decorum have become the shorthand for the ways in which we conceive of the contrasts between India and Europe, such that they have become even fetishised, and divorced of their original meaning.
Unsurprisingly, attitudes towards healing and traditions of medicine – not to mention old age and dying – reflect those different ways of depicting the body in Europe and India. Traditions of healing have been rooted in the culture in which they were cultivated, and the general perception of the body is central to those traditions.
Never has there been a more apposite time for staging a conference on this subject. This conference aims to unravel the historical and cultural settings in which we understand the body, its beauty, its meaning and its well being. It will also aim to puncture the easy caricatures of the depiction of the body that bedevil so much of the casual Western view of India. In her book “Karma Cola”, Gita Mehta refers to the relief she once felt on seeing serious discussion of silicon chips in India that “the Oriental may be released from the burden of being either obscure or oracular” – which is often how Westerners would prefer to see it.
The first session will explore the historical and cultural setting. Do East & West manifest a fundamentally different attitude towards the body? What historical and cultural factors have been at play? How did the denigration of the Body (and the insistence we are something other than a Body) emerge in the intellectual and religious traditions of both the East and West? How did a different metaphor and discourse for the body evolve from our respective traditions? And what does the history of Art in both India and Europe reveal about the attitudes towards the Body?
The second session will look at the politics of the body today. How did the West come to embody radically changing attitudes towards dress while in India, traditional dress codes remained the norm? Was this because of highly differentiated attitudes towards the body? Or a need to differentiate towards the West? How have attitudes towards love and sex changed the way we present the body in public, and how has this played out in India? Does a differing understanding of the body explain the political furore over the covering of women’s bodies which sometimes divides East and West (or those within the West whose cultural references remain Eastern)? How have Indians themselves used body exposure to shock the West in its time? (Gandhi etc.)
A third session will examine the different traditions of health and well-being in India. What contributions to ideas about Health does India offer the west, in particular in terms of its tradition of dealing with mental health, nutrition, addictions and spiritual healing? What effects do cultural differences about the body affect attitudes to mental health, nutrition, and life/work balance? How well known are these methods? Some practices, such as yoga, are well advanced in the west.
The fourth and very important session on old age, dying and death will examine how Indian people experience the ends of life. What is the difference between attitudes to ageing in India and in Europe? How is it that the elderly maintain respect amongst younger people whereas in Europe, this is far from the case? Can this remain the case in a rapidly changing India? What can the Europeans learn from the Indian way of Death?
And lastly, to close, there will be a session on the more general influence of India. How great is the influence of India – in cultural terms – on the West? Does India’s influence grow in proportion to the growth of its economic prestige? Or does it actually decline? Was India’s influence at its height during the 1960s and 1970s when the subcontinent was re-discovered by Hippies and those in search of a guru?There will also be a session to look at the influence of Alain Danielou and of his contribution to the debate.
The Body Conference will take place in Zagarolo, Rome, next June 23 and 24. For further information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
FIND’S 2013 JOURNALISTS IN RESIDENCE: NEW INSIGHT INTO OLD DILEMMAS by Alan D. Taylor
Alan D. Taylor is FIND’s Project Manager for the JiR Programme
FIND’s Residence is located in the Italian villa of Zagarolo, Rome. Gouache by Edouard Mac’ Avoy
June 2013 will be a very active month for the India-Europe Foundation for New Dialogues. In addition to the Summer Mela, FIND will also organise another two first edition events; a round table discussion seminar on The Body: Health, Nutrition, Aging & Mortality and its first Journalists in Residence (JIR) programme. The JIR programme will involve leading journalists who have distinguished themselves for their investigative work into issues currently at the forefront of the international media; corruption in the public administration, gender rights, freedom of speech.
By hosting these journalists in Italy, FIND will create a platform to encourage exchange and dialogue with counterparts from Italy and other European countries. The Residency programme does not intend to find answers but to create an active thinking and enquiry and to encourage an open, unbiased and free discussion on themes of common interest to India and European countries.
Two of our guests works for Tehelka, perhaps the leading online journal of current affairs, politics and public interest; Tarun TEJPAL its founder and one of India’s leading novelists is known for his powerful, investigative style which has earned him Business Week’s accolade as “among 50 leaders at the forefront of change in Asia”. Then we have the equally respected whistleblower, Shoma CHAUDHURY who was one of the four people who stayed on with Tehelka after the journal was forced to close down by the Indian government after publishing its story on defence corruption. She was instrumental in articulating Tehelka’s vision and relaunching it as a national weekly.
