Image source: Photo by Fahad Zuberi
The ability to observe one's surroundings and react in an informed manner is fundamental to the academic and citizen life. Various professionals and artists use different forms of media to comment on the stimuli around them. This course aims at exposing students to the various tools used for commentary - specifically critical commentary, such as writing, films, music, and forms of protest.
Through a survey of influential works of critical commentary, and by de-constructing the narratives and tools that the authors of those works have used, the course aims at sparking the spirit of social awareness in the students and thereby enable them to be better communicators and commentators. The course works on the format of discussion and debate within the class where students learn the skills of leading group discussions and making sense of the meaning that is situated in the practice of being a commentator. The course also explores the relationship of the commentator with the audience and the location of commentary within the larger socio-political space.
The course keeps the format of student exercise as flexible and unbound to a particular medium. The students shall pick a medium of their choice and create a work of commentary on a topic/issue that they observe around themselves. This may include a short speech, a painting, a poster, a photographic essay, collages, a written piece, a piece of music, or a film.