Guwahati-based independent art collective East India Poets (EIP) is all set to come up with an interesting way to celebrate this year’s Pride month.
Across the globe, the month of June is observed as the Pride month as a way of recognising the impact of LGBTQIA+ people across the world.
From time-to-time, the art collective has strived to highlight social issues through various performing arts.
One of the first art collectives to have introduced is immersive theatre (a form of theatre where the audience itself becomes part of the performance as a witness or a character).
In Northeast India, EIP is now putting up an immersive theatre act along with a movie screening on June 9 to acknowledge the issues that the LGBTQIA+ community has been experiencing throughout the world.
There will be two joint shows – 11:30 am and 5:00 pm – on June 9 at The Tea Story Cafe, Uzanbazar in Guwahati.
The movie to be screened on the occasion is ‘Boy Erased’.
It is a 2018 film about Jared Eamons, the son of a small time Baptist pastor who in fear of losing his family, friends and community after coming out as gay, is pressured into attending a conversion therapy programme.
Conversion therapy is a pseudo- scientific way of changing an individual’s sexual orientation using psychological or spiritual interventions.
An immersive theatre will be acted out before the screening of the movie to provide a visual and interactive experience to the audience to make them aware of what actually transpires in these “therapy” programmes.
The Komorebi Artroom, an art space curated by the art collective where the act is to be performed is to be visually designed to look similar to such therapy clinics.
Raina Bhattacharya, head of Performing Arts, East India Poets, stated, “Immersive theatre is a unique way to tell powerful stories, which is why we chose this medium to bring forth the horrors and discrimination faced by the LGBTQIA+ community.”
“This art form relies on both the actors’ intuition and the audience’s decisions to mould the plot of the narrative. The audience is no more a passive bystander – they contribute actively to the story,” added Bhattacharya.
The immersive theatre is also part of the pre-promotions of ‘Irie – an experimental art show’ to be held on June 23 at the premises of The Tea Story.
This art show is conceived as such to be a travelling show with various artists from different mediums of art collaborating and presenting a first- of- its- kind show in the Northeast. The posters and performance list of the art show are scheduled to be released soon.