Another pillar of Indian journalism is Malvika SINGH, founder, publisher and regular contributor to Seminar, a leading Indian journal with a difference; Seminar presents problems, both national and international, for discussion. Each issue deals with a single problem and the journal encourages those who hold different and at times opposing viewpoints to express their thoughts. There is no editorial, nor summing up and its readers are free to judge the facts for themselves. The writer and art historian Swaminathan Kalidas is the fourth journalist to participate in the 2013 programme. During their stay in Italy, all four journalists will be engaged in a series of meetings, seminars and interviews with journalists and the general public; this will be the ideal opportunity for fresh insight into the problems and dilemmas of a fast-growing country which is having to accept its cultural, religious and economic diversity as a consequence of its growth and development.
Further information on the JIR program will be published in FIND’s web site. For more detailed information, to receive the programme of events, or to participate in one of the panel sessions, please contact Alan Taylor (email@example.com).
VISIT OF THE INDIAN MINISTER OF CULTURE, AT FIND’S HEADQUARTERS IN PARIS
Smt. Chandresh Kumari Katoch (Indian Minister of Culture) with Jacques Cloarec
During her European tour (which included visits to the UK, France and Austria), last April 4th, the Indian Minister of Culture, Smt. Chandresh Kumari Katoch, visited FIND’s headquarters in Paris.
The Minister met FIND’s staff, and was very interested in FIND’s photographic archive (works by Alain Daniélou and Raymond Burnier) of over 9000 photographs of Indian temples from the 1930’s to the 1950’s, which FIND wishes to donate to an Indian institution. In these pictures, FIND Honorary President, Jacques Cloarec shows the Minister the book Visages de l’Inde médiévale, with some of those photographs by Raymond Burnier (Éditions Hermann, Paris, 1950, 1985).
ALAIN DANIÉLOU: The Music of Gods, a film documentary by Riccardo Biadene
Riccardo Biadene, is the Director of FIND’s
Artistic Dialogue programme
FIND (India – Europe Foundation for New Dialogues) – formally Harsharan Foundation – Alain Daniélou Study Centre, is committed to the divulgation and promotion of its founders’ thought and works – the illustrious orientalist and musicologist Alain Daniélou. FIND is currently filming a documentary, (provisionally) called “ALAIN DANIÉLOU – The Music of Gods”, edited by the Italian author Riccardo Biadene, who has been collaborating with the Harsharan Foundation since 2007. Part of a documentary has already been shot in Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, U.S.A. and India, in order to rediscover the places Alain Daniélou lived in, some of the most important Indian sacred temples and historic music venues; and to reveal, thanks to the accounts of some of his friends and acquaintances, his influence on both western and eastern cultures, especially with regard to Indian music and traditions.
The film will be mainly composed of interviews, shots of places and venues, and it will also display various remarkable drawings and pictures of him recovered from the rich archives of FIND Foundation. Original music records (Casa Asia Barcelona and UNESCO World Music Series) will be used with a few Italian and French TV interviews, videotapes from the Archives of Ethnologisches Museum of Dahlem (Berlin) and Fondazione Giorgio Cini (Venezia), and private tapes as well.
Most of the shooting has been completed in Rome, Venice, Montepulciano, Zagarolo, Lausanne, Paris, Berlin and New York and the Indian itinerary included shoots in New Delhi, Khajuraho, Varanasi, Kolkata, Shantiniketan, Bhubaneshwar, Konarak, Puri, Gurgaon, Chennai, Malallapuram, Puducherry, Chidambaram.
