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SAFAR – TOTEM POLE | CARNIVAL ’17

Written by Neeraj Shetye

Carnival 2017 saw an active participation from the Technical societies for the first time. Totem Pole, the newly started departmental society under the Department of Sociology organized an event during the first day of the Carnival named “Safar”. It was a one of a kind attempt and received an excellent response from those who participated. The basic premise of the event was to highlight the conditions of those who are generally alienated from the mainstream Indian society. The caste system has led our society to a vast history of alienation and it is crucial because it is still relevant today. The organizing team designed cases based on issues of caste, gender and sexuality that are struggling to be solved even today. It was an individual role-playing game where a participant was guided by one of the members in the dark stall that was covered from all four sides. It was partitioned inside and the contestant was supposed to react to various situations as he/she moved forward. Every contestant received a bio-note of the character they had to enact or whose life they were supposed to experience. It was expected that the participant tries to react to a situation designed by the team. The participant essentially lived an alternate life as he/she passed through the maze. Almost all the participants commented that it was an intense experience that forced someone to think. One of the contestants reviewed it as “an eye-opener for many”. Insha Khalid, one of the coordinators expressed her desire to create a platform to discuss these issues. It is extremely important to note this particular concern: Are we utilizing this university as a learning space? Do we discuss issues beyond our coursework? For some, this is our coursework but how much effort do we take to discuss this beyond the four walls of our classrooms? An event like “Safar” was a commendable attempt to create a space where one could know about the reality of the world outside. It is important that we understand the gravity of these issues and learn to deal with them sensitively. It does not matter what discipline one studies because as citizens, we are expected to know whatever happens around us. The team has decided to strive for organizing such events in the future although the organizing team of Carnival did receive requests to organize “Safar” yet again.

 

                                                          

About the author

Neeraj Shetye

Known majorly for sadistic puns and minorly for his whimsical obsessions

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