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Kolkata celebrates budding artists

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Kolkata: A gala cultural evening on  20 June was the perfect conclusion of the three-day National Cultural Workshop organized here by the Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO). Mohurgunj, the cultural hub of Kolkata witnessed the performance of students coming from different parts of India. Drama, mimicry, poetry, solo singing sequenced the evening's entertainment list. The cultural evening provided a platform to the young and talented.

Speaking at the occasion, Mohammad Azharuddin, the National President of SIO, said that the talents of the young need to be oriented towards constructive initiatives of the society, to which SIO is committed. He added that the 3-day workshop and the cultural evening were an effort to orient the cultural talents of the budding artists into prosperous and successful individuals who will contribute to the society.

S. Ameenul Hasan, former President of SIO, spoke on 'Modern Discourses on Culture and Islamic Response'. In a very lucid manner, he discussed modernism and post-modernism and their impact on culture. He drew the line  between the culture promoted by the west and the culture promoted by Islam. He pointed out that Islam alone lays the laws of life and in their practical application lies individuals’ freedom.

During the 3-day workshop, the participating students were mentored on various fronts. Atanu Pal of the Third Eye, Kolkata, taught the art of photography. He focused on setting the frames for the perfect picture. Guiding the students on handling the camera, he led the participants into the world of unedited photography and tipped the students for the right shot.

Prof. Sanjay Mukherjee of the Jadavpur University inspired the participants to view films critically. He spoke on 'How to Review a Film'. After screening a part of a film, he taught the students the essentials of watching movies beyond the perspective of just entertainment. He helped the students understand focal points of film reviewing.

Sultan Ali, a known Bengali writer, gave a patient hearing to the young poets and writers who presented their work before him. He told the young artists that a writer is like a bird which keeps humming regardless of who is listening. It is the heart that is followed while writing and therefore they are called 'divinely mad', he added.

Mohammad Nooruddin, President of Jamaat-e Islami Hind, West Bengal unit who is a noted columnist, taught  'Creative Writing'. The participants were inspired to think beyond the normal and visual and spread the wings of their thought.

Noted Bengali film-maker Subrata Sen guided the students on 'How to Write Script'. At the outset, he drew a line of distinction between story writing and script writing. Through examples of some of the great scripts of movies and plays, he touched the secrets of script writing  immensely influencing the young writers.

Irfan Hassan, Commonwealth Scholar at the Govt. Art College, Kolkata, in his presentation on 'How to Read Art' held the students by their nerves as they were excited to learn the art of reading abstract paintings. During his presentation, he generated enthusiasm in the young and inspired them towards the art of painting.

Prof. B. Diwakar of Jamia Millia Islamia engaged the participants on 'Stages of Documentary Film Making' and 'Cinematography'. His lecture involved conceptualizing the idea and then skillfully using the camera to make the documentary.

Ajit Kumar and Bhupendra Kumar of Akshara Arts, Patna, engaged the students on  Nukkad Natak. After explaining the basics of the stage and its necessities, they guided the students on practical performances. Participants were given an opportunity to get acquainted with the art of performing street-plays by extempore learning and performance of nukkad natak.

Shahnawaz Ali Rehan spoke on 'Cultural Activism as a tool of Social Change' and inspired the participants to look beyond the normal surface. He pointed out that cultural means are a strong medium of expressing once viewpoint and thus forms a tool in transforming society.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 July 2011 on page no. 17

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