From celebrating “creative communing” to “One World university”: Kanavu, an alternative school for tribal children in Wayand – Kerala

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Wayanad tribal elder >>
Photo courtesy © Arun VC

Guda is the celebration of creative communing, in theme as well as in the process. Persons from Paniya, Kattu Nayka and other tribal communities of Wayanad in the Indian state of Kerala got together at the commune «Kanavu» and took part in this film making, guided by the author and activist K.J. Baby and his students. The financial assistance and technical co-ordination was provided by Habeeb K., a Marine engineer and true cinephile, who dreamt of an original feature document from the tribal milieu of Kerala through «Kanavu».

Source: GUDA | Viennale
Address : https://www.viennale.at/en/films/guda
Date Visited: 31 October 2020

Shaju Philip, Indian Express, Thiruvananthapuram, May 25, 2015

Shyam Balakrishnan, on whose petition the Kerala High Court said that “being a Maoist is not a crime”, has often refused to confine his life to the rules laid down by society.

Son of former High Court judge and current chairman of Kerala Administrative Tribunal Justice Balakrishnan Nair, Shyam (33) is an active member of “one world university”, an informal integrated approach towards politics, culture, religion and other aspects. Brought up in an urban milieu of Kochi, Shyam lives in a nondescript Wayanad village, Niravilpuzha.
Shyam got inspired by the “one world” idea around 12 years ago. […]

Shyam’s wife Geethi Priya studied at Kanavu, an alternative school for tribal children in Wayand, established by activist-cum-writer K J Baby. “She studied at Kanavu for 17 years. She teaches various dance forms and conducts workshops,’’ says Shyam. The couple, according to Shyam, arrange for their basic needs mainly from farming. “Our expenses are very limited. The friends in the network would help us in various ways,’’ he says.  […]

Source: Being a Maoist no crime: Behind Kerala HC order, man with a ‘one world’ dream | The Indian Express
Address: https://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/being-a-maoist-no-crime-behind-kerala-hc-order-man-with-a-one-world-dream/
Date Visited: 31 October 2020

The students of Kanavu, an alternate learning centre, had a rare chance — to direct a film showcasing the customs, hopes and dreams of tribals in Wayanad.

Getting ready…

Students of an alternative learning centre got a rare chance… In a remote village in Wayanad, Kerala’s hill district, they assisted in directing a film. “Guda” is a film on the life of tribals — particularly one tribal girl. […]

“Guda”, which is ready for screening, reflects the social customs of the kattunaicker tribe of Wayanad — their customs, hopes and dreams.

Lechu, a 13-year old girl, has come of age, but does not want to go through the ritual isolation in the “guda”, and the celebration that follows. “I will not be in the guda, like a caged bird,” she says and rebels.

The story, for this 45-minute film, is by noted Malayalam writer and principal of Kanavu, K.J. Baby. The film portrays the isolation Lechu experiences. The girl is confined in the guda specially built for the purpose. Lechu has to remain confined in the guda, till her parents and elders can organise the money for the celebration. The girl’s stay is prolonged for a year.

In the guda…

Lechu’s contact with the outside world is through her friend, Nannaru. The music and instruments of the adivasis are used for scoring the lilting tunes in the film. “Guda” throws light on the political and social problems faced by the tribals, besides showcasing the colourful seasons, and beautiful countryside. […]

Students of Kanavu have made their presence felt through singing sessions in schools, and cultural fetes in Kerala. The first batch of student are gearing themselves to appear for the examination of the National Open University. […]

“Kanavu malayilekku” bagged the national award for the best educative film. It also won the John Abraham award besides the prize instituted by the Kerala Government for the best documentary.

Source: MALEEHA RAGHAVIAH, The Hindu, Saturday, Mar 22, 2003: Lights, action, camera
Address : http://www.thehindu.com/thehindu/yw/2003/03/22/stories/2003032200080200.htm
Date Visited: Tue Oct 06 2015 13:47:33 GMT+0200 (CEST)

[Bold typeface added above for emphasis]

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