Archive for the ‘Curriculum’ Category

Day 12: Street food survey

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

 

Day12

19 May 2008

6-8 pm

Bowbazar

Bowbazar’s street food is mouth watering and very affordable. Many a time, before or after our sessions, myself and Bina have stopped at the yellow bulb-lit little stalls, and gorged on kulcha roti and paneer for as little as Rs. 8/-, masala muri (with achhar, peanuts, coriander, with one big slice of coconut) for Rs.3/-, gur-badaam (Peanuts rolled in jaggery), hot tawa-baked papad (especially wonderful during wintry evenings), and onion omelettes. As we mentioned earlier, we are working at trying to reconnect with the group which has dispersed at many levels, and this week we thought that writing on street food would be a fun assignment for them.

When the facilitators reached, there was a power cut. At first there were only Tania, Rahul, Robi and Tapos. Later Salman and Tulu joined us. We discussed what we wanted to do today in the open verandah just outside the session room. There was another magnificent norwester brewing, so the journalists decided to keep the assignment short for today ( at the level of appetizers) and do it again properly in the interim, before we again met next Monday. Under a reddish stormy sky with the dust blowing into their faces, things getting blown away and being carried along the old streets of Bowbazar by the wind in its wake, the intrepid six chose their favorite foods. Each was given Rs. 10/- to taste whatever they wanted. Rahul wanted chowmein but, unable to make his way to it, settled for kachori (fried chapatti like things with a stuffing of spicy pulses). Robi wanted to invest his allowance wholly on tea. We are excited about next week when we get to see what they’ve written.

The Assignment:

Approach a roadside street food seller of your choice and taste any item that you fancy. While eating, focus your 5 senses on

  • The Location (as precise terms as possible, directions to this place, atmosphere, sights, sounds etc. at this place)
  • The street food seller ( How he/she looks/talks, oddities of appearance and behaviour)
  • The food itself (how it looks like/smells/feels/ tastes/sounds like)

Interviewing the street food seller:

Name?

Home?

What are the items that you make?

Why did you become a seller of fuchka/jhaalmuri/tarka ruti?

Who taught you to make these?

What were your challenges as you started out?

Why do you think street food always tastes better than home-cooked food?

What s the secret behind your tasty cooking?

What advice do you have for someone just starting out as a street food seller?

  

Week 7: The Session

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

Session Seven: Making Changes in our Para

Date: January 14, 2008
Time: 6:00 – 8:00pm
Venue: Bow Bazaar Highschool

Share the Home Assignment from Previous Session

Have each pair of journalists read their piece on the para livelihood chosen by them. Share and discuss.

Today’s assignment: Making Changes in Our Para

  1. Let’s brainstorm the various kinds of issues/problems/dislikes in our para.Which of these problems/issues/dislikes can we take personal responsibility for? Which look like they are capable of being changed if only we try?
  2. Ask them to choose two problems that they think need attention, which it is possible to change if they take initiative, not only a personal problem but that which is affecting many people in your para.
  3. Give each group a problem and ask them to brainstorm solutions which they can practically work on to get rid off/lessen the problem. Think of different people/spaces you can go to, to ask for help in solving this problem. Think of what mediums we might use to address this problem?
  4. Create a skit presenting the problem and the solution.

Skit Activity:

  1. Enact a problem you see emerging in your para (from your own perspective) and enact a solution you think is feasible (from your perspective).
  2. Ask audience participants and Facilitators to respond to the presented skit with their thoughts, ideas, perspectives.
  3. Remind participants, if it does not come up on its own in skits or discussion, that they can use different media to spread awareness and address the problem. It may be making posters to raise public awareness in the para, writing letters to Newspapers/the Corporation, asking for help from para beneficiaries and thereby involving them in the growth of the para.

Take Home Journalist Assignment: Write an article researching a Problem/Issue of the Para.

  • From when are the para residents facing the problem?
  • Who are especially affected?
  • What are the steps, if any, that para people have taken to get rid of it?
  • Identify para people like you who want to do something to overcome the problem. Can you work together?
  • Who are the people who know about it but still ignore it?

