The first edition of TEDxNapierBridge was held in Chennai on Sunday. Fashioned after the wildly popular TED Conference that started out in the Silicon Valley in the United States, TEDx is a locally licensed event.
The Chennai-based TEDxNapierBridge describes itself as "a platform that hosts inclusive TEDx conferences inspired by TED’s commitment to ideas worth spreading”. The theme of the event was ‘Please Turn Over’ signalling conversations that take into account new perspectives for a country "in the midst of a global remaking".
The afternoon featuring eight speakers from various walks of life was kick-started by Robert Kennedy, a Chennai-based clock collector and Limca Record holder. He was followed by Raj Cherubal, CEO, Chennai Smart City Limited, who spoke about the coming together of government, corporate and NGOs for the building of sustainable metropolitan cities.
Krishnapriya CP, an artist and curator, followed this up with a talk on challenging the conventional perspectives on art. She also showcased her work from the Government Arts College in Chennai and Kumbakonam.
The evening progressed to an amusing conversation between ace director Santhosh Narayanan and Think Music India Vice President Santhosh Kumar. Santhosh Narayanan, whose music has prominently featured gaana songs, spoke of film composing in India and societal equality.
The evening was lit up by a performance by veena player Madhu Ramakrishnan, who spoke of the essential coming together of the elements of ragam thanam pallavi in her music.
The News Minute’s Editor-in-Chief Dhanya Rajendran gave a talk on journalism for public good, reflecting on the recent devastating flooding of the state of Kerala. She also shed light upon the need to restructure mainstream media in an effort to make it more inclusive.
Anti-caste activist Gowsalya Shankar, whose husband was hacked to death in broad daylight in a caste killing, followed this up with a much-lauded speech on breaking down caste hierarchies in India. She laid particular emphasis on feminism and the liberation of women as a means to achieving a casteless society.
This was followed up by a talk by acclaimed wildlife photographer Prakash Ramakrishnan. He spoke of the need to conserve wildlife through sensitive photography as a catalyst.
Bringing the evening to a close was Bharadwaj Sundar, co-founder of Chennai-based production house Slingshot Productions that sought to break stereotypes with their viral photo series ‘Dark is Divine’. He spoke of the power of imagery to undo societal biases.