Many significant persons in Alain Daniélou0s life have been filmed or interviewed: Sylvano Bussotti, Stephan Kudelski, Marcel Cellier, Jean Pierre Pastori, Andrè Kudelski, Andrè Lake, Alberto Sorbelli, Anne Prunet, Raghunath Manet, Jean Paul Cluzel, Jean Clausel, Gabriel Matzneff, Sophie Bassouls, Shantala Shivalingappa, Francesca Cassio, Dominique Nabokov, Roman Vlad, Ivan Vandor, Raffaele Torella, Giorgio Milanetti, Giovanni Giuriati, Carla Bonò, Antonio Rigopoulos, Lars Koch, Werner Durand, Peter Paennke, Kenneth Hurry, Ugo Bonessi, Grazia Marchianò, Roberto Perinu, Amelia Cuni, Samuel Berthet, Anne Toual, Kapila Vatsyayan, Swaminathan Kalidas, Dagmar Bernstorff, Subroto Roy Chowdury, Reba Som, Bodhirupa Sinha, Ritvik Sanyal, Ananda Krishna, Amarnath Mishra, Ravi Shankar Mishra, Bettina Baumer, Taru Kanti Basu, Ileana Citaristi, Mallika Sarbhai, Debu Chouodury, Yamini Krishnamurti, Krishna Kannah, Padma Subramaniam, Malavika Sarukkai, Chandrashekar, Radha Burnier.
The Harsharan Foundation, Alain Daniélou Study Centre, founded in 1969 by Alain Daniélou (1907-1994), was in charge of the conservation, divulgation and promotion of Alain Daniélou’s manuscripts, books, correspondence and a large collection of photographs by Alain Daniélou himself and Raymond Burnier. Most of the photographs are the evidence of an Anglo-Indian archaeological expedition they took part in and portray Indian temple architecture sculpture.
FIND – India Europe Foundation for New Dialogues intends to bridge the growing divide between India and Europe cultures which is a consequence of increased modernization and economic development by creating a two-way flow of experience, knowledge and cultural and social heritage.
‘ALAIN DANIÉLOU – The Music of Gods’ represents the first documentary film project FIND has chosen to make.
Once more, FIND, will have the chance to rely on UNESCO’s collaboration, as well as the International Music Council, Lausanne Photography Museum, Barcelona Asia House, Venice Intercultural Institute for Comparative Music of Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Lausanne Rudra-Bejart School, Alliance Française (especially Italian, French and Indian centres), ICCR (Indian Council for Cultural Relations), IIC (Indian International Center of New Delhi), RTC (Rabindranath Tagore Centre of Kolkata).
These relationships, which have been built already during Alain Daniélou’s cultural activity and cultivated by the Foundation afterwards, grant the project an international visibility.
ASIEUR, FIND’s digital publishing house, by Anne Ramaekers
“In the Hindu world, knowledge is first and foremost considered as a heritage that one receives and is duty-bound to transmit, adding, if capable of doing so, elements to develop and update it.”
Le chemin du Labyrinth, picture by Cecil Beaton
Twenty years after these lines were published, not only has the commitment to transmitted knowledge been kept, thanks to Jacques Cloarec who has untiringly carried on the work of Alain Daniélou, but the torch has now passed to FIND and its enthusiastic Director, Ion de la Riva. In different ways FIND will spread and deploy this knowledge inherited from Alain Daniélou: a composite knowledge for the rebellious and anxious, those who resist the sullen world of the present, who question it and put it to the test, following the example of Alain Daniélou, that rebel, the “dropout who succeeded” (in the words of Bernard Pivot).
Autumn 2013 – the traditional literary season – will see a re-edition of Le Chemin du Labyrinthe brought out by L’Age d’Homme, a book that is the key to an unparalleled career, in which the vitality of Daniélou’s standpoints cannot fail to spur on his readers.
Autumn 2013 also marks a new milestone in spreading Alain Daniélou’s work with the setting up of Asieur, our digital publishing house for his fans, followers of his inquiring, creative spirit.
Asieur will satisfy every appetite for readers of his works, allowing the adventure to continue in new ways.
Asieur will publish Alain Daniélou’s works unrestricted by digital copyright, in French and other languages.
Asieur: a door open to enlightened, critical, invigorating disquiet.
Asieur: a cabinet of curios for the curious mind.
THERE WILL BE SLAPPINGS, by Patrick French
Patrick French is the author of India: A Portrait, Liberty or Death: India’s Journey to Independence and Division and The World Is What It Is:
The Authorized Biography of V. S. Naipaul
Christos Tsiolkas’s novel The Slap revolves around the question of how an adult should react to the misbehaviour of a very annoying child. When a father witnesses his son being bullied at a family barbecue in Australia, he slaps the offending boy – only to find himself in trouble with the law. Like The Help (a redemptive novel about the mistreatment of African American servants by their white employees in early 1960s Mississippi) it is not a story that adapts comfortably to an Indian setting. In India, the “tight slap” remains a central part of family discipline and indeed of social exchange.
