Friday, April 15, 2011

கூவாகத்தில் திரைப்பட விழா

அரவாணிகளுக்கு மிகவும் முக்கியத்துவம் வாய்ந்ததாகக் கருதப்படும் கூவாகம் விழா இந்த ஆண்டு புதிய பரிமாணம் பெறுகிறது. அங்கு ஆண்டுதோறும் அழகிப் போட்டி நடத்தப்படுவதை நாம் அறிவோம். இந்த வருடம் அங்கே திரைப்பட விழா ஒன்றை நடத்துவதற்கு நண்பர்கள் சிலர் ஏற்பாடு செய்துள்ள்னர். அந்த விழாவுக்கு சிறப்பு விருந்தினராக என்னை அழைத்திருக்கின்றனர். அரவாணிகளுக்கு நலவாரியம் அமைக்கப்பட நானும் காரணமாக இருந்தேன். அந்த நலவாரியம் அமைக்கப்பட்ட ஏபரல் பதினைந்தாம் தேதியை ’அரவாணிகள் தினம்’ எனத்  தமிழக அரசு அறிவித்திருக்கிறது.அரவாணிகளுக்காகத் தமிழக முதல்வர் கலைஞர் செய்துள்ள நற்காரியங்களில் இதுவும் ஒன்று.  

The Transgender Film Festival
Koovagam Chithirai Pournami Koothandavar Festival
Date: 18th April, 2011 (Monday)
Time: 11:00am to 02:30 pm
Venue: KCT Kalyana Mandapam, Villupuram

Back Ground to the Festival
The Chithirai Pournami Koothandavar festival is celebrated every year ay the small otherwise sleepy village of Koovagam in Villupuram District of Tamilnadu. Every year around 100,000 Transgender Women, known as Aravanis, among others throng to this tiny village for these few days and participate in the Koothandavar Festival at Koovagam. The ritualistic marriage of Lord Aravan and Mohini and her subsequent widowhood is the theme of this grand festival held in Koovagam. Aravan is the son of Arjuna.  According to the Mahabharata, the Pandavas decide to sacrifice Aravan in order to win the war.  But Aravan wants to marry before he is sacrificed.  No one wants to marry him and become a widow immediately thereafter.  Lord Krishna touched by Aravan’s condition transforms himself into a woman, marries Aravan and spends the night with him.  To celebrate this occasion thousands of devotees visit this village ever year in April/May. On the last night the priest ties the Thali around the neck of devotees (which signifies their marriage to Aravan).  A night full of wild celebrations begins.  In the morning an image of Aravan is paraded in the streets after which it is destroyed.  The Thalis and bangles are then broken and devotees wear a white sari.  This marks the end of this incredible Indian festival.
The Film Festival
The Festival is an opportunity for the Tamilnadu State AIDS Control Society and its community partners to organise various programs aimed at creating behaviour change among Transgender Women for safer and healthy practices. It is also an occasion to talk about other larger issues that concern the life and times of Transgender Women. Thamilnaadu Aravanigal Association is organising a Transgender Film Festival featuring short films/documentaries on Transgender Women. Two of the films have been directed by Transgender Activists, and the others by students and mainstream film makers.
The Films that will be screened:
The following Seven Films on the life and stories of Transgender Women will be screened:
  1. Third Eye-Amitava Sarkar, Transgender Activist
  2. Transgender Folk-art’s – Priya Babu, Transgender Activist
  3. Agrinaigal – Elangovan et al
  4. Kothi – Muthukumar
  5. Appal – Rajanayagam et al, Oodaga Kalaigal Dept, Loyola College, Chennai
  6. Naanum Oru Penn – Ramanathan, Film Institute, Chennai
  7. Acchu Pilai - Vigneswaran, Oodaga Kalaigal Dept, Loyola College, Chennai
Each of these films is for a duration of 30 minutes on average.
The Program Schedule
At the conclusion of each film screening the director of the film will be invited to talk about his/her film. This will be followed by remarks by the Special Chief Guests and concluded by interaction with the participants of the program who will be Transgender Woman attending the festival, NGO activists, health care workers and policy makers.

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