Check Out
How was this session like? Good/bad/okay?
How do you feel about participating in the coming sessions? 1 word

Week Six: The Session

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

Date: December 31, 2007
Time: 6:00 – 8:00pm
Venue: Bow Bazaar Highschool

Session Six: Livelihoods and Industries in your Para

Share the Home Assignment from Previous Session.

In a circle, pass out session 3’s home assignments in the form of printed articles.
Have each pair of journalists read their piece on the para personality assigned to them. Share and discuss.

Today’s Assignment: Livelihoods/Industries in your Para

Facilitator’s Introduction to debate activity: In our para we see people making a living in different ways. Let’s brainstorm the various kinds of jobs/professions/livelihoods in our para.

  1. Write each different livelihood on a chit.
  2. Create a pool of these chits from which each participant selects one.
  3. Keep two spaces on the floor, one marked with a (1) “respect worthy” sign, the other with a (2) “not respect worthy” sign.
  4. Ask each participant to think whether the livelihood on his chit is deserving of respect or not and to place it under the chosen category.
  5. Now choose a chit one by one, ask whose chit it is, ask the participant why it is either (1) or (2), and throw it open for a debate with the group.

In the last session, while describing Tulsi Masi earning a living through selling “chullu”, several opinions had come up, voicing that it was not a very respect worthy thing to do. This exercise will allow for an examination of the attitudes of the para journalists towards different kinds of professions in their para.

Take Home Journalist Assignment: Investigating Para Industries

  1. Ask each of them what profession in the para they would like to investigate.
  2. Ask them to include photos in their article.

Guidelines:

  • Have your research focus on 1 person engaged in your selected livelihood.
  • A typical day of work.
  • How, where, when, why did you start out
  • What do you like, What do you dislike about work
  • Ask other people in the para what they think of the profession
  • Think about how this profession is shaping the identity of Bowbazaar.
  • Check Out
    How was this session like? Good/bad/okay okay?
    How do you feel about participating in the coming sessions? 1 word

    Week Five: The Session

    Monday, December 31st, 2007

    Date: December 24, 2007
    Time: 6:00 – 8:00pm
    Venue: Bow Bazaar Highschool

    Session Five: The People in your Para

    Share the Home Assignment from Previous Session

    In a circle, read aloud the stories/articles each journalist wrote for their chosen landmarks. Share and discuss. If the assignment wasn’t completed, ask why? And what can change for next time in order to make sure all assignments are completed.

    Reminder to Journalists: Remind Journalists that they have to complete assignment in order for us to progress as a group on our neighborhood narratives. As journalists, there are numerous stories occurring every day – and we need to keep up in terms of deadlines.

    Pass out the Para Badges to each journalist.

    Today’s Assignment: The People of your Para

    Facilitator’s Introduction: In our para we see many types of people. Just like in many films, there are many types of different characters. There are villains, heroes, enemies, lovers, etc. Similarly, in our para there are different people who are embody different roles/characters.

    Ask the group: Can you think of different people in your para? Brainstorm with the group and make a note of the names/types of people who come up.

    Who is the most powerful person in your para?
    Who is the weakest person in your para?
    Who is the most successful person in your para?
    Who is the most oppressed in your para?
    Who is the happiest person in your para?
    Who is the scariest person in your para?
    Who is the most trustworthy person in your para?

    1. Divide the participants into a total of 3 groups. Each group chooses a character and discusses what questions they would ask/what are the problems they anticipate while interviewing this character in person.
    2. Now two volunteers come up from each group and act out the interview process. One of them can act as the character while the other may act as the interviewer. Each group gets feedback from the rest of the participants and the facilitators. This dummy interview prepares them for facing these different people in the real world.
    3. One of them can act as the character while the other may act as the interviewer. This dummy interview prepares them for facing these different people in the real world.

    Take Home Journalist Assignment: Personality Profiles
    Divide the participants into pairs. Assign them one neighborhood personality (which emerged from the discussion) to interview. Ask them to include photos in their article.

