Working with overflowing energy throughout the year, cultural clubs in IIT Madras represent the spirit of creative genius in the campus. The cultural clubs have, over the years, burgeoned to accommodate all enthusiastic junta, ranging from the exceptionally talented to the beginners looking to learn something new.
Here we cover the highlights of each club from last semester. With events becoming more novel and inclusive than ever, the nine clubs on campus show great promise for a lot of I-have-always-wanted-to-do-this-stuff moments this semester.
Fine Arts Club
The Fine Arts Club regularly draws a varied bunch of people ranging from amatuer and accomplished artists to the those who are plain enthu with restive fingers. With events arranged across art mediums and execution, which previously were largely unprecedented in the institute, it has been a remarkable semester for the Fine Arts Club, especially in terms of turnout and number of events. Private projects were also undertaken, like the Put-Grub wall painting on the second floor of Himalaya Mess and the portrait of Rajamouli, which was put together by the two club conveners, Vamsi Krishna and Bisoy Sunitha, and was gifted during the EML to the fabled film director.
- Flagships Events: A textile printing workshop with vegetable carving, outdoor spray painting, Art Mashup- a grand affair which amalgamated varied art forms.
- Sand sculpturing on Tiruvanmiyur beach on Madras Day: In an event which was the first of its kind, 160 students from the insti managed to produce 15 creative, widely appreciated sand sculptures in the morning hours. Also in attendance was the Dean of Students.
- Cholamandal Field Visit: With workshops and demonstrations from internationally renowned artists, it was an interactive tour including an art museum and a sculpture garden. Find the T5E article covering the visit here.
- Fruit Carving: A fun event which brought out hidden talents in people, there were many beautiful sculptures made out of fruits.
- Finger Painting : The introductory event of the club with about 100 odd participants brought into being colourful paintings using just paints and their fingers.
- Art Gallery: On the first floor of Zaitoon were exhibited 120 of the finest artworks of the club. It was the club’s very own “Art Expo”.
How to participate
The activities of the club are well-publicised. The only pre-requisite for being a part of these convivial gatherings is sheer enthusiasm! Follow their Facebook page for the upcoming events as we embark upon the new semester.
For all the theatre enthusiasts, whether as a part of the stage or the audience, this is the place-to-be. A little relaxed compared to the odd semester, the club nevertheless had some great goings on.
- Stagecoach 2016: The flagship event of the Club undertaken over 3 months, this was a grand performance performed by a stellar team and co-directed by the convenors Amrithavarshini Venkatesh and Prasanna Venkatesh. Titled “Bhopal”, this was an adaptation of Rahul Varma’s play based on the 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy.
- Loose Characters series: As the semester before, there were two more sessions in the Loose Characters series on character and intimacy, where experienced members of the Club gave back to the insti peeps by passing on the experience and wisdom to those exploring the ropes.
- Plays: In the performance sector, the Club was represented outside in various platforms. Theertha Raj led a team to perform Alan Ball’s “Your Mother’s Butt” in the My Theate Festival at Museum Theatre in Chennai, organised by Crea Shakti. Urmika Sinha directed Bruce Kane’s “Ruby of Elsinore” in the Colosseum event of SRM’s cultural festival MILAN and secured second place. The Sarayu team, which won first place in LitSoc Dramatics, lead by Upasana Bhattacharjee, also represented the Club in this competition; performing their adaptation of the radio comedy Cabin Pressure. At Anna University’s Techofes, Vedant Agrawal secured First Place in both Potpourri and Monoact.
- Saahitya 2016: For the inaugural series of the literary festival, Thespian Club conducted the Online Script Adaptation competition; where participants sent in script adaptations of their favourite short stories.
- Theatre Day: The star event of Thespian Club overshadowing even Stagecoach was the Theatre Day. Organised for the first time, it was a platform for anyone in the institute to put up an act of any genre. Especially encouraged was vernacular theatre which brought great performances that marked the Club’s venture into the field of regional theatre. Mono act in Tamil, and a skit and a one hour play in Hindi. Directed by Gaurav Raj, मैं, BB और …….. वो was a great venture by the Club into the field of regional theatre.
How to Participate
For those on both sides of the stage, Thespian Club provides ample opportunities for acting and entertainment throughout the semester. Stay tuned to their Facebook page for some quality theatre time.
