One surprising casualty of those beleaguered instances is a comparatively younger arts organisation that had solely just lately celebrated its eighth anniversary on February 29 (and since that’s bissextile year day, it was solely its second birthday technically). Junoon, the brainchild of intrepid cultural warriors Sanjna Kapoor and Sameera Iyengar, has closed down its shutters. In a press release that was launched final week, its founders wrote, “As we celebrated [last month], we knew we had been at a turning level that demanded robust choices in direction of financially stabilising Junoon. We had been shifting in direction of this finish. Nevertheless, the present international state of affairs has shaken us. As you may think about, the delicate existence of an arts organisation akin to Junoon has left us with little or no choices however to graciously name it a day. And it’s with disappointment that we now have determined to shut Junoon to make sure we don’t endure any extra insurmountable losses.”
Window into variety
That is nothing wanting disheartening, as a result of Junoon leaves behind a not inconsiderable imprint on the humanities scene within the metropolis and on the creative temperament of its denizens, because it tried to ascertain a various and inclusive parallel tradition of types which might activate areas of arts visibility and cultural belonging, whereas maneuvering a social local weather of rising illiberalism that gave the impression to be extra reverse than apposite to the values that propelled them ahead. It was a raison d’être emphatically spelled out when its founders spoke of facilitating a much-needed entry to India’s vibrant variety of arts expressions and practices offering, in accordance with the mission assertion on its web site, “stimulating home windows into cultures, ideas, histories and practices [so that] the humanities can also be intensely private immersive experiences, opening up areas of data, understanding, questioning and empathy inside every one in every of us.”
The subsequent few months will see Junoon working in direction of the introduced closure, whereas signing off on a be aware of because of the creative group at giant that supplied them the symbiotic surroundings wherein they might function with aplomb, curating distinctive arts engagements that restored to the group its sense of cultural rootedness and humanities consciousness.
In establishing Junoon, Kapoor had actually carried ahead the goodwill and leverage she had earned as prime mover within the experimental theatre circuit, having dealt with affairs at Prithvi Theatre for near twenty years. She and Iyengar introduced a ten-year-long affiliation into Junoon, guaranteeing that on the very core of the brand new enterprise was a powerful double-act with confirmed mettle. In 2012, the launch occasion had been characterised by a sleek lack of ostentation with solely facsimiles of the origami-style Junoon brand, folded in with crisp purple paper, suspended in air throughout the Horniman Circle Gardens. The latter was the erstwhile Bombay Inexperienced (because it was referred to within the nineteenth century) that Kapoor helped buoy into an alternate cultural house in its personal proper by staging Prithvi-affiliated out of doors musical live shows and performances there pretty repeatedly, and thus appeared applicable for this new starting.
Methodology within the chaos
A lot of the humanities sector is cluttered and chaotic in its functioning, so Junoon’s organisational panache and streamlined processes might be sorely missed. To this finish, that they had spearheaded a programme known as SMART (Strategic Administration within the Artwork of Theatre) in affiliation with the India Basis for the Arts (IFA) and India Theatre Discussion board. Dubbed as a capability constructing programme for theatre teams, SMART addressed the necessity of strategic considering and sustainable administration procedures in theatre. Over a number of editions, practitioners who had apprenticed at SMART workshops took again practical values and planning to their very own practices. On this regard, a discernible change within the method wherein teams perform has actually been seen by group insiders, a momentum that ought to maybe not be tempered. IFA’s tribute to Junoon’s tenacity didn’t particularly communicate of SMART’s future as a programme that has nonetheless to completely stay as much as its acknowledged potential.
Additionally disappearing from the town’s calendar would be the spate of Mumbai Locals organised by Junoon. These had been occasions wherein thinkers from the sphere of arts and past had been roped in for group interactions in bookshops or libraries or different small areas that inspired a specific intimacy of engagement. Among the many audio system whose fixtures had been cancelled in March because of the lockdown had been eminent writers Shanta Gokhale and Sameena Dalwai. Junoon’s last occasion came about on March 8 — a session at Harkat Studios with Kavita Krishnan on ‘Fearless Freedom: Girls, Security, Hazard’, curated by Paromita Vohra. What appeared like a short lived hiatus has now been set in stone as a departure that hasn’t fairly obtained a correct send-off.