This October marked the beginning of the Winter Series of – ‘Writing Out’ – 20 poetry writing workshops exploring issues of identity, community and the world. This season we are doing ‘Writing Out’ with Durbar (also known as Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee), an organization based in Sonagachhi working for the recognition of sex work as Work and for protecting the rights of sex –workers.
For next coming months, my colleague Nargis and I will be facilitating Writing Out poetry workshops with 12 youth participants of Durbar’s youth wing — Padatik — at the Durbar open-air rooftop. We hope to work with their youth towards shared creative and intellectual empowerment.
We facilitated the first session of Writing Out Session recently, and the feedback from the young people was very encouraging! Along with it being a ‘fun’ experience, they shared how, expressing themselves in different ways again was nourishing process. The young participants visibly became more relaxed, spontaneous, and engaged as the session progressed. See below for a collaborative poem written by participants during Session 1.
The coming weeks will involve collective and individual thinking about and writing on the self, the community and spiraling out into the world. This Saturday we return to Durbar’s rooftop for Session 2 with colorful Writer’s Notebooks for each Poet Participant, in shades of solid red, blue, yellow and black. Lets see if we can fill our notebooks with ideas, images, and reflections as folks who are young and in the margin pulsing with creativity.
A translation of the collaborative poem ‘Rain’ written by participants. Originally written in Bangla.
Misty blue outside the window,
Rain means listening to Rabindrasangeet with the person I’m closest to.
Rain means playing football with friends where the rainbow rises.
Mud-covered shoes, Rain means getting wet.
The swaying of unripe paddy stalks, the joy of farmers.
Rain means going fishing,
And walking with an umbrella.
Rain means listening to stories at home.
posted by Urbi Bhaduri