Saving the River Ganga in an Age of Pollution: Can India’s River Goddess be restored to health?

Date:     Sunday, September - 18, 2011
Time:    11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Location:   Braun Hall, Chemistry Bldg Stanford campus

Sunday, Sep. 18, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Braun Hall, Chemistry Bldg
Stanford campus

Free Admission and Open to the Public.
Q & A will follow the two presentations.
For questions please email info@sachi.org or smedirat@stanford.edu

Considered the holiest–and yet most polluted, the threatened Ganga River brings a crisis. On the one hand, it is seen as a goddess that can carry away impurities, both spiritual and physical. On the other, people mindlessly continue to defile the river with human, industrial and toxic wastes. Can we assume the river is purifying if it is polluted? The condition of the river is so dire and the effects of the river’s pollution on human and environmental health considered so dangerous, that there is an urgency to address hazards posed by dangerously unsafe water quality.

The struggle to clean the river has a long history. Ironically, the powerful environmental movement was fuelled by spiritual motivation in concern for the river, revered as a Mother. The Varanasi based Sankat Mochan Foundation led by Dr. Veer Bhadra Mishra, a head priest cum hydraulic engineer, and the Friends of the Ganges, USA have been battling for over 30 years to implement scientifically researched clean water regulations, aimed at restoring the river to health.

Panel discussants Dr. Bailey Green, President, GO2 Water, an East Bay water solutions company invited to implement an innovative AIWPS technology, and Catherine Porter, Executive President, Friends of the Ganges, USA, both actively involved in the Varanasi Ganges clean up efforts, will discuss how science, technology, religion, and environmentalism intersect in an ongoing challenge to bring hope to India’s millions who look to the river as a lifeline and a source of spiritual nourishment.

Pottery_web

Ceramic Crafts of Kutch from Potters in Peril by Paulomi Abhyankar

Date:     Thursday, June - 09, 2011
Time:    7pm
Location:   Matra Majmundar & Raj Mashruwala 450 Melville Avenue Palo Alto, CA 94301

Ceramic Crafts of Kutch from Potters in Peril
by Paulomi Abhyankar

Thursday, June 9, 2011, 7.00 p.m.
Home of
Matra Majmundar & Raj Mashruwala
450 Melville Avenue Palo Alto, CA 94301

Please join us for light refreshments between
6.30 p.m. and 7.00 p.m.
Free admission; Limited seating
R.S.V.P. 650-918-6335 or info@sachi.org

Pottery has traditionally been a locally and environmentally sustainable craft in the region of Kutch. All the natural resources needed to turn earth into pottery are local. Clay, water, thorns, tender stems from the ‘bawal’ or Prosophis Julifera plant, jaru leaves, and the black stone used in making pottery are local materials found in the potters’ villages. In 2001, a massive 8.0 earthquake in Kutch, Gujarat devastated the city of Bhuj and the local potter community in western India. It severely disrupted work rhythms and the production, sales and market patterns of this traditional age-old craft of Gujarat. The Potters in Peril Trust, a non-profit, arose in response to the urgent need of these craftsmen. On June 12, 2001 an Indo-US ceramic exhibition, ‘Potters in Peril’, conceived and curated by Ms. Abhyankar was launched and inaugurated by the US Consul General at the National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai. It displayed art works by over 60 Indian and American ceramicists for the benefit of quake-hit potters of Kutch. June 2011 marks the 10th anniversary of the ‘Potters in Peril’ initiative and the US-India collaborative exhibition. In commemoration of Kutch potters, Ms. Abhyankar will provide a background of Kutch pottery and acknowledge the role of California ceramic artists in spontaneously reaching out to fellow artisans of the Bhuj earthquake.

About the speaker: Ms. Abhyankar is a renowned potter, who has shown her work in several countries, including Cyprus, Sweden and the US. She has been working with clay since 1970 and has been a member of several clay organisations including The Lalit Kala Akademi and The Association of Clay and Glass Artists of California. Paulomi Abhyankar also has a deep understanding and knowledge of the pottery of ancient civilisations and has lectured worldwide on this topic.

SACHI and the PAAC extend special thanks to Matra Majmundar & Raj Mashruwala for support towards the program.