    Check Out
    How was this session like? Good/bad/okay okay?
    How do you feel about participating in the coming sessions? 1 word

    Week 4: The Session

    Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

    Date: December 17, 2007
    Time: 6:00 – 8:00pm
    Venue: Bow Bazaar Highschool

    Session Four: The Homes of Bow Bazaar

    Activity One: Share the Landmark Stories from Previous Session

    In a circle, read aloud the stories/articles each journalist wrote for their chosen landmarks. Share and discuss.

    Activity Two: Talk about Journalism and Blogging

    Pass out newspapers to each journalist and tell them that from now on it’s important for them to read the newspaper to see how journalists are reading and writing about the world. Also, how they too are journalists.

    What do journalists publish their work in? Ask the group
    What will we publish our work in?

    -Shobuj Pata: A community newsletter circulated by Sanlaap
    -Blogs

    We will write about things, share things, tell stories that will be circulate in public spheres. It is our responsibilities as story tellers and story writers to write responsibly for ourselves and our community.

    Activity Three: The Homes of Bow Bazaar

    1. Talk about Homes. Bow Bazaar has many homes. Each community and neighbourhood begins with a home. And each home has a separate story. The stories of each home contribute to the stories of the community, of the neighborhood
    2. Read Sandra Cisneros’ My Home piece
    3. Ask the participants what they feel about this piece. What feelings does the writer evoke in her piece? What do you like about the piece as a reader?
    4. Ask each participant to think about their home. And on a following on a little chit of paper, write: 1) What part of your home to you do you connect with on a personal level? 2) What part of your home would you like to change? (Don’t write your name on the chit of paper and don’t share your content with anybody)
    5. Place the chits in a small bowl. Pass the bowl around and have everyone pick on of the chits and read it aloud. Ask them to guess whose chit they’ve selected.
    6. After they have read and selected the chit – tell them that as journalists – they are now assigned to investigate that person’s home and their feelings around their home.

    Home Journalist Assignment: Write about your Peer’s Home

    As a journalist, go to the house of the person whose chit you selected. Find out more information on their home. (Who lives their, what does it look like, what happens there, what’s interesting about their home?)

    As a journalist, Find out more about the information on the chit (what is important to the person and what they would like to change.)

    Take photographs and write an article on the person’s home and home life.

    Prompts given to Journalists for Home-Writing
    Something I like
    Things I don’t like about my home
    Daily lives of people who live there
    Dream picture of “home”
    Is this a dream home? Yes, why? No, why not?

    Check Out
    How was this session like? Good/bad/okay okay?
    How do you feel about participating in the coming sessions? 1 word

    Week 3, Part II: Postcards from Bow Bazaar

    Thursday, December 13th, 2007

    During Session 3, all participants wrote a vignette on Bow Bazaar through the following activity.

    Activity One: Bow Bazaar and Me Vignette
    Remind everyone how we left off at writing what our neighbourhood means to us personally. Read the Poddar Nagar poem to remind the participants how we invoke our neighborhood. Now, tell them that they too will invoke their neighborhood through sensorial details.

    Have everyone close their eyes and go around the room and think imagine Bow Bazaar from a personal gaze in terms of the Four Senses. Orally go over each sense. Ask each participant to share their Sight, Sound, Smell, Touch of Bow Bazaar. Go around the room with each sense, one at a time. Take time to comment (trim, refine) sensorial description. After each participant has shared their description, have them write their spoken line into their notebook in the form of a poem. On the board write the structure of the poem.

    Bow Bazaar Means….
    A Sound
    A Sight
    A Smell
    A Touch

    Postcards from Bow Bazaar

    Bow Bazaar Maane….

    Amar baarir boro raastai log-joner katha-bolar shobdo.
    Moder gondho,
    Bow Bajaar mane shiri-te mod kheye pore-jawar drishho,
    Bow Bajaar mane amar baarir chhater pachiler thandar sporsho.

    Bow Bazaar Means…

    The sound of conversations from the road leading home,
    The smell of alcohol,
    Bow Bazaar means the sight of a fallen, drunk man on the stairs.
    Bow Bazaar means feeling coolness on the rooftop of my home.

