IntroductionOne of the largest river islands in the world, Majuli is a powerhouse of culture in Assam and a consummate example of the abundance of nature. It has been considered the cultural epicentre of Assam since time immemorial. It also has been a centre of neo-vaishnavism preached by Sankardev, and is home to numerous monasteries called satras. Along with religion, these satras also practice different forms of classical arts , and are a driving force of the state's culture. Majuli is also home to the Misings, one of the major tribes of Assam. Their lifestyle and traditions have stood unadulterated against the test of time, which is discernible when one visits Majuli.
Our concerns and activitiesAlbeit being a region of such high importance, it has not received enough attention and has largely remained isolated. It has only recently stepped into the limelight as a tourist destination. But even with recent developments, the Mising community has still remained out of focus. This community has suffered long neglect from the state because of a number of reasons. As such, we (Maati Community) have begun to concentrate our focus and effort towards the development of this community since the last one year. The children of Majuli were our primary area of focus in our initial phase of intervention , during which we supported the community to build a children's library in a Mising village. Today, the library also acts as a community centre for the village.
Our observationMajuli is famous for its 3 day long raas festival, during which the whole island comes alive with a spectrum of art and culture driven by the satras where different acts related to the life of Lord Krishna are performed. During this time the island receives large number of visitors to witness the festivities. However, because of long-existing religious dogma, the Mising communities are barred to take part in the performances. So even during such an important time only a part of Majuli is garners recognition, while a huge chunk goes largely unnoticed.
The festival and its purposeWe believe that even the Mising people should have an independent platform for creative expression in order to preserve and reflect their cultural identity and to keep a healthy coexistence of art in their lifestyle. So as an initiation to our beliefs we have set out to organize a festival with the Mising community during the time of raas festival. The festival will be organised with children at its centre, and will serve as a medium for free expression of their creativity and talent. Different forms of art such as painting, literature, films, music, dance, drama etc will be incorporated in the festival. Keeping the recent menace of plastic waste in Majuli, a general awareness for plastic and waste management will also be raised through the festival. There will be film screenings, interactive sessions and science workshops. The festival will be organized in an eco-friendly manner. We hope that this festival will act as a healthy motivation for the children and the whole community to engage in cultural activities and develop a confident persona. We want to initiate a cultural model for the community to follow and make it into an independent and sustainable platform to establish their identity freely.
Here are the details of our budget breakdown for LIVINGART FESTIVAL
a.) Art competition : stationary, prizes, judges fees (8,000 INR)
b.) Folk singing competition : prizes , music system (5,000 INR)
c.) Folk dancing competition : prizes , light system (5,000 INR)
d.) Mishing children's play on witch hunting : set design , art performance (8,000 INR)
e.) Campaign promotion : posters , banners, invitation to school and other people involved actively with children's (10,000 INR)
f.) Public art installation on SAY NO TO PLASTIC (15,000 INR)
g.) Documentation of the whole project including films & photographs (8000 INR)
Dear supporters and well-wisher , we invite you all to the first ever children's festival on the worlds largest river island starting from ( 22 , 23 , 24th November 2018).
Click the link below to check the venue in Google Maps.
About Maati community, who we are?
We are a community of like-minded people, who are working on a project in Majuli with the Mishing community. We are independent group of peoples from various backgrounds some of us are students, filmmaker's, artists, office-goers. We are working in Majuli for last two years, one of our successful project for this region was we managed to construct a community library in an eco-friendly approach. Materials such as bamboo and cane were used to build this library and most of the books have been crowd sourced with the help of social media platforms.
For further information about us and our works please go through the links below.
a.Community Library For Children In Assam’s Majuli
b.A space to dream.
Our Facebook page
Youtube video of our past project : community childrens library.
Our Instagram profile.
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