Detail, Konarak Temple, XIV.
Photograph by Raymond Burnier
This was brought home to me a few months back when I was crossing a road intersection on the edge of Chandni Chowk. It was hot, the traffic was dense and the public were in a hurry to get where they needed to go. A cyclist was pulling a heavy cart, and had to stop suddenly: he leaped down from the pedals and threw his weight against the load, but it was not enough to stop his bicycle from running into the side of a car. The driver got out and, spotting a slight dent in his pride and joy, went over to the cyclist and slapped his face. People started shouting, but the matter had been resolved and everyone went on their way.
It occurred to me that this admonitory slap would have had an entirely different consequence in most other countries. In some lands, the cyclist might easily have pulled a gun or punched the driver in the face. In London, the slapper would have been charged with assault and taken through the courts, with the legal case probably being aided by Orwellian video footage obtained from one of the myriad police cameras that now festoon the city’s streets, searching for misdemeanours.
An Indian crowd however regarded it as normal interchange. Their reaction seemed to be that the cyclist had made a mistake, and since he was unlikely to have any money to give to the driver, he could be punished by spontaneous physical humiliation. My wife remembers a maths teacher at her school in Delhi in the 1990s who had difficulty keeping order in the classroom. When he reached the end of his tether, he would announce in a querulous voice to his pupils: “There will be slappings.”
The Indian slap is primarily a form of insult, a way of indicating that another person has seriously transgressed. When a woman slaps a man in a film, it is usually in response to sexual harassment. A British friend who lived in Mumbai told me a story about a visit by her elderly mother, who had not been to India before. When they were out seeing the sights, some boys were caught by the police attempting to her steal her handbag. After being slapped, they were made to crouch down on their haunches on the pavement and pull their own ears in repentance. Next they were told to touch the lady’s feet. Then the police asked the elderly Englishwoman whether she wanted them to be taken to gaol to be thrashed more thoroughly – shocked, she said no.
I can’t say I like the Indian slap, but it is not a wholly bad thing either. Clearly, it is often a display of one individual’s unfair social power over another. The alternative to it in other countries can either be lethal violence or an indifference to wrongdoing. It is a sanction that has developed over centuries in a busy, crowded, self-regulating society. At times, it is a way of making sure the authorities do not become involved in a confrontation, and its acceptance arises out of a set of shared mores: in India, everybody’s business remains everybody else’s business. Irritating though that may be, in some ways it may be better than the modern alternative – atomization.
PRESENTATION OF THE WORKS OF ALAIN DANIÉLOU IN MEXICO by Oriol Ferrer
Oriol Ferrer, FIND’s Project Manager for Central and South America
On the 19th and 21st of March the India-Europe Foundation for New Dialogues organized, for the first time in Mexico City, the presentation of the works of Alain Daniélou, published in Spanish by the publishers Atalanta and Kairós, and very well attended by the public.
The presentation of the books published by Kairós, “Shiva y Dionisos”, “El camino del laberinto” and “El Shivaismo y la tradición primordial” was held at Casa Lamm, and attended by Mexico’s Indian Ambassador, Mr. Sujan R. Chinoy, India’s Mexican Ambassador, Mr. Jaime Nualart, the Mexican writer Mr. Alberto Ruy Sánchez, and the Director of Kairós publishers, Mr. Agustín Pániker. A traditional Indian classical music concert was provided, courtesy of the Indian Embassy, featuring the musicians Hollving Argáez, on sitar, and Ilyas Hussain Khan, on the tabla.
The presentation of the books published by Atalanta, “Mientras los Dioses juegan” and “Dioses y mitos de la India”, took place in the Librería Octavio Paz del Fondo de Cultura bookshop and was attended by the Mexican writer and journalist Pepe Gordon and the Director of the Atalanta publishers, Jacobo Siruela. The presentation was complemented by a video montage from photos taken by Raymond Burnier and Alain Daniélou in India in the 30s and 40s of last century.
