Reflections from the Leadership Journey Gathering- With Commutiny the Youth Collective- By Devika

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We were invited for this Leadership Journey gathering and Nishant and I seemed to have no clue what we were getting into. We walked into this office in Kalkaji and luckily, things only got better.

Commutiny the Youth Collective, popularly known as CYC is an association of youth led and youth engaging organizations across India working towards promoting empowering spaces for youth leadership. Their objective is to help people move towards the needs of the society while continuously working on the self as well. They are well known for their media tools, especially the films they create for social purposes.

The objective of this gathering was to bring together people from different organizations who are supposedly ‘Youth Leaders’. They wanted to open up a space for dialogue and film screenings to help us investigate our own methods of working and introduce us to the tools of 5th Space.

We started the session by watching two movies- ‘Find your own Music’ and ’18 till I die’. They were both interesting films that opened up an opportunity to discuss the various lenses through which the youth in this country are viewed. The Economist Lens, Problem Solver lens, The Youth for Development lens and the Youth Development Lens exposed us to the abundance of mindsets. After Changelooms, Aagaaz has been quite conscious about trying to create a Youth Development based work environment. We want to create spaces where learning and growth happens for every part involved.

Soon, we were introduced to a very heartwarming film called ‘Class of Rowdies’ that led to a great discussion on creating empowering spaces for students. We spoke about ways of creating avenues where the youth involved take part in the decision making processes. We also ventured into conversations about curiosity, questioning and how they influence learning in a positive manner.
We continued to speak about tools that would help us equip ourselves better as leaders. A lot of ideas were presented and it was nice to hear that so many people are working in this direction. Peer-to-peer learning, Empathy, Dialogue, Lack of Judgement, Reflection, Trust and Transparency were some of the words that were floating around. The facilitators of this session then introduced us to Pravah’s philosophy that consisted of Reflection with Action, Experiential Learning, Ownership of spaces and Joy in Learning.

We got a lot of valuable insights from this interaction, especially in the theoretical realm. They also gave us a questionnaire to look at difficult decision making and how polarities confuse us, just like they confuse young people. We were also introduced to a mobile game on leadership that the organization has created to help understand options, decisions and repercussions. Lastly, we were given a question to think about- ‘How much space do I give to young people to feel empowered?’ This was a difficult questions that definitely put me on a spot.

The films we were shown were quite impressive but I wished that we had spent more time dissecting them. This would have helped us understand how such media can be used in our lines of work as well. In addition to that, a session with higher audience participation could have engaged people much better.

I’m really thankful to Pratibha, Kanika and Aparna for inviting us. Their own facilitation skills were a learning experience for me. They managed to open spaces for healthy debates. They also expressed their points of view and held space for the participants, without being directive. The factual information and statistics they shared with us, helped me come to terms with the bigger picture I sometime lose while concentrating on the intricacies of the group I am working with.

The most valuable aspect of the workshop was the opportunity to meet other organizations and leaders. There are not many avenues created for cross pollination in a semi-formal setting. I look forward to more gatherings!

Puppetry workshop with Katkatha by Ismail Shaikh

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Ismail and Shahid from our core group at Nizamuddin got an opportunity to participate in a week long, puppet making workshop with Anurupa Roy at Katkatha. They seem to have learnt a lot and we have thoroughly enjoyed the process of listening to their new stories and insights. Ismail has shared a small reflection that offers us a glimpse into this new world of puppet theatre. 

मैं कटकथा में एक workshop  के लिए गया था जहाँ पर मैने Bunraku Puppets के बारे में सीखा| इन puppets को चलाने के लिए 3 लोगों की ज़रूरत पड़ती है| मुझे यह भी पता चला के इन को अख़बार से कैसे बनाया जाता है| क्या आपको पता है के एक puppet के लिए 7 अख़बार की ज़रूरत पड़ती है?

उसके अलावा मैने masks बनाने भी सीखे| मुझे यह जानकारी मिली  कि बड़े masks में ज़्यादा layers होती हैं और छोटे masks में कम layers होती हैं|

इस workshop के दौरान puppeteer के शरीर के बारे में मुझे बहुत कुछ पता चला| उनकी body काफ़ी मज़बूत और strong  होती है और उन्हें अपना हर movement, puppet  के शरीर से जोड़ना पड़ता है| उनको अपना काम अच्छी तरह से करने के लिए बहुत सारा warm-up और exercise करना होता है|

इस अनुभव से मुझे केवल puppets बनाना ही नहीं, उनके साथ perform करने के बारे में भी जानने को मिला| हमें बताया गया था कि पहले अपनी body को study करना होता है और फिर उस movement को puppet में डालना होता है| हमें अपनी body की strength  को भी बनाए रखना होता है ताकि हम बहुत देर तक खड़े रह सकें|

Puppet Theatre workshop में सीखे गए exercises, warm-ups और movements का मैं अपने theatre के काम में उपयोग कर सकता हूँ|

आख़िर में मैं यह कहना चाहता हूँ कि मुझे अनुरूपा के साथ काम करने में बहुत मज़ा आया| उनके बात करने का तरीके, काम समझने का तरीका और स्पष्ट नज़रिया मुझे अच्छा लगा| Ma’am एक ज्ञान का भंडार हैं आर उनसे बहुत सारी नई चीज़ें सीखी जा सकती हैं| मैं उमीद करता हूँ कि मुझे उनके साथ काम करने के और मौके मिलें|

The production manager of पास्कुअलनामा- by Muzammil Shaikh

Muzammil, one of the core group members at Aagaaz worked as a production manager on a play called पास्कुअलनामा with Third Space Collective and Instituto Cervantes. He assisted his mentor Dhwani and seems to have learnt a lot out of this experience. We would like to share his reflections with you. 

मैने जिस play पर काम किया, वह एक novel पर आधारित था जो एक पसकुअल दुआर्ते नाम के आदमी के बारे में थी | मैं इस play में production manager था और मैं stage setup और props ढूँढने का काम करता था| उसके अतिरिक्त मैं रोज़ rehearsals के लिए जाता था और नाटक ready होने तक टीम का एक हिस्सा था|

इस experience से मैने नए-नए warm-up के तरीके सीखे और बहुत सारी games सीखी| Physical theatre और group work के बारे में काफ़ी कुछ सीखने को मिला|

ध्वनि के साथ काम करना मुझे बहुत अच्छा लगा| उनके काम करने के style के बारे में सीखने को मिला| उनके leadership का तरीका और rehearsals के दौरान serious रहने की आदत, मुझे काफ़ी useful लगी|

ध्वनि के साथ काम करने से मेरे direction पर भी प्रभाव पड़ा| Calmness और coolness के साथ leadership करना, मेरी सबसे बड़ी सीख थी| Play को ready करने से पहले characters को कैसे तैयार करते हैं- उसके बारे में भी जान पाया|

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