Ari Gautier is a French novelist from Pondicherry of Indo-Malagasy origin, based in Oslo. He writes historical fiction about Pondicherry’s place in the world, and works at Melahuset, Norway, an institution promoting art and culture from the Global South. In May 2020, Ari Gautier co-founded along with Ananya Jahanara Kabir, the online cultural platform, Le Thinnai Kreyol, that promotes their shared vision for a plural, multicultural, and creolised India. Supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and King’s College London, Le Thinnai Kreyol has attracted the attention of academics and cultural producers worldwide, and particularly in India, where the initiative has been showcased within print and online journalism. In recognition of the academic and methodological innovativeness of Le Thinnai Kreyol, Ari Gautier and Ananya Kabir have been invited to present on their collaboration at several international fora, including The Georgetown University at Qatar’s Indian Ocean Methods and Approaches Webinar series; the Goa Project, the Semaine de la francophonie, March 2021, at Strasbourg, the New Books of the Indian Ocean podcast series, and as joint keynote speakers at ‘The Name of the Discipline’: the annual conference of la Société d’Étude des Pays du Commonwealth, Montpellier, January 2021.
Ari’s novels ‘Le carnet secret de Lakshmi’ (2016) and ‘Le Thinnai (2018), are the first novels by a postcolonial Franco-Pondicherrian author to explore Pondicherry’s past as a former French enclave within what became consolidated as British India, its postcolonial status as caught peculiarly between French and Indian realities, and a complex linguistic legacy of French, Tamil, and Creole, which he addresses through a Rabelaisian orality as much as attention to the sites and spaces of in-between storytelling that reconnects Pondicherry to a transoceanic Francophone and Creolophone world. He is currently working on his third novel, ‘Pondichéry: une saga kreyole’.
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Sergio Castrillón is a Multidisciplinary Sonic-based Artist/Researcher interested mainly in experimentalism. Within his last works and research, he has dealt with and developed projects around cross-genre creativity, multi-sonic performance, soundscape composition, the use of electronic devices, noise, physical approaches to sound performance, as well as gestuality in sound and music theater.
THE GUTS OF THE ATLAS: 4 pieces for amplified cello and electronic media, 20 min
This work is made in collaboration with postdoctoral researchers Karen Lauwers (working on the French-Algerian axis of the CALLIOPE-project) and Esha Sil (responsible for the British-Bengali axis). Both researchers, respectively, came across popular sung poems from the Kabylia and collections of classical and popular music from Bengal, transcribed and harmonised by European settlers in the 18th and/or 19th centuries. Sergio Castrillón’s contribution to the project is to analyse and re-create sonically 4 of these airs by juxtaposing to an ancestral non-western traditional atmosphere a contemporary electroacoustic soundscape using comprovisation. According to composer and researcher Sandeep Bhagwati, comprovisation appears as a practice that allows score-base notated pieces the inclusion of improvisational elements, generating the coexistence between a contingent moment of performance, and a context-independent system of rules. However, here Castrillón proposes to use comprovisation as: 1) an experimental creative process, 2) a tool for using non-traditional notation or scoring, and 3) an analysis method for Experimental-Multi-Sonic pieces. Namely, the core of its compositional-performative aim is expanded into a multifunctional tool that can be applied to different creative and analytical processes.