    By Pooja Dolui, Age 13

     

     

    Bow Bazaar Mane…

    Amar baari-te jal niye jhagra,
    Bow Bajaar maane amar baari theke shoja giye, sealdahr maacher ghondo.
    Maane, Sealdahr bridge-ey Om Shanti – r poster.
    Bow Bajaar maane, amader schooler ghar-gulor khor-khorey deowal.

    Bow Bazaar Means…
    At home, an argument over water.
    Bow Bajaar means the smell of fish from Sealdah.
    It means, a poster of Om Shanti on Sealdah bridge.
    Bow Bazaar means the rough walls of our classroom.

    By Salman, Age 14

     

     

    Bow Bajaar Mane…

    Bipin Behari Ganguly-r street-er bus, taxi-r awaj.
    Bow Bajaar maane, hotel-er mangsho aur onno khawar-er gondho.
    Bow Bajaar maane, bhor-belar gaache thanda guri.

    Bow Bazaar Means…
    The sound of bus and taxis on Bipin Behari Ganguly Street.
    Bow Bazaar means, the scent of meat curry and other foods from the hotel.
    Bow Bazaar means, the cold trunk of a tree at dawn.

    By Tapos, Age 13

     

    Bow Bajaar Maane….

    Amar baarir neeche mudi-dokaan-e kena-becha.
    Toilet-r ghondo. Bow Bajaar maane, mudi-dokaan-e khela hochhe.
    Bow Bajaar, chhoto ball-er moto.

    Bow Bazaar Means….
    Buying and selling at the grocery shop below my home.
    The smell of urine.
    Bow Bazaar means, games and play at the grocery store.
    Bow Bazaar is like a small ball.

    By Tulu, Age 15

     

    Bow Bajaar Maane…

    Kaki-r ghar-e t.v.-te gaaner awaaj.
    Bow Bajaar maane Bipin Behari Ganguly-r statue.
    Ar taar pechone hotel-e Mughlai bhaajar gondho.
    Bow Bajaar maane bhor-bela bot gaacher thanda ebong mosrinatar sporsho.

    Bow Bazaar Means…
    The sound of music on T.V. from Kaki’s room.
    Bow Bazaar means Bipin Behari Ganguly-r statue
    And the smell of Mughlai food from the hotel behind.
    Bow Bazaar means the cool and smooth touch of a banyan tree at dawn.

    By Jotsna, Age 16

    Week 3, Part I: The Session

    Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

    December 10th, 2007

    Session 3: Writers as Observers

    Energizer
    Human Knot: Form a circle and extend your right hand into the center of the circle and grab a persons hand across from you. Now extend your left hand into the circle and randomly grab another person’s hand. Now the group must form one big (untangled) circle without letting go of any one’s hands.

    Pupose: Teambuilding. Working as a Group. Building Accountability. And Trust.

    Remind youth to recall their Para Maps. And one’s personal relationship with their para.

    Activity One:
    Bow Bazaar and Me Vignette (continued from Session 2)

    Remind everyone how we left off at writing what our neighbourhood means to us personally. Read the Poddar Nagar poem to remind the participants how we invoke our neighborhood. Now, tell them that they too will invoke their neighborhood through sensorial details.

    Have everyone close their eyes and go around the room and think imagine Bow Bazaar from a personal gaze in terms of the Four Senses.
    • Sound
    • Smell
    • Sight
    • Touch

    Orally go over each sense. Ask each participant to share their Sight, Sound, Smell, Touch of Bow Bazaar. Go around the room with each sense, one at a time. Take time to comment (trim, refine) sensorial description. After each participant has shared their description, have them write their spoken line into their notebook in the form of a poem. On the board write the structure of the poem.

    Bow Bazaar Means….
    A sound
    A Smell
    A Sight
    A Touch

    Activity Two: Neighborhood Outing and Writing.
    Now we will go outside as Para Journalists and write about the following:
    What do you think is Bow Bazaar’s Landmark?

