As part of its focus on exposing students to new ideas and experiences, Pathways School Noida hosted an exciting TEDx conference with a brilliant lineup of speakers. The overarching theme of Crossing Over wove in speakers from street art, the Neemrana Foundation, youth initiative, photography, design thinking or those working with acid attack victims.
Ishita Choudhary, Founder of the YP Foundation, which develops youth leadership to advance rights of young women, girls and other marginalized youth inspired with her talk on , ‘policy is a platform that unites young people’ and they need to be involved in this for a better future. She ended her powerful oration with a profound statement: “your silence is not your consent and your voice is the most powerful tool you have”.
Artist Chandan Gomes spoke about his belief in the “pursuit of knowledge in which lies the beauty of life”. He also brought out how though we are not all born equal, the “power of imagination” can transcend all cultures. The storyteller Rituparna Ghosh shared how story telling would “be the strongest currency in the world”. It was inspirational to listen to Sandeed Farooq, the co-founder of Flawless Flaws. India’s only organisation for acid attack survivors was started by him at age 17. He discussed how uninformed and insensitive the public is towards acid attack victims, especially so in India, where 1/3rd of the perpetrators are found.
The founder of St+Art, the street art movement in India, Italian artist, Guilia Ambrogi spoke about how “borders cannot confine passion”. She shared the importance of democratizing public spaces through Indian street art, showing images of the Delhi Police Headquarters, Sassoon Dock in Mumbai to demonstrate how public spaces within India were activated to provide temporary, yet meaningful experiences for the people in public spaces in Mumbai and Delhi.
Mike Knowles, Director of the Sushant School of Design spoke about “what robots cannot do” focusing on creativity in an emerging era of the fourth Industrialization revolution. He compared the scenario in China and India, the former produces 300, 000 designers every year to India’s 7,000.
On a different “note” the powerful talk by by Aude Priya Engel, the Managing Trustee of Neemrana Music Foundation focused on “Emotions through Opera” .She spoke about the relevance of “relating to emotions because that’s where creativity comes from” describing the uniqueness of Opera, that can be related to any subject. It enables a catharsis of powerful emotions, overcomes language barriers and an art form wherein, the so called, “ugly and fat” people bring out their “inner beauty”. She talked about the over hundred operas that are set in India and how the Indian people are so quick at grasping things, especially languages. This was followed by a fitting finale wherein an opera singer and a pianist from the Neemrana Foundation performed an aria from Verdi’s opera Don Carlo.
Students of Pathways School showcased their own considerable talent with slam poetry, a rendition of This is Me from The Greatest Showman and an orchestral performance of the Avengers’ theme. The audience left the event, feeling empowered and enriched by a TEDx experience.