Both activities were presided over by the General Director of FIND, Mr. Ion de la Riva, and moderated by Oriol Ferrer, Project Manager for the Central and South American region of the Foundation, with the support of the Universidad Autónoma de México (UNAM), the Instituto Politécnico Nacional, the Centro de Cultura de la India, the Casa de la India and the Indian, French, Spanish and Italian embassies in Mexico.
A number of interviews took place at the same time as the presentations and featured in quality Mexican media, including Canal 22, the Televisión Azteca and CNN in Spanish.
From left to right: Oriol Ferrer, Ion de la Riva,
Jacobo Siruela and Pepe Gordon
The works of Alain Daniélou were also displayed in prominent positions in the main bookshops in Mexico City during these days.
All in all, it is considered to have been a great success and the results have encouraged us to think about organizing new presentations, which allow the works of Alain Daniélou and the Foundation to be exposed throughout the America.
From left to right: Oriol Ferrer, Ion de la Riva, Sujan R. Chinoy, Jaime Nualart, Alberto Ruy-Sánchez
and Agustí Paniker.
More details about the presentation of Alain Daniélou’s work in Mexico:
Interview Halving Argáez:
ALAIN DANIÉLOU’S DRAWINGS: THE WORLD UNDER HIS OWN PERSPECTIVE by Sofía Tarela
Sofía Tarela, Director, FIND Intellectual Dialogue
Alain Daniélou’s work as a writer and musicologist eventually ousted his efforts as a sketch artist. A sensitive witness of his time, he knew how to capture and express the realities around him in his vigorous line drawings: from his travels, the people he met, the society he lived in, in the countries he visited. They shape the itinerary of his life in Europe, America, India, China, Japan and, of course, Zagarolo, the Italian villa where he chose to retire in his last years.
Daniélou’s work as a plastic artist remains unequalled, yet the eagerness to share all he saw in his drawings is also relevant. He delighted with the oriental art, which is reflected on his idealized landscape sketches: with fine lines and details, they have no sense of perspective, as he drew more with his intuition and feelings than his eyes.
The themes of Daniélou’s drawings, tell so much of his concerns: the human body (as a dancer, witnessing movements and proportions); music; freedom (the different ways of life in America, Europe and Asia); nature (landscapes) and human expression (portraits).
FIND has also entrusted a work about Alain Daniélou’s life and work to gather his paintings and drawings.
Below are a few of his drawings, which are housed in the Residence in Zagarolo, Rome.
“Shantiniketan” by Alain Daniélou
LÉGENDES DE L’INDE Poems by Luís Filipe Castro Mendes
Ambassador Luis Filipe Castro Mendes’ book of poems LENDAS DA INDIA has been translated into French
by Rémy Hourcade,
Fabienne Vallin and Isabelle Hourcade
MATIN DE BROUILLARD À BÉNARÈS
C’est toujours loin de notre rive
et de nos constructions précaires
que se déroule la véritable vie :
là où l’on échange la monnaie de la mort
où l’on écoute simplement la voix grave
qui prédit notre destin.
Mais nous, nous restons sur la rive
obstinément du même côté.
Nous ne prenons pas congé de la vie :
elle nous recherche
et nous échange, à sa guise.
MINISTER SASHI THAROOR TO INAUGURATE FIND AT JUNE MELA
Next June 22nd FIND will celebrate the Summer Solstice with a Mela and will organise the first meeting of its Honorary Board, Advisory Committee and friends of the foundation from all over the world. For this occasion, Minister Sashi Tharoor, has confirmed his participation at the Meeting and will join in the events together with his wife.
Minister Tharoor has recommended the Kathakali artist Sadanam K. Harikumaran from the Kathakali Dance Academy of Kerala. Directed by Harikumaram, the academy will present a special piece for this occasion, inspired by Alain Daniélou’s work Shiva and Dionysus.
The first part of the ‘Shiva and Dionysus’ musical performance will be executed by Cretan musicians Psarantonis quartet.
FIND IN THE INDIAN PRESS
Last April 2013, FIND’s Director, Ion de la Riva, unveiled his strategy and programme at the UNESCO’s three day International Cultural Expert Meeting which took place in Agra. Invited by the Indian government, Director de la Riva announced FIND’s call for proposals for a Meeting of Experts dedicated to Intangible Heritage to be organised with UNESCO in 2014 in Rome.
