Bangalore Jokers Meet 
Session summaries

At our first meeting on April 18, there were Bangalore Jokers from our first batch of 2012 to our latest February 2020 training. There were Bangalore Jokers from Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Madhya Pradesh, Ghaziabad, Delhi, Mussoorie, Saudi Arabia, and the US of A. 

 We began sharing our lockdown experiences, personal stories often merging with larger concerns. For example, the frustration at not being able to work connected to the feeling of helplessness at not being able to change this state of affairs. Questions such as “Why do I feel so worthless because I’m not working?” resonated with many. Guilt about one’s own privilege, anxiety about the uncertainty looming ahead, feeling clueless about what to do with one’s skills and training in such a situation. The level of comfort in the group left everyone moved and also determined to continue these sessions. 

One of the questions that was asked  was “Is it necessary, at a time like this, to be a Joker, to do TO workshops? What is really required of us now?” A few Bangalore Jokers had attended the International Online Joker gathering on May 2 and were interested in exploring what TO would look line online. And we collectively decided, with varying degrees of optimism and skepticism, to use the online platform as a learning space- to experiment, to  discuss what we find out, and keep our minds open .  

Over the next 3-4 sessions several Bangalore Jokers  experimented with games and Image Theatre online. Each experiment was followed by thorough discussion of the gains and losses of taking Theatre of the Oppressed online. 

Two small groups worked on forums.