VergheseAbraham_web

Dr. Abraham Verghese

Date:     Thursday, May - 12, 2011
Time:     6.30 pm
Location:   Palo Alto Medical Foundation 701 East El Camino Real Mountain View, CA 94040

Dr. Abraham Verghese
Distinguished writer, medical practitioner, and Professor of Medicine, Stanford University in a lecture presentation
Writing and Medicine

Thursday, May 12, 6.30 pm
Palo Alto Medical Foundation
701 East El Camino Real
Mountain View, CA 94040

Please join us for light refreshments between 6 and 6.30 pm
The event is free and open to the public

Abraham Verghese will speak about how he came to practice medicine — because of a book — and how he came to be a writer — because of a medical experience. He will discuss his deep interest in bedside medicine in this technological age. In a time when the use of advanced technology frequently results in the needy patient receiving less attention than the patient data in the computer, Dr. Verghese brings an insightful revelation in his New England Journal of Medicine article, Culture Shock: Patient as Icon, Icon as Patient (December 2008), and in his book, Cutting for Stone (Alfred Knopff, 2009). Cutting for Stone is a masterful first work of fiction by Abraham Verghese. His earlier non-fiction books include My Own Country: A Doctor’s Story, and The Tennis Partner: A Story of Friendship and Loss. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Texas Monthly, Atlantic, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, Granta, Forbes.com, and The Wall Street Journal, among others.

About the speaker:
Abraham Verghese, MD, MACP, is Professor and Senior Associate Chair for the Theory and Practice of Medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Verghese grew up near Addis Ababa and began his medical training there. He completed his medical education at Madras Medical College and came to the U.S. for his residency. His experiences at Johnson City, Tennessee, where he joined a residency program and returned later as assistant professor of medicine, and his fellowship at Boston University School of Medicine, working at Boston City Hospital for two years gave his life and career a turn in caring for numerous AIDS patients. His emphasis on physician-patient relationship became manifested in his role as Founding Director of the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio. His empathy and true caring for the patient gave the new Center a guiding mission, “Imagining the Patient’s Experience”.

SACHI extends grateful appreciation to Dr. Prithvi Legha and the Palo Alto Medical Foundation for support towards the program.

After the lecture there will be an opportunity for Q&A, and to have your books autographed by Dr. Abraham Verghese. There will be no book sales on the premises, so please purchase books and bring them with you.

The Poetics of Color: Natvar Bhavsar, A Painter’s Journey

Process_web
Date:     Saturday, March - 19, 2011
Time:     2-4p.m.
Location:   Samsung Hall, Asian Art Museum
200 Larkin Street, San Francisco

The Poetics of Color, Natvar Bhavsar, A Painter’s Journey
A documentary film by Sundaram Tagore

Samsung Hall, Asian Art Museum
200 Larkin Street, San Francisco
Saturday, March 19, 2-4p.m.
Free after museum admission. Open to the public.

A 60-minute film screening will be followed by a Q & A with the artist Natvar Bhavsar and film producer Sundaram Tagore.

For information email info@sachi.org, nazehler@aol.com, or call Nazneen Spliedt, 650.624.8888

The Poetics of Color: Natvar Bhavsar traces the roots of the Asian artist and his contributions to contemporary American art. Written and directed by Sundaram Tagore, this 60-minute film explores the life of noted Indian painter Natvar Bhavsar as he journeys from his vibrant village of Gothava, India to New York City in the 1960s. Here he comes of age as an artist. Bhavsar works like a Tibetan mandala painter in his meditative studio in SoHo, showering clouds of dry pigment on massive canvases.

The film explores the multicultural nature of Bhavsar’s work. Recognized as a pioneer who paved the way for subsequent generations of immigrant artists, Bhavsar is considered to have extended the language of visual art. Last year, one of Bhavsar’s paintings was a central focus of the Guggenheim Museum exhibition The Third Mind. Bhavsar’s works reside in public and private collections including the Guggenheim Museum, New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. His documentary film premiered at the 10th Annual Mahindra Indo-American Film Festival in New York City in November 2010.