Translated by Vishal Dawar
Diversification of the Indian Culture has always been an attraction for the rest of the world and this has been one of the reasons that Scholars are still interested to know more about it. European countries are also keen to know more. A Democratic country like India with so many diversification still surprises the rest of the world.
UNESCO had organized a 3 day Cultural Meet at Agra which was attended by Indian and Spanish Ambassadors. The director Ion De la Riva from the India Europe Foundation for New Dialogues (FIND) said the Indian Cultural specialist Alain Daniélou was the founder of FIND in 1969, which was formed by self activist group from Switzerland and its headquarters are in Paris. Director Ion De Riva announced, similar sort of Meet has been organized in 2014 to be held in Rome, and primarily will have the same discussions on cultural aspects.
A POSTCARD FROM…….DELHI, by Laura Vidal
Laura Vidal, FRIEND of FIND
A few days ago, we were at Bollywood’s award ceremony in Delhi, and I was struck how crazy people here are about movies, the music and dancing they feature and, of course, the popular Indian actors. The show was hosted by two of India’s most famous, so witty & talented, who danced in a few musical numbers.
The performers are so loved countrywide and spectacularly beautiful! Locals eagerly await the next movie release, no matter the genre: comedy, drama or thriller. Each film has a few choreographed song and dance numbers, seemingly done by the same actors who are promoted on TV commercials and local street billboards.
Here, it’s all about the Bollywood movies! I realize, I don’t actually know which group or soloist sings the featured songs, although I listen to them every day. When anyone buys a music CD, the salesperson asks which film it appeared in, so in face you buy a soundtrack.
I’m going to bring a few DVD copies of the top, award-winning films with me when I visit. They have the same dynamic storylines as European films and I think you’ll enjoy them – including 3 Idiots, Inglés Vinglish, Jodha Akhbar (which was shown at all the palaces of Rajasthan) and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, shot entirely in Spain.
A hug… see you soon! Laura
A LETTER FROM……. LISBON, by
Jason K Fernandes
Jason Keith Fernandes, FRIEND of FIND
“Just you wait!” this British-Indian friend of mine had said, rubbing his hands with glee, soon after I had decided to go to Lisbon. “This love that you have for Portugal will disappear in some time; just like it did for us when we first went to England. All the romance will wash away, and you will dislike it so much!” He was right, this British-Indian; this starry-eyed love for Portugal, that so many Goans imbibe, almost with their mothers’ milk, did wash away. In its stead however, grew a different, perhaps more mature kind of affection. A sentiment like that born from a long marriage; we suffer a little, roll our eyes a lot, but at the end of it all, there is a desire for the object of our love, a passion for one we know so intimately. A love that burns not like the mercurial flames of young passion, but smoulders like live coal, ever ready to burst into flame.
It was this kind of love, then, that burst into flame, not unlike that which burst in the heart of every other Portuguese friend, when we viewed Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations featuring Lisbon, our very own, beautiful city of light.
Before we move on, we must place this episode in proper context. For a certain segment of food and travel aficionados Anthony Bourdain is God. He travels to the most exotic of locations, or exoticises the most banal of locations, discovering and creating culinary adventures, as he tries out local foods, from the barely braised rectum of a warthog in Namibia, to Spam in Hawaii. Added to these travels, is his presentation style. This granddad speaks about food and the whole business around it, like a young jock would talk about sex. This man oozes oomph, and you lap everything he lays out before you, and then you lie slavering at his feet, and beg for some more.
All too often, one watches Bourdain in locations one doesn’t know, but this time round, he was right here, and believe you me, there could not have been a slicker presentation of the city. Running through the length of the forty-five minute program like a cord that strings a set of pearls, was the music from the Portuguese duo band Dead Combo. Dark at times, unmistakably contemporary, and without doubt also something that could only have been midwifed by older forms of Portuguese music, the music was perhaps what brought the whole show together (forgive me Bourdain, but I still love you). It was a welcome break from Fado, something we all love, and a musical genre that was definitely featured, but for the love of God, there is a Lisbon beyond Fado and Dead Combo’s music captured that complex Lisboeta soul perfectly. And that soul is so, so, sexy!
