coming home to eARTh: Space, Line, Form
Arts Education for Conservation Consciousness at Harvard AIE CTC
Can a poem save a tiger? Can a drawing inspire a plant to grow? Can art education make a difference to conservation issues? How do the languages that a child invents, experiences and creates through the arts contribute to building a life-long connect with nature, that is powerful enough to engage the child in active conservation issues?
Playing with Kabir at the alternative.in
"As a child I was strongly drawn to understand social inequalities and the dishonesty of everyday life that is shrouded in the myths of culture and society. As I constantly struggled to make sense of the contradictions of the world we live in, Kabir was a voice, a friendship, a conversation that brought much clarity and companionship. More than seeing him as a 15th century mystic poet who defies labels, as a child, I just saw him as my playmate: someone with whom I could have endless debates, laugh at the ridiculousness of society and feel love, joy, anger, grief, terror and fear without restraint."
Your Child the storyteller in Parent circle
"Creating an illustrated storybook is a difficult, complex and demanding activity. Several cognitive, creative and artistic processes work together to create a storybook. While children enjoy doing this arduous task in a playful manner, each child’s ability, his involvement and his simplest attempts need to be appreciated."
Book Making- A Creative and Cognitive Process
Rasa, the enjoyment of the joy and sorrow of creating, the pleasure of resonating with one’s deep core of creativity is another artistic process that teaches much. Little children sometimes return a bird’s call and laugh at the startling discovery of finding a voice that resonates with another life. In that moment, they enjoy an aesthetic experience that tunes them to the world around them. Similarly, while creating storybooks, they are creating several such moments of rasa, while they imagine, compose, practice, critique themselves. Rasa is a very healing and sacred experience. Staying with your child through this experience would give them a life-long path to heal themselves through any tough experience.
What a wonderful world! : Nurturing Wonder, Rediscovering Learning
Model experiences of wonder: Are you touched, inspired, moved and awed by the little things that happen each day? If you pause by a flower and wonder at its beauty, gentleness and mystery, your children will also be inspired to do the same. If you pause at the end of the day and exclaim with wonder about one wonderful thing that happened, they will be challenged to look at their own life through that lens of wonder.
Notes on the Sky Self: When Art becomes the Aritst in Learning curve Issue XVIII Azim Premji Foundation
If we move beyond the limited worlds of assessment, employment and success, we will be ready to create art programmes that revolutionise the identity of each child.
What if our self was not limited to our accepted notions! What if it was a sky self, what voice would it have? What colours would it be made of? The sky in the sky-self is just a metaphor for an unknown expanse. The sky-self can be an adventurous and powerful companion that allows a child to evolve and discover her potential without feeling limited.
What would life be like without fear? Royal Commonwealth Essay Competition
Written, when I was 16 years old, in 1996, this essay captures the essence of my spiritual centre, that has always guided me and protected me in my work and life. Even as I go back to it after another 16 years, at 32, it holds the same depth of meaning it did, when I first wrote it. The illustrations were inspired by and based on the character 'Anna' from the book "Mr God, This is Anna" by Fynn, Illustrated by Papas.
More than anything else, I believe, that in the beautiful letter I got from Dr. Charles Kemp, Chief Examiner of the Royal Commonwealth Essay Competition, my work and what would become much of my future writing were both validated and deeply appreciated. I thank again all the examiners of this essay, who acknowledged my work and returned it to me with their perception. They also cared enough to send me a colour photocopy of the original essay with its illustrations.
From the letter
"K.Srisrividhiya Kalyanasundaram's entry on the topic, "What would life be like without fear", was warmly appreciated by the examiners in Class A. They commented that this was an extraordinary essay which answered the question at its deepest spiritual level. The technical brilliance and handling of colour demonstrated by the illustrations was most impressive. In the words of one examiner, "they were an absolute joy in the way they complemented the text in conveying a sense of life's fears moving towards the 'unlimited freedom' of fearlessness". This examiner, like others in the Class, was "enormously moved" by how Srisrividhiya expressed her insights."
Flight without wings
There have been a thousand fears, a thousand phobias above me, below me, beside me, behind me. I have been caught in their swirl. This is the time to break out. The storm is engulfing me. Yet, I knew I was breaking out of the swirl each moment.
I was aware of every emotion inside me. I was a spectator watching myself. "No time for fear" I cried out. My self had given me its hand to hold on. The storm was raging over me. The speed was terminal. There were obstacles in every step. I and my Self were together and we were out. The swirl went on with its work trying to devour every susceptible person. I looked at it and wondered how I could have lost myself there.
To read the whole essay - click here
Why not be different?
Essay Competition 1997-98
Award: Specially Commended
As on the horizon, I stood and watched, the mountains dissolving into rivers, the rivers into the oceans, the oceans into those endless skies, storms, rains and finally the earth into me.
I wondered, is this love?
Isn't it queer?, I laughed at myself for I distinguish love. It was to me as relative as everything else. There was a love that I called motherly or sometimes brotherly. A thousand names I had given to a thousand relationships and everywhere I had defined love differently. I had segregated it and its fullness lay barren.
As the force of the earth weaved through my spirit, as I evolved into a continuity of trust the barriers collapsed.
Mother, Father, Sister, Friend, You, I... all melted away and from within flowed unconditional love.
To read the whole essay - click here
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