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Professor of English & Creative Writing, Ashoka University
Researcher & Documentary Filmmaker

Date & Time

Friday Fri, 29 Apr 2022

Location (for BIC Venue, BIC Hybrid and BIC Cafe)

Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bengaluru, Karnataka 560 071 India
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+91 98865 99675 bic@bangaloreinternationalcentre.org

Creative Journeys – the Conversation (6:30 pm to 8:00 pm)

Creative Journeys is a series of talks by Toto Funds the Arts (TFA) providing a platform for both younger and more experienced writers, filmmakers, performing artists and visual artists to speak about the influences, impulses, processes and thinking that have shaped the art they produce.

Previous speakers have been Gieve Patel, Sunil Shanbag, Surupa Sen, Jitish Kallat, Sampurna Chattarji, Susmit Sen, Neel Chaudhuri with The Tadpole Repertory, Jayant Kaikini, MD Pallavi and Benyamin.

Saikat will be in conversation with Basav Biradar who is a writer, filmmaker and visiting faculty at Azim Premji University.

The conversation will be preceded by an introductory workshop on writing fiction, facilitated by Saikat Majumdar.

Craft of Fiction (2:00 pm to 5:30 pm) :

About the workshop:

Is fiction unreal? Does it have to be invented? What is the place of the real in fiction? Where does reality end, and the fictional begin? Does fiction involve telling a story? Is it possible to have fiction without a story? What is the relation between the modern literary genres of the novel and the short story with ancient forms of storytelling?

Is it possible to learn to write? In a classroom? Is it teachable? Is it like the technical art forms – filmmaking, sculpture, photography? How important are technicalities in literature? If life and language are all we need, is our everyday life the best classroom for creative writers? What place does creative writing have next to other university subjects – literature, history, sociology, the sciences, the performing arts?

We will examine these questions, and Saikat will share his own process of writing, and the experience crafting different dimensions of fiction. A discussion will be followed by a writing exercise. Participants will subsequently be invited to share their work with the group and exchange feedback.

Note to applicants (between 18 and 35 years):

We can only accommodate 15 participants on a first-come-first-served basis. Please email your brief bio and 300 words on why you want to join this workshop to tfaindia84@gmail.com by 5:00 pm on April 28th.

We urge the participants to visit Saikat’s website – www.saikatmajumdar.com to learn more about his work and read excerpts from his books. 

In collaboration with Toto Funds the Arts

Toto Funds the Arts is a non-profit trust set up in 2004 to nurture and encourage young artists in India through workshops to add to their skills, discussions with and talks by emiment artists, literature and poetry events, theatre productions and also awards for writers, photographers, filmmakers and musicians under 30 years of age.


Saikat Majumdar

Professor of English & Creative Writing, Ashoka University

Saikat Majumdar is a Professor of English & Creative Writing at Ashoka University. His most recent book is The Middle Finger, a campus novel that examines the intricacy of the teacher-student relation through the lens of ancient myths. Previous novels include The Scent of God (2019), a story of romantic love between two boys in a Hindu monastic boarding school, and The Firebird (2015), which narrates a young boy’s destructive relation with the art form of theatre through his mother’s life as an actress. The Scent of God was one of Times of India’s Most Talked About Books of 2019 and a finalist for the inaugural Mathrubhumi Book of the Year Award, and The Firebird was finalist at the Bangalore Literature Festival Fiction Prize and the Mumbai Film Festival Word-to-Screen Market. Saikat has also published a work of nonfiction, College (2018), of literary criticism, Prose of the World (2013), and a co-edited collection of essays, The Critic as Amateur (2019).

Basav Biradar

Researcher & Documentary Filmmaker

Basav Biradar is an independent writer/researcher, documentary filmmaker and theatre-maker based in Bangalore, India.

His first documentary – Before The Third Bell – was the official selection for the 2018 Martin Segal Centre Film Festival on Art in New York. The film seeks to document the theatre-making processes of noted director Abhishek Majumdar through the play Muktidham. Recently, he has finished a short documentary on the history of Kolar Gold Fields.

Biradar teaches two post-graduate courses in Azim Premji University:‘India through the eyes of Parallel Cinema’, and ‘Introduction to Contemporary Theatre in India’.

He has written for several publications on theatre, cinema, travel, history and heritage conservation, including – National Geographic Traveller, Outlook Traveller, The Hindu, New Indian Express, The News Minute and The Caravan.

Besides directing several plays, he is a playwright. His first – The Return of the Sultan – a satire set in contemporary Srirangapatnam, was longlisted for The Hindu Metroplus Playwright Award 2013; currently, he is writing a play on the youth in tier-3 & -4 towns in Northern Karnataka. Recently, he has finished a short documentary on the history of Kolar Gold Fields (Produced by Sahapedia)