Women Empowering Women At Under The Raintree Women’s Cultural Festival
The 2nd edition of the pioneering Under The Raintree women’s cultural festival will be held on Nov 2 & 3 at the Bangalore International Centre in Domlur. This festival is the first of its kind in India that is curated and piloted entirely by women, with the stage being offered only to women (though all genders are welcome to attend).
Sandhya Mendoca, the founder of the women’s cultural festival, speaks of the event.
What is the Under The Raintree women’s cultural festival?
This is India’s first multi-cultural festival that is uniquely powered by women, and it offers the stage only to women. You have heard of manels, well this is the opposite, with only women performers, artists and speakers!
What led to this women's cultural festival?
Raintree Media’s main focus is on publishing books. Alongside this, about 10 years ago, we set up Under The Raintree as a platform to promote the arts.
Over time, we began to see that women in the arts needed a bigger space than they currently occupy.
But the trigger for the festival that was the new year’s eve outrage on Brigade Road in 2016. Everybody asked what the girls were doing out at night, nobody questioned the men who misbehaved. It seemed that nothing had changed from the time when we were young. That made us think of doing something with the larger purpose of changing the mindsets of people by using culture as a change agent. We decided to hold a festival where women could discuss the issues that are important to us. We call it a festival because we celebrate feminism and femininity.
Who are the people behind this festival?
The theme this year is ‘women empowering women’, and a festival of this size is only possible because of the wonderful collaborations we have with many talented women. To name a few Madhu Nataraj, Manasi Prasad, Sneha Kappanna, Chandanabala Kalyan, Poornima Rajarao, Poile Sengupta, Dr. Shalini Rajneesh, Ambasador Latha Reddy and many others.
Is it only for women?
We welcome to all genders, and if men want to understand what women want, they need to be at our festival.
Is it serious event or fun or a mix of the two?
The festival is all about infotainment; while we have talks by scientists, writers and leaders, we also have fabulous dance and music performances, stand-ups, short films, open mic, stalls and much more!
What's different from the first edition?
To start with, this year, the Festival is a registered partner of the United Nations. We have aligned with the Sustainable Development Goal 5 for bringing about equality of women and girls.
We have 4 new tracks: women in leadership, women in STEM – that is science, technology, engineering and mathematics, Wellness and a Fashion show of real women, healthy and happy women.
What are the crowd pullers in the 2nd edition?
One of the goals of Under The Raintree is to encourage creative collaborations. We are launching a brand new all woman band, Metronome Station. We also have 6 different dance sequences, award winning short films from Canada, UK, Israel and India. We have a very edgy art show, workshops in art and dance therapy, and we have special programmes for kids.
There are more than 40 different events at the festival. You can check out the detailed schedule on www.undertheraintreefestival.com
What is your message to Bangalore?
Ninety percent of the programmes on both days are free, from 10 am to 6 pm. So come and enjoy yourselves on Nov 2 & 3 at the Bangalore International Centre, in Domlur. We have fabulous dance and music shows that start after 6, that you should not miss! Tickets are on Bookmyshow.