Kolkata, 22 January 2019—Auroville, a universal township built upon the philosophy of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, was founded by the Mother on 28 February 1968 to give a collective form to Sri Aurobindo’s vision of the value of humanity. With a population representing 56 nationalities brought together by a common aspiration for human unity, it is celebrating its Golden Jubilee with the Journey of Auroville: Kolkata Festival, comprising performances, lectures, and exchanges from 28 to 31 January 2019.
The “Journey of Auroville” 50th anniversary national events started in November 2017 with an exhibition and conference at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts and UNESCO Regional Office in Delhi. It evolved into a festival format to engage a wider audience, and the first Journey of Auroville festival took place in September 2018 in Vadodara, the city where Sri Aurobindo spent the first thirteen years after his return to India. Now, the Journey of Auroville festival is going to take place in Kolkata, the city where Aurobindo Ghose was born and where he later had transformative experiences in the early 20th century, which resulted in him becoming Sri Aurobindo.
The Auroville festival in Kolkata will commence with an opening ceremony on 28 January 2019 at 6.30 PM at the auditorium of the Rotary Sadan in Kolkata, featuring an inaugural speech by Dr Karan Singh, Chairman of the Auroville Foundation and former MP of the Rajya Sabha, and a dance offering called SEAS. On 29 January from 6.30 to 8.30 PM, the venue for the festival will be the Sri Aurobindo Bhavan, where an exhibition called “Auroville, India, The Earth” will be inaugurated by Dr Karan Singh, who will also give a lecture on “The Five Dreams of Sri Aurobindo”. The evening will conclude with Alokananda Roy’s dance performance inspired by Savitri, Sri Aurobindo’s epic poem. On the 30th, there will be an interactive event from 6 to 7.30 PM at Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Kolkata, with Aurovilians speaking about turning points in their lives. On the last day of the festival, the 31st of January, the closing ceremony will take place at the Indian Council for Cultural Relations from 6 to 8.30 PM. There will be a panel discussion with Aurovilians reflecting on cultural integration, no-money-circulation economy, unending education, and social enterprise; this will be followed by VAST, a dance-theatre performance.
On 25 February 2018, the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, stated in his address to the Auroville community, “The world has received positive vibrations from Auroville, in many forms, over the years. Be it unending education, environment regeneration, renewable energy, organic agriculture, appropriate building technologies, water management, or waste management, Auroville has been a pioneer.”
The festival aims to take a community-to-community approach to widen the national awareness of the aims and ideals of Auroville on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. Through these varied lectures, performances, and workshops, the festival shows the spirit of Auroville in action and seeks to foster exchange and affinity.