Starting out as a haunt of a few people with an acute thirst of trivia, the Quiz Club has now place for highly skilled quizzers who represent the institute at national level quizzes as well as people who enjoy some time spent sharing knowledge.
- Madras Minutiae: This individual flagship event was conducted as a part of Saahitya on the 3rd of April. Hosting the General and Sci-Tech quizzes was one of India’s finest quizmasters, Major Chandrakant Nair. The response to Madras Minutiae was overall very enthusing
- Nihilanth: The first event of the semester was Nihilanth, the inter IIT-IIM quiz fest, held at IIM Indore. The club had a contingent of 26 people, and won the overall championship for the third time running securing a hat-trick. The Quiz Club claimed the first places in sports, sci-tech (science and technology), mela (music entertainment literature arts) and lone wolf (solo) quizzes. It was a great success for the club and its members.
- Anime quiz: Continuing the tradition of fandom quizzes that happened in the odd semester, there was an ‘Anime’ quiz in March. It was a pretty interesting event, which attracted a lot of novices.
How to Participate
Jump in if you are looking to have some adrenaline filled time of recalling things quicker than one can say “Oh, I know this one”. Also if you believe time spent pondering over questions is time well spent. Follow them on their Facebook page to answer and share questions.
Starting as a group of photography lovers, the Media club, over the years, has evolved into the more inclusive and mainstream club and has achieved a high level of expertise and professionalism in its work.
- Introduced the Concept of Photo Galleries : Last year, two photo galleries were put up – one in each semester- of pictures collected from the present students and graduates.
- Major Equipment Upgrade : Media club is one of those clubs that requires relatively expensive resources to work with. A major upgrade in the equipment took place for the first time.
- First years as permanent members into the club for the first time : Enthu freshers were taken in as permanent members for the first time to give them a feel about a club before they discover where their passion lies.
- Proper video and photography coverage The Media Club undertook the coverage of key institute related events was done including election soapboxes, LitSoc and EMLs.
How to Participate
Contrary to general belief, anyone with an interest in photography can find a place in Media Club events. “The challenge”, says convenor Kranthi Chaitanya, “is to make the events more inclusive, as opposed to the present scenario where people perceive the club consists of just people who own expensive cameras. This was also the reason to include freshmen as permanent club members.”
Follow the club on their Facebook page to know about their upcoming introductory sessions and events.
The meeting place in the institute for anyone with music in their soul, the Music Club is a thriving group of enthusiastic and talented music lovers. Holding events or competitions almost every week, the past semester was an eventful one for the Music Club.
- Lit Soc events: There were four this sem- Western Music Group, Light Music Group, Antakshari and Light Music Solo events. In the Western Music and Light Music ,there were quite entertaining performances from the bands. In this edition of Light Music Solo, there was a good participation from the hostels.
- Online Solo Vocals and Duet contests: these were held through Quiz 2 month. (This affected participation, especially in the Duet Contest.) The club contributed to Saahitya 2016, IITM’s Litfest by hosting an Online Song Parody Contest – won by the viral ‘Be Our Pondati’ video.
- Inter-Club Collaborations: These took place with clubs as diverse as Thespian, Informals and Writing Club. Music Scenes – A session on giving live instrumental music for improvised theatre and an On-The-Spot Composition session was conducted with the Writing club (check out the fun compositions here!). The Drum Circle conducted with the Informals Club was a runaway hit with over 60 participants learning the basics of rhythm and creating music as a group.
- Lit-Soc Antakshari: this was a grand affair with a participation of over 120 in the prelims round and 6 teams making it to a fun-filled final round.
- Pro-Workshop series: sessions on ‘Metal Songwriting and Band Management’ by Spineshatter, ‘Onstage Sound and Lights’ by Mike Williams and ‘A Walk-in A Cappella session’ by Maria Roe Vincent were conducted. Moreover, a fundae session on ‘Song Recording and Editing using Ableton’ was also conducted.
How to Participate
For a thrilling, fun filled voyage into the world of music, as a connoisseur or an artist, look out for the upcoming events of the Club on Facebook.
