“We must unlearn the constellation to see the stars”

“Take what you need to, leave what you don’t”, read a placard subtly embodying the essence of the space created to share our gifts, skills and love with the community. ‘Noida NCR Learning City Unconference‘ at Prakriti School inspired people from all walks of life to set free their hearts and dive into the magic of spontaneity. Unconference built a  space where everybody was a learner and a teacher. It was all about letting off the boundaries and shedding away the inhibitions.

“A space like this provides an opportunity to share different ideas and perspectives. It helps you to absorb, introspect and reflect”, echoes Vijay Kumar of Jagriti, an organization that engages with the children of artists and artisans in Kathputli Colony. From open mic, music jams, film screenings to pottery, theater and dance performances the idea of unconference was to put aside the round table and explore the collective intelligence through creation.

‘Noida NCR Learning City Unconference’ exhibited a wide variety of aesthetic craftwork and artifacts created by recycled material. The event gave children and young artists an exceptional opportunity to share their art and creations. ‘DIY’ workshops stirred the inner artist in people which found expression in pottery, drum circle and spontaneous plays. A heart-warming short film called Ek Dosti Aisi Bhi shot by young filmmakers Arjun and Nimish raised some pensive questions in the most subtle way. The film unfurls against the backdrop of the harsh reality of G.B Road (Red light area in Delhi) and leaves one with a glint of hope and a ruminant silence.

A toddler who must have been 2-3 years of age emerged on stage during a music performance. With intense grit he walks up to the guitarist and after a long and acute inspection raises his hand towards him. The kid looked persistent about something. It took a while for the spectators to understand that the little kid was asking for the guitar pick. The guitarist affectionately obliged. Now the badminton racket in his hand was making perfect sense. Those chubby little hands played the racket all through the long performance, absolutely unconcerned about the rest of the world, occasionally examining the guitarist for some inspiration. It wasn’t just the curiosity in those big gleaming eyes but the yearning for that pick, which he thought can make his racket sound like a guitar stirred the soul. His racket couldn’t make much sound but his efforts left a lasting impression. The moment beautifully captured the spirit of ‘Unconference’.

‘Noida NCR Learning City Unconference’ was co-hosted  by Prakriti, Shikshantar Andolan & Digital Empowerment Foundation. In Partnership with: Creativity Adda, Pravah, Manzil, Kat-Katha, Sahas, Child Fund India. The Learning city unconference showed how unlearning is an essential part of learning. Call it just a quick glance, for the whole new world that is waiting to unleash its magic at Learning Societies Desert Unconference, Sardarshahar, Rajasthan from December 14th – 19th, 2016.

  • Rachit Sharma