XChange Workshop Program: Empowerment Through Knowledge
Industry experts from around the globe gathered in Chennai this past November with one objective in mind – to share knowledge and critical insights through XChange’s Workshop Program, designed to give attendees the opportunity to meet and make connections with established professionals from different sectors of the Indian and international independent arts industries.
For some attendees, the program resulted in fruitful collaborations and once in a lifetime opportunities. Notably freelance writer/musician Reji Varghese, a participant in the Music Journalism workshop led by Simon Broughton (Editor in Chief – Songlines UK) – whose article was published in the reputed magazine. “It’s a huge honour that my article was chosen at XChange to be published in Songlines UK, one of the world’s leading music magazines!” Reji told IndiEarth, “I hope there will be more of these workshops held in the future. For me one of the key points Simon raised was to “always keep the audience in mind”. In Simon’s words – “The purpose of writing is to communicate with the reader and not show off your knowledge”. That was for me the greatest take away from the workshop”.
For Broughton, no stranger to India, conducting workshops like this is a way to understand prevailing trends in the Indian media’s coverage of the arts, while also sharing his wealth of knowledge with budding journalists who possess the capacity to shape the future and development of arts journalism in India.
Some workshops strayed rather far off the beaten path – Australian mindfulness trainer/yoga teacher/electronica producer Phoebe Kiddo’s workshop titled Mindfulness For Creatives showcased a range of meditation techniques and practical exercises designed to harness an artist’s inner creative potential. “During the workshop we talked about the importance of directing consciousness toward creative work, and how meditation can be a useful tool to train the mind and keep it fit for creative work” said Phoebe after the session.
Other workshops focused on industry specific topics, including LV Prasad’s workshop on the art of scriptwriting for short films led by Pritham and Venkatesh Chakravarthy. “The workshop was not intended to make people sit and listen to a lecture – we focused on more interactive sessions” said Venkatesh, “We showed attendees films on different themes from different parts of the world, and discussed what parameters they all share and how these parameters are important when writing for short film”. “I concentrated on how the visual subtext operates within a film” added Pritham, “We went through each film and analyzed it frame by frame – attendees then had to come up with their own concepts and ideas”.
Some of the other workshops – also packed to full capacity – were aimed towards practical skills training, and included BLaNK’s workshop on Native Instruments gear and software, and Yoav Rosenthal’s workshop on Ableton Live. “The workshop I conducted at the IndiEarth XChange introduced musicians to Ableton Live – we went over the basic features to get familiar with Live, so musicians could start translating their ideas into music” said Yoav. Internationally renowned DJ/Producer Howie B held a candid session on his experiences recording and producing with some of the biggest names in the international music industry – including Massive Attack, Bjork and U2 – revealing interesting anecdotes and insights into his creative process.
An initiative under the EarthSync Academy, several of these international standard workshops have been organized in India predominantly at IndiEarth XChange, and aim to cover a wide range of industry specific topics. “Bringing these experts and workshops to India is a way to share international perspectives and skills training that is otherwise relatively difficult to access for much of the Indian public,” says Sonya Mazumdar, CEO EarthSync, “Through the program we hope these mentoring sessions will help individuals expand their skill sets and practical knowledge, which they can then apply to their respective fields”. For more details on XChange’s Workshop Program 2015, click here.