So many unfinished conversations . . .
Prof Hari Vasudevan will always be remembered and deeply missed by several generations of students, scholars and teachers.
Having spent almost his entire academic career in Kolkata, in 2005, Hari was invited by the Union human resources development ministry to chair the textbook development committee for the social sciences of the National Centre for Educational Research and Training (NCERT). He worked with a large team and consulted widely to produce a set of textbooks that were applauded by teachers and students.
August 2017 he spoke on ‘History Textbooks and the Idea of India’ at the History for Peace annual conference. For school teachers attending the conference it was a rare treat—to interact with this warm accessible scholar who was one of the strong forces behind the textbooks that guided their entire teaching practice.
January 2020, he was scheduled to deliver the keynote at yet another History for Peace conference in Kochi. A day before the scheduled date he was compelled to cancel his talk due to his mother’s demise.
We at Seagull remember him with deep affection.
Under the current circumstances in Calcutta the Readings session scheduled for 22.5.2020 stands postponed. We will be back soon with a revised date.
In this session, we are going to look at how the city has been imagined and described by various authors in literature. Cities are not mere urban conglomerates; nor are they just a group of settlements in a more or less organized setting. Cities are more about their peoples—those who come to live in a city, those who migrate out of a city, those who inhabit a city for several generations—people who breathe life into the city, animating its streets and houses with their sounds, smells and voices.
Is it possible to imagine a city without its peoples? Is there something unique about a city that makes it more important than its peoples? How have cities across the globe engaged with their peoples and created their own stories?
We welcome all in this session to pick a text of your choice and share it with us— a text where the city and its people, sights, scents and sounds come alive in the author’s imagination.
Seagull Books and History for Peace are pleased to present a specially prepared volume for free download available only on our website: a selection of five plays from ‘In Performance’ volumes, which bring forth poignant stories from five regions with complex histories of violence—Bosnia–Herzegovina, Cambodia, Palestine, Poland and South Africa.
We also offer a 30% discount on all ‘In Performance’ titles till 31 May 2020! Visit our website, use the code INPERF30 to avail of this discount and dive into one of the most diverse collections of contemporary drama anywhere to be found!
Our Managing Trustee Naveen Kishore discusses how the pandemic is growing in India, new normalities, humans communicating in fundamentally different ways and the hope for instinctive compassion.
The PeaceWorks Human Rights Defenders Programme
In 2015, PeaceWorks, as India partner for The Anne Frank House, Amsterdam, developed a resource on human rights stemming from the Anne Frank: A History for Today travelling exhibition. The resource, ‘Learning to Live with Difference’ moves from an understanding of rights and identity to looking at genocides from across the world, acknowledged and otherwise, using the arts to question and explore the mindsets that ultimately become apathetic to, or even support genocidal violence. You can access the resource here.
We have been taking this programme to schools and 2019 – 20 has particularly been a busy year.
With every new batch of this programme, the resource comes to life differently, guided as it is by our volunteers’ subjective ideas and responses to the content. Interested in how improvisations in the classroom have gone?
This year began on a busy note, with two History for Peace conferences back to back.
How do we equip our teachers to become enablers of life affirming education? How do we create classrooms that deal with ideas and teachers who nurture intelligence plus character, wonder plus amazement, curiosityplus questioning, thought, reflection, creativity and imagination.These were some of the questions that were explored with over 130 teachers from across the country.
In July 2019, Romila Thapar opened the first chapter of The Idea of the Indian Constitution, a conference for teachers, in Calcutta, with the question: When does a constitution become a requirement? What followed was an explosion of ideas and thoughts from some of the finest minds in the country over three days. Read the report here
This was followed by chapter II of The Idea of the Indian Constitution in Pune with fresh insights and new voices.