With a long list of events to keep people on their feet( no, really), the Choreo Club peoples the many dance events in the institute from the Freshers Night to the SPARK, the institute dancing classes for novices.The FWF session conducted by club from past 2 years is big success to the club where innumerous dance lovers turning up to this sessions .
- Salsa workshop: conducted throughout the semester, this is the main attraction of the club with around 30 regulars.
- Hostel choreo :With some good old passionate performances with the hostels pitted against each other, the classic Hostel Choreo witnessed exceptional performances this year with Tunga winning followed by Godavari and Jamuna and Mahanadi in the second, third and fourth positions.
- Freestyle Solo : Another inter-hostel event which drew the many enthusiastic dancers of insti is Freestyle Solo which had Tunga in the first, Sharavati in the second, Godavari and Sarayu in the third and Alakananda in the fourth positions.
How to Participate
Learn about various dance classes and events in insti and Chennai at large by subscribing to the Choreo Club Google Group. Follow their Facebook page to stay in the loop.
Confident, assertive, thoughtful, soft, the Oratory Club believes every voice that matters and should be heard. Forcing you to defend your opinions and helping you voice your thoughts better, the events of the Club provide for some deep and thought provoking time.
In the second semester, the bigger events were held, including:
- MUN: An external flagship with participants even coming from outside the city, this was highly successful in drawing in people
- A Storytelling workshop: The workshop was organized by the director of the World Storytelling Institute, Eric Miller, to which around forty students turned up.
- Parliamentary Debate: It was the last event for the year with 8 teams participating.
- There were also two Agora sessions attempted on ‘Identity’ and ‘Smart Cities’.
How to Participate
With events announced before hand through smail and on the Facebook page, there are also fundae sessions for the events.
Word Games Club
Having led the way in efficiently putting together student contingents that journeyed to innumerable college fests to quench their never-ending appetite for word games and inevitably blowing the competition out of the water in the process, the Word Games has its share of both veterans and amateur word lovers.
This year saw the addition of a new event in the form of Spell Bee added to the Litsoc calendar,
apart from the What’s The Good Word (WTGW), Scrabble and Crossie events organised every year. Each Litsoc event was preceded by a fundae session for the benefit of the uninitiated.
- The Club also organised two flagship events in the Chennai Crossie Open and the Scrabble Open with a total prize money worth 50k.
- Scrabble: Your standard old-fashioned board game and perhaps a tad tougher.
- WTGW (What’s The Good Word): this is an exhibition of creativity and wordplay at its best, with a plethora of word games.
- Crossie, the Cryptic Crossword: Exciting in a way that the ordinary crosswords never can be, this is a new avenue to rack one’s brain and link the clues in ways that can well stretch your creative limits. One of those mysterious things that at first, seem intimidating and too hard to break down, but you find that great is the joy when you do.
- GRE Spell Bee: A special Spell Bee session targeted at GRE preparation was conducted.
- Board Games Night: This was organised in association with the Informals Club.
- Saarang: arguably the holy grail of word games in India, this saw scaled up versions of all Litsoc events, inviting participation from hundreds of word games aficionados.
How to Participate
“This year, WGC will also include Potpourri (which used to be a part of Informals), so expect a lot of informal Potpourri, Contact and Dumb Charades nights to help you unwind after a long day”,says the convenor Bhargavi, “Stick around with the Club for a little while and you will have found yourself a new hobby in no time”. Keep up with the fun by following their Facebook page.
To some, there are few things as liberating as being the face behind the words. The Writing Club endeavours to bring them together and help them hone their potential.
- Open Jam: with on-the-spot songwriting, this was a collaborative event with the Music Club held on the Himalaya Lawns which accounted for a fun-filled evening.
- “Crafting a Successful Novel” workshop: hosted by author Usha Narayanan, this included an interactive session with the warm author about the inside stories of publishing and more.
- “Launching the Writer in You” writing workshop: this was hosted by author Kavipriya Moorthy.
- Saahitya 2016: two unique events were held- Amoeba, a short story writing contest based on seven prompts released successively over a period of 30 minutes, and Missive, a letter-writing contest.
How to Participate
Writing and binning it, writing and treasuring it, writing and sharing it, if you enjoy writing, meet up with like individuals in events to share,read and improve. Follow their Facebook page for upcoming events and workshops.