Two Banks of a Sacred River: S.H. Raza’s Life in Art

Date:     Tuesday, February - 15, 2011
Time:    7 - 9 p.m.
Location:   Bldg. 200, Room 305 Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305

Two Banks of a Sacred River: S.H. Raza’s Life in Art
A lecture by Ashok Vajpeyi
poet, writer, and Chair of the Lalit Kala Akademi,
India’s national academy of fine arts

Tuesday, February 15, 2011, 7 – 9 p.m.
Bldg. 200, Room 305
Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305

(History corner at Serra Street & Lomita Mall)
Visit campus map at http://campus-map.stanford.edu

Free Admission and open to the public
No RSVP required

Syed Haider Raza is widely recognized as one of the undisputed masters of modern Indian art. Living in Paris for many years, he has combined in his art the French ‘sens plastique’ and a deeply rooted Indian vision. From painting landscapes and cityscapes, he has moved to explore inscapes–realities seen by the inner eyes. His art fuses sensuous colours with luminous spiritual grace. Raza returned to India in 2010, at the age of 89, after spending 60 years in France. An important member of the Progressive artists group which blazed new trails for modernism in Indian art, different from the dominant Bengal School of the 1940s, Raza became part of the Parisian art scene in the 1950s. In the 1970s, a process of self-questioning rejuvenated his Indian roots, giving rise to the iconic “Bindu” which combines energy and vision. Raza’s childhood memories of tribal forests in central India and particularly of the Narmada river came back to him and his canvas in full force, transformed into abstract images by a master colorist. Since then, Raza has been exploring the spiritual and the sensuous, including a vision of the origin of nature as a coming together of male and female energy. The talk by poet Ashok Vajpeyi, one of Raza’s closest friends, will trace a fascinating artistic career.

Tomb2_web

Hasht Bihisht (Eight Paradises): The Spatial Logic of Humayun’s Tomb-Garden and Landscape of Nizamuddin in Mughal Delhi by Dr. James Wescoat

Date:     Saturday, November - 20, 2010
Time:     1:30 p.m.
Location:   Samsung Hall, Asian Art Museum 200 Larkin Street, San Francisco

Hasht Bihisht (Eight Paradises): The Spatial Logic of Humayun’s Tomb-Garden and Landscape of Nizamuddin in Mughal Delhi by Dr. James Wescoat

Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010, 1:30 p.m.
Samsung Hall, Asian Art Museum
200 Larkin Street, San Francisco

Free after museum admission; light refreshments

Humayun’s tomb-garden, built during the mid-16th century in Delhi, had great significance in the history of Mughal architecture and landscape design. Previous research has focused on its antecedents, architecture, visual power, and its location near the shrine of Sufi saint Khwaja Nizamuddin Auliya (d. 1325 CE). This paper weaves these points together, showing how Humayun’s tomb-garden and its surroundings were laid out through a spatial analysis of the tomb and its garden walks, walls, proportions, and details. Conversion to Mughal units of measurement reveals the spatial logic of the complex—from the hasht bihisht plan of the garden, tomb and decorative details, to its relationship with the River Yamuna and the historic landscape of Nizamuddin. These spatial relationships among tomb, garden, shrine, and wider landscape opens up new perspectives and questions about the design of Mughal gardens and cities.

CarlPope_web

The Changing Face of Himalayas: Melting Glaciers and its Significance for the People, Environment, and Culture of South Asia

Date:     Thursday, September - 02, 2010
Time:    7pm
Location:   Clark Center Auditorium
318 Campus Drive
Stanford University, CA 94305

SACHI, The Society for Art & Cultural Heritage of India
is honored to present Carl Pope, Executive Chairman of the Sierra Club
in a time sensitive discussion . . .

The Changing Face of Himalayas:
Melting Glaciers and its Significance for the People, Environment, and Culture of South Asia

Thursday, September 2, 2010, 7 p.m.
Clark Center Auditorium
318 Campus Drive
Stanford University, CA 94305
Free Admission and open to the public

On top of the Himalayas, glaciers sustaining vast populations are dwindling. Himalayan glaciers have given birth to Asia’s largest rivers–the Ganges, the Indus, the Yangtze, the Yellow, the Brahmaputra– “rivers that over the course of history have nurtured civilizations, inspired religions, and sustained ecosystems”.

Melting glaciers portend a serious ecological threat; the eventual depletion of Asia’s greatest rivers that sustain
nearly a third of the world’s population. As reservoirs of existence, the mighty rivers hold spiritual significance and inspire deep devotion. The rivers bestow blessings of peace, calm, healing, and eternal life.

As a crisis brews on the “roof of the world“, will the sacred mountains and rivers continue to offer nourishment to
its people?

Carl Pope explores how a rapidly advancing environmental change is inducing a shift in traditional patterns of living for tens of thousands of people in South Asian communities.

