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Artistic vibes

Young enthusiasts are coming together to provide platforms to artists and poets in the Capital who need an audience in front of whom they can showcase their talent

Artists need a space or a platform to develop their talent, preferably by interacting with an audience.  They need a place to express themselves but not everyone has access to one. Thankfully for them, more and more opportunities are coming up for such expression, giving a chance to go public with your talent. And these opportunities are given by new age outfits called ‘community organisations’.

Holding events amid glittering fairy lights with a cozy and intimate ambience, Forbidden Verses has won the hearts of many. Also known as Forverses, it is an organisation started by Varun Ahuja and Krishan Sharan in October 2018. After working for almost two years together, they gathered enough courage and inspiration to start hosting events, one of the objectives being to make a larger audience aware of the importance of art and poetry in one’s life.

The event we attended at People Places Arts at a residence in Nehru Enclave started at 5 pm and the place was crowded with almost 30-40 people. The room was filled with joy and ecstasy with sparkling fairy lights from all four corners of room lighting up the stage. Photographs from various artists were displayed on the walls. A sense of empathy could be felt when the performers shared their stories to which the audience could easily relate to. A young gathering with big dreams and special moments in mind is what creates the atmosphere around this dimly lit room. During those three hours of the event, one could easily sit around with loved ones and friends and enjoy the smooth blend of lyrics and music with pinch of emotions added in these soulful performances.

Giving a chance to artists all over the Capital, Forverses helps many to get a breakthrough in their careers. With creation of an environment to inspire the youth to come up with their inner feelings and thoughts, it has become a home of inspiration for those who fear society. It provides a great and fulfilling experience to both the participants and the audience with no registration fee, only a request for donations.

“We love giving them space to grow on a regular basis and we would be able to give them an audience which can appreciate their art”, say the founders. With this approach in their minds, audiences have grown organically from 30-40 people to above 80. College students are generally more attracted.

The first experience of the participants and audience are a match to none. “When I first participated as a singer, I was underconfident about my songs but Forverses provided me with the right exposure, heightening my skills and confidence to perform live”, said Sparsh Shikhar Sinha, one of the participants.

The physical space is proving to be restrictive so they plan to have bigger events, introducing more art forms into the mix. The policy is not to promote events by spending money but through social media. The first-time watchers are pleased with its environment, awakening the feelings of love, hope, fear and anger. People from the LGBTQI community also perform at such events, which gives them a chance to express themselves without fear. The upcoming event ‘An almost open-mic’ will be held on  June 30 at People Places Arts 5 pm onwards.

Raging via ‘Raging Poetry’

Another outfit which is making its way into the hearts of the people is Raging Poetry. A cheerful and a happy place to express oneself, it provides platform for many poetic events, workshops and theme-based events. Establishing open mic events through their way including Outspoken, Outspoken 2.0, Chitthiyaan, Raging Poetry is growing at a good pace within Delhi and Gurugram.

Started by three ambitious artists Nishita Aswal, Anshul Aggrawal and Vinayak Sharma, they started this organisation in order to promote art and literature. “Our main aim is to give artists a platform to perform and to promote art and literature”, says Aswal.

They do charge for the event, about Rs 50 to Rs 300 per event, which is taken as a “token of appreciation for the participants.” For the first event, only nine people showed up but as they went forward, more and more audience trickled in, now averaging at 30-40 people.

Raging Poetry gives artists opportunities to showcase storytelling, music, poetry and so on. It helps participants to open up “with their pitaras full of musings”. Reaction of the audience with laughter and joy is what makes these events successful.

An unsupportive environment with prejudices about one’s opinions is what demotivates an artist. But through such cheerful and joyous ambience, applause from the audience is enough to boost self-esteem. The aim is to ignite and illuminate emotions of the audience. Other than just focusing on love and art, the major takeaway is some memorable, light- hearted moments.

In collaboration with Coho and Kocreate, they do events at many different locations in Delhi. With a crop of fresh talent, Tamasha is the upcoming event dated June 29 at Kocreate, Tapasya Corporate Heights, Sector 126 Noida starting 2 pm onwards.

Woh ‘Baatein’!

Baatein is another renowned orgnisation conducting many events like open mics, workshops, articulations and storytelling etc. It started in 2014 as a blog by Chhaya Dabas inviting writers, bloggers and poets to share their work.

The first event with an audience of 30-40 people took place in 2015, after which Baatein started working in an organized manner the next year, with collaborating with other organisations. The numbers have now managed to grow up to 100 people.

Artists from different professions take up the role of singers, dancers and poets here. Baatein doesn’t discriminate, anyone and everyone can participate. “We don’t have age constraints for our open mic”, adds Dabas. In one of their latest events, the participants  aged from a 14-year-old kid to an 81-year-old grandfather who went to perform live.

With an entry fee of Rs 300, the next event will be on June 28-30, 3 pm onwards at Katha Office, A3 Sarvodaya Enclave, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.

Jammed ‘Slam Fam Jam’

Slam Fam Jam was started by Radhika Gupta, Astha Chawla, Bhavika Gupta, Yashi Tripathi and Gauri Yadav after they met at an event in 2017. Excited by the idea, they started brainstorming to start their own organisation to hold open mic events.

Their first Slam Fam Jam Open Mic happened on July 15 last year with a gratifyingly large audience of 65 people at Innov8, CP, New Delhi. With a cheerful, enthusiastic environment, Slam Fam Jam not only lets the performers participate but also lets the audience speak their heart out if they want.

Charging Rs 100-200, they also provide refreshments and offers to the audience. With the average of at least 50 people per event, Slam Fam Jam stays consistent with the audience ageing between 14-22 years. The ambience in the room can be described as informal and communicative.

The group plans to organise its next event in mid-July.