Indeed, if there is one thing that Bourdain probably got wrong, was the presentation of Fado, where once more we were treated to these silly old clichés about the genre. About Fado being about the Portuguese propensity for saudade, wrongly interpreted as nostalgia for the past, and testifying to the Portuguese being a sentimental lot. Oddly enough, or perhaps as is the case with most marginalized peoples, because they didn’t want to contradict the all-knowing American, the Portuguese on the show played along with the whole one-sided interpretation.
As is often the case with Bourdain, there was no sissying about solely in fancy restaurants. On the contrary, the man did the entire gamut, from lunching with a fisherman and his wife (the principal feature of the menu, the to-die-for rice with octopus), to the simple no-nonsense pork-steak sandwich at a somewhat popular cervejaria (beer-house), to the fancy not so ‘straight ahead meal’ full of ‘sauce and garnish’ meals at more upmarket Lisbon restaurants run by new-ages chefs like José Avilez, Henrique Sa Pessoa and Ljubomir Stanisic. If you are asking me for my opinion, and I’ll treat you to it even if you aren’t, what I think is one of the finest places to eat sexed-up traditional Portuguese food up, the two Ideal restaurants, weren’t really featured. But then, you can’t win every time can you? And what is the voice of one anonymous Goan when pitted against Portuguese and Americans of renown?
The other guest that featured on the show was the economic crisis that Portugal is currently suffering. The varying Portuguese opinions of the crise (crisis) came through on the show, if it was the pessimistic hands-up-in-the-air attitude by the famed Portuguese author António Lobo Antunes; as something to be laughed at, in the opinion of comedian Zé Diogo Quintela; or the vaguely rightist opinion by the fadista Carminho who suggested seeing it as an opportunity! What most agreed on however was that tourism was critical to keeping Portugal’s economy. If they were right, and if the folks outside of Lisbon were as wowed by Bourdain’s presentation of Lisbon, then we have less to worry about, because that single episode possibly generated a good amount more interest in Portugal as a destination. For that Anthony Bourdain, thank you. But then, you didn’t have to try too hard did you. For surely, doesn’t Lisbon make it all too easy?
FIND’S UPCOMING EVENTS 2013
Zagarolo, Rome – 22 JUNE 2013
THE BODY CONFERENCE
Zagarolo, Rome – 23, 24 JUNE 2013
JOURNALISTS IN RESIDENCE
Zagarolo, Rome JUNE/JULY 2013
ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE
Zagarolo, Rome JUNE/JULY 2013
CALL PROPOSALS CLOAREC GRANTS
JUNE – AUGUST (firstname.lastname@example.org)
50th ANNIVERSARY of the INTERCULTURAL INSTITUTE FOR COMPARATIVE MUSIC STUDIES (founded by A. Daniélou, 1963)
Berlin, Germany SEPTEMBER 2013
FIND’S PROPOSALS For 2013
WHERE TO GO….
CANNES FILM FESTIVAL 2013:
India Guest Country.
FESTIVAL OF ASIAN LITERATURE
Asia House, London UK
4TH ANNUAL INDIAN COMIC CON
New Delhi, India
IMAGINE INDIA International Film Festival
NATYAKALA, Traditional Indian Music & Performing Arts
WHAT TO READ…..
by Ashwin Sanghi
Ed. Westland, 2012
LA INDIA, RETRATO DE UNA SOCIEDAD
by Sudhir Kakar and Katharina Kakhar.
Ed. Kairos, Barcelona 2012
LA VALLÉE DES MASQUES
by Tarun Tejpal
Ed. Albin Michel, 2012
WHAT TO SEE….
COURTLY ELEGANCE: SCENES FROM INDIAN PRINCELY STATES
Museum Rietberg, Zurich, Switzerland.
WHAT TO LISTEN TO….
Indian Rock from Kolkatta
DHIN DHIN TA TA CD.
Hindi music for kids.
Indian Children’s Songs
ON LINE RESOURCES….
Article by Michel Lariviere about Poet Max Jacob mentioning Alain Daniélou
Published by FIND:
Fondation Inde-Europe de Nouveaux Dialogues
India-Europe Foundation for New Dialogues
Fondazione India-Europa di Nuovi Dialoghi
Indien Europa Stiftung Fur Neue Dialogen
Fundación India-Europa De Nuevos Diálogos
Fundação Índia Europa De Novos Diálogos
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