SACHI extends special thanks to Prof. James Spudich and Center for South Asia, Stanford University, for support of the program. Many thanks, also, to individual sponsors Linda Burch & Rajen Dalal, Sheila & Ketan Kothari, and Jaymati & Mahendra Ranchod

ChildDress_web

Rabari Embroidery Workshop

Date:     Thursday, July - 29, 2010
Time:    10 a.m. - 4 p.m
Location:   Palo Alto Art Center Studios, 1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto

Rabari Embroidery Workshop
Thursday, July 29, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Palo Alto Art Center Studios, 1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto

Enrollment Fee: $60
Limited to 20 participants
Registration is through
the City of Palo Alto

For information call:
650.624.8888 (SACHI)

This workshop will focus on Rabari embroidery from the Kutch region of India. Participants will learn intricate stitching techniques, setting mirrors, traditional concepts of Rabari color and form patterns, and creative evocation of artisans’ experiences through appliqué and embroidery. Participants will appreciate concept as well as learn skills, through working with traditional artisans. By the end of the workshop they will have produced a genuine Rabari embroidery or a personal textile expression, and have had the enriching experience of working directly with these skilled artisans. Participants will receive a materials list upon registration.

The workshop will be taught by two Kala Raksha artisans and Judy Frater, Project Director, Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya, a pioneering institution of design education for traditional artisans. The workshop will be accompanied by a film and introductory lecture by Judy Frater, and followed by a trunk show of Rabari textiles.

41_web

Heaven on Earth: The Universe of Kerala’s Guruvayur Templeby Pepita Seth

Date:     Sunday, May - 02, 2010
Time:    11:00 a.m.
Location:   Palo Alto Art Center, 1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto, CA 94303

SACHI, The Society for Art & Cultural Heritage of India and the Palo Alto Art Center present Heaven on Earth: The Universe of Kerala’s Guruvayur Temple by Pepita Seth

Sunday, May 2, 2010, 11:00 a.m.
Free admission and open to the public
Palo Alto Art Center, 1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto, CA 94303
Tel. 650.329.2366

For over a thousand years Hindu pilgrims have swarmed into the sacred precincts of Kerala’s Guruvayur Temple to seek the blessings of Lord Krishna, known locally as Guruvayurappan. According to myth the sacred idol, believed to have been worshipped by Lord Vishnu, was installed soon after the death of Krishna. It is now the sacred core of one of India’s most important temples, a temple renowned for the unbroken sanctity of rituals performed by hereditary priests, the Namboodiri Brahmins. Their links with the temple’s divine origins ensure that its unique customs are unceasingly adhered to. The talk will reveal the complex heart of the temple, chronicling its myth and history, describing its rituals and beliefs, its traditional style of management, its elephants, its festivals and remarkable patronage of traditional art forms.

About the speaker:
Pepita Seth was born in London and grew up in Suffolk. She started her career editing British and American documentaries and feature films. The chance discovery of her great-grandfather’s 1857 diary inspired her to make her first visit to India. In 1972 she returned to Kerala, India where she now lives. Driven by her passion and respect for the region’s culture and traditions, Seth began seriously photographing and writing about the rituals of Kerala’s Hindus.  In 1981, she received official permission to enter Kerala’s temples—including Guruvayur Temple.

SACHI extends appreciation to Poornima & Arun Kumar, Betty Alberts, and Louise Russell for sponsoring this special event.

SecretDaughter_web

Shilpi Gowda’s new novel, Secret Daughter

Date:     Thursday, March - 18, 2010
Time:    7:00 p.m.
Location:   Bldg. 200, Room 303, Stanford University

SACHI, The Society for Art & Cultural Heritage of India
and The Center for South Asia at Stanford University
invite you to the launch of Shilpi Gowda’s new novel,

Secret Daughter

Please join us for a reading, book discussion, and signing with the author.

Thursday, March 18, 2010, 7:00 p.m.
Bldg. 200, Room 303, Stanford University

(History corner at Serra Street & Lomita Mall)

Gowda has masterfully portrayed two families . . . linked by a powerful, painful tie that complicates their lives. . . . A thought-provoking examination of the challenges of being a woman in America and in India–and in the psychological spaces in between.”
– Chitra Divakaruni, author of Palace of Illusions

About the Author:
Shilpi Somaya Gowda was born and raised in Toronto to parents who migrated there from Mumbai. She holds an MBA from Stanford University, and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1991, she spent a summer as a volunteer in an Indian orphanage. A native of Canada, she has lived in New York, North Carolina, and California. She now lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband and children. www.shilpigowda.com

Visit campus map at http://campus-map.stanford.edu
For information contact info@sachi.org or call 650.918.6335