    Keep in mind the Five Senses: Smell, Sight, Sound, Touch, Taste
    Also, keep in mind you Gaze – you are Para Residents

    Pass out Prompt Sheet:
    1) Describe your chosen Landmark (What do you see? What do you smell? What do you hear? What does it feel like?)
    2) Why is it Bow Bazaar’s landmark for you?

    Take-Home Assignment: Research your chosen landmark and write about its history. Ask friends, families, acquaintances about your chosen place and what they think about it, what they know about it, what personal/significant stories are related to it. Try to uncover any local stories, histories surrounding your chosen place.

    Check Out
    How was this session like? Good/bad/okay okay?
    How do you feel about participating in the coming sessions? 1 word

    Week Two in Bow Bazaar: The Session

    Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

    December 3rd, 2007

    Session Two: Personal Para

    Objective: To facilitate young residents to go inside their heart and mind and investigate and express what their neighbourhood means to them personally.

    Energizer
    Matching emotions (10 mins)

    Pass out pieces of paper or note cards with emotions written on them. Some suggested emotions are: anger, fear, happy, nervous, sad, peace, embarrassed, loved, proud, shocked, hate. Two participants will have the same emotion. Ask each participant to enact the given emotion until the other participants can identify who they share an emotion with. When participant think they have found their partner, they should have a seat together. Continue until all groups are seated.
    Finally have each group strike a pose of their emotion for other participant what emotion is being enacted.

    Activity: Profile Form (10 mins)
    Pass out profile forms in which participants will write a brief bio about themselves. This will be kept for Kalam and Neighbourhood Diaires.

    The Bio form
    • Name
    • My age
    • Where I live
    • What I do
    • What I love doing in my spare time
    • Something about me that everyone knows
    • Something about me that no one knows of

    Activity One: Ground Rules for Workshop Series (20 mins)

    We will be working together for 15 weeks, indoors as well as going outside into our para, talking to people, taking interviews, sometimes taking pictures and writing. We will be working as para journalists. Do you think that in order to work and learn together, we need any rules?

    • Brainstorm Ground Rules (Do this on a Chart paper). Write out all the ground rules every participant comes up with.

    • After all ground rules have been explored, vote on each of them as a group.

    • Write all finalized rules on a new piece of Chart paper. Have all participants sign the paper.


    Some Ground Rules of neighbourhood diaries should include:

  • Cell Phones Off
  • Don’t laugh at each other’s art, ideas, thoughts, stories, viewpoints etc.
  • Whenever anybody is sharing something, give full attention to him/her.
  • Be open to constructive criticism. Before saying something negative about somebody’s work, say something positive.
  • Maintain confidentiality about any personal stuff that may emerge during the session.
  • Take permission before clicking people’s photos wherever possible.
  • Do not be intrusive while interviewing people. Be sensitive.
  • Laptop and camera are strictly to be used for neighbourhood diaries only and not for personal entertainment.
  • .
    Activity Two: Para Map Making: Personal Map of Bow Bazaar and You

    Each participant will create their personal map of Bow Bazaar and them. This is very different from a regular map with street names, lines, and official landmarks. Rather, this map should represent what Bow Bazaar intimately looks like to the participant. It is a map in which each participant notes, identifies places/spaces/people/animals that carry intimate significance to them personally.

    On an A4 size piece of paper create a personal map of Bow Bazaar — mapping what is important to you. Be creative. Use words, colors, art, images, etc.

    Prompt Questions:

    • When you are feeling sad, where do you go in your neighborhood?
    • Places where you fell in love?
    • Where do you enjoy having an adda?
    • What places do you go to in your para where you feel the need to dress up?
    • Do you have any favorite pets in your para?
    • Who are important people in your para?
    • In crises, who do you go to?
    • Who do you go to for advice?
    • If you need to get things done, who do you go to
    • Who are your enemies?
    • Who are closest to your heart?
    • Who are you afraid of?
    • Somebody you are intrigued by?
    • Places in the para which make you Happy? And Make you Sad?
    • Your favorite tree in the para?
    • Favorite eating place?
    • If you have visitor, what parts of the para do you take them around to?
    • Are there some special games that you play in the para?
    • What are you favorite festivals in your para? Where do they happen?
    • What are your favorite sounds inside the para? Specific sounds at night? Specific sounds during Morning? Or afternoon?
    • One thing in your Para that you want to change? One thing in your para that you don’t want to change?

    Go around the room and share the parts they are comfortable sharing.

    BREAK (Optional)

    Activity Three: Para Vignette: Bow Bazaar Means….
    Write a vignette on what Bow Bazaar means to you personally, using the Five Senses. See below for model. This writing activity will facilitate participants to think about their neighborhood through five senses. The use of fives sense will foster participants to approach neighborhood observation and writing through sensorial consciousness. They can pick images from the Personal Para Map they have just created, and put them into words in detail.

    Bow Bazaar Means….

    A smell
    A sight
    A touch
    A sound

    Sample Poem


    Poddar Nagar Mane…

    Sagor Sweets-er goli diye, baan dike beke jawa.
    Poddar Nagar mane Meroon dorjaa wala ekta bari.
    Dutor shomoy rasta shunshaan.
    Petrol-er gondho niye ekta matador-er chole jaoa.
    Poddar Nagar mane baire railing-e dhulo joma.
    Tube-weller teto jal, time-koler mithey jaler ashshad.
    Poddar Nagar mane ghoomiye pora dusho chollish er line.
    Aashe pashé officejatrir parota alur dom khaoa.
    Poddar Nagar mane Monohara Mashir elo haathkhopa.

    Check Out
    How was this session like? Good/bad/okay okay?
    How do you feel about participating in the coming sessions? 1 word.

    (See our Next Post for Participant Profiles and Photographs as well as discussion and responses from Session 2.)

    Day One in Bow Bazaar: The Session

    Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

    Yesterday (Monday, November 26th 07), marked Session 1 of Neighbourhood Diaries in Bow Bazaar Neighborhood in partnership with local NGO Sanlaap.

    Venue: Bow Bazaar Highschool

    Time: Mondays, 6:00 – 8:00pm

    Participants: 15 youth residents in Bow Bazaar

    November 26th, 2007

    Session 1: Understanding Neighbourhood Stereotypes

    Objective
    The Need for Neighborhood Journalism. To understand how it is important to re-write and re-tell your neighborhood’s narrative.

    Activity: Understanding Assumptions and Hegemonic Narratives (30 minutes)

    1. Divide the group in two groups. Give each group an, unlabelled photograph and ask them to collectively write a description of the image. Create a story behind the place – where is it, what happens there? What type of people live there? (10-15 min)

    What are their 1st impressions?
    What is happening in the picture?
    What do these aspects of the picture tell us about the locality?
    When people pass the place, what ideas do they form about it?

    The two images are of New York city (an image of a socio-economicallydisadvantaged neighborhood) and Kolkata (a socially and economically upward) neighborhood.

    2. Each group should read aloud their description and share their thought process behind their caption/description. (15 mins)
    (Make a note of the exploratory questions that bring out better answers. As a facilitator, what are good questions to ask? Good eye contact, speak slowly and clearly)

    3. Facilitators should then share the real facts of the images. Discuss at length the difference between the young people’s imagined stories and the real stories. How was our imagination informed? Where do we get certain ideas from about places, spaces, and people?

    4. Discuss the phenomena of assumptions and stereotyping. How thought gets stuck at particular places. We do not ask, do not think of asking whether there is anything beneath the obvious assumptions about the place.

    BREAK

    Your Neighborhood: Discussion and Activity on Stereotypes (30 minutes)

    Discussion
    From a bigger scale let us now come down to our own paras/neighborhoods.
    Just like we’ve realized the false/fragmented/skewed stories around different neighborhoods, how do you think other people think or imagine your personal neighborhood? What are the stereotypes surrounding your neighborhood?
    Our thoughts often get stuck around some obvious things we see around, or some particular things that repeatedly surface on TV or in newpapers.eg. New York has highrises, this is true, but this is only one truth about New York. There are several other truths that we do not get to know. When a journalist comes to your para, what are the particular things he wants to cover/research more?

    Collage Activity
    Create a collective collage of images, sounds, words, smells about how the common person may interpret our neighborhood. Draw, Write, Cut and Paste.

    Discussion
    What are the common assumptions surrounding our neighborhood? Talk and explain in images. What is missing in this collage? What Truths are being circulated? What Truths are beings silenced and ignored? What stories aren’t being told? If we knew more untold stories, what would that do? How would that change perceptions?

    Conclusion: Explaining the Project, Neighbourhood Diaries
    This is how the outsider sees Bow Bazaar . Do you think it is important to tell the stories of this neighborhood as an insider and resident? What are the ways in which you, an insider, see Bow Bazaar? We believe the best sources of knowledge are your minds, your eyes, your words. The best expert to tell neighborhood stories is you. In the coming 15 weeks we shall try to search and find out what the inside stories of Boubazar look like. And you will find out, not us. In this workshop you will work as a Neighborhood Journalist telling the story of your lanes, you homes, your neighbors.

    Writing Activity
    Can you tell us a story about your neighborhood, which only you know? It can be a moment only, or an incident you are not likely to forget. Have the participants write and share their story? After listening to the story, explore how it gives a new life, new dimensions to understanding their neighborhood — and thus how this story needs to be told?

    Check Out
    How was this session like? Good/bad/Okay?
    How do you feel about participating in the coming sessions? 1 word.

    Thinking Curriculum

    Monday, August 20th, 2007

    Kalam’s new grassroots journalism program is beginning its work on the ground in October 07 — after school exams and after Calcutta’s famous festival Durga Puja. Until then, we at Kalam are engaged in the necessary imaginative and logistical ground work for Neighbourhood Diaries.

    The Logistics? We’re meeting up with various local NGOs that work in various slum neighborhoods, to discuss the vision of Neighbourhood Diaries and the pragmatics of implementing the program. We have yet to finalize who are partners will be for pilot phase — but that decision will be made very soon.

    The Imagination? Curriculum. Kalam has been facilitating writing workshops in various genres with adolescents for three years now. Neighborhood Journalism is something we’ve experimented with in different contexts and situations. Now, we’re working on consolidating our activities and lessons of Neighborhood Journalism into a curriculum. The Neighbourhood Diaries curriculum will be rooted in skills of critical visual literacy, ethnographic research, creative journalism, and digital literacy. Thematically, the the curriculum will be steeped in understanding, researching and writing about our Neighbourhoods through identities of our self, our community, and our experience of place. Thematically, our curriculum will explore the following ideas:

    Self… Exploring the self: how do others see us? How do we see ourselves? Talk about Identities. Activity/Writing Activity: Locating one object with which you identify, or something that symbolizes your self-perceived or self-defined identity. Photo Assignment: Self-portrait and Photo of the identity object. Self-inquiry; developing the spirit of questioning/interrogating self and beyond.

    Home… Home as a space which is a mixture of both desirable and undesirable elements. A part of your home you like, a part of your home you do not like that much (What memories are associated with these spaces? What issues come up?). A part of your home you like, a part of your home you do not like that much. Objective: Critical consciousness of personal space.

    Experience of Place… Two specific places in the neighbourhood that has significance for you… description, daily activities, histories. Vignettes, focusing on details and based on observation and researched histories. Photo Assignment: Photographs of the places, from different angles/perspectives or at different times of the day, representing different aspects of the same physical spot. Developing research skills, consciousness of subaltern histories.

    Neighbours, Community, People Discussion: Looking at people as characters. Writing Activity: Select one person in the neighbourhood and make a Portrait Sketch, based on observation, interview, researched personal histories. Photo Assignment: Portraits + Photo series depicting the daily life of the subject. Researching Life Stories.

    Through the end of monsoon we hope to finalize a draft our working curriculum. Of course, we are certain that as we begin our workshops on the ground, planned sessions will alter, new themes will emerge, ideas will transform. And we are looking forward the insight Experience will offer.