SAIIER 2013:Unity Pavilion
TCentre for Indian Culture
On 29 February 2012 the Unity Pavilion Hall was inaugurated. We deeply appreciate that it has been built with a GOI grant through SAIIER.
For ten years the work and activities have taken place in the Unity Pavilion Office Annexe, cramping various activities together. With the new hall in place, this year has been a time to sense air under the wings and to practically expand, explore and implement the work envisioned at the time of the Unity Pavilion foundation laying ceremony on 28th February 2002, when in the early morning more than 900 people joined to each lay one brick heaped with flowers for its foundation.
How is the Unity Pavilion used?
In a general way we can say that there is focus on four aspects of work taking place in the Unity Pavilion:
- Supporting the development of the International Zone and the National Pavilion Groups. For this work the Unity Pavilion offers office space and support for events and activities such as meeting and office space, exhibitions, cultural events, workshops, fund raising dinners, etc.
- The Peace Table of Asia which was received by Auroville in 1996. The Unity Pavilion is also carrying the process for the community to build the Hall of Peace project, where the Peace Table will be placed. Out of the 6 Peace tables envisioned for the world, one is placed in New York, US, one in Moscow, Russia, one in Auroville and the 4th Table is dedicated for the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre in Cape Town, South Africa. There is a weekly Peace Meditation around the Table, some of the Auroville working groups meet around it and it happens that visiting groups simply sit down for a time in silence around the table. Also, this year a research on documenting Peace Organizations around the world was carried out sponsored by SAIIER. A major fundraising effort is happening in order to complete the Hall of Peace by February 2014.
- Our aim is also to provide a space for research and development relating to human unity. This includes all aspects related to the International Zone, and also the development of the Auroville Community, of our organization and the task set before us in building Auroville on all levels. In this context a research is done in collaboration between CIRHU and the Unity Pavilion, on the twelve qualities of the Mother's symbol, as also represented in the twelve petals of the Matrimandir. The aim is to see how these qualities can provide a base for a new approach in our organization. In this work many Aurovillians have been involved and the applied research covers body work, art and music as well as dialogue and verbal interaction. This work is now starting to receive a very wide interest in the community.
- With an aspiration towards change in our organization, we are also hosting many meetings of Auroville Working Groups, offering an environment of beauty, friendliness, peace and harmony. Supporting the interaction of young people from all over the world with Auroville. Savi, the Auroville organization for receiving interns and volunteers has its office and reception in the Unity Pavilion.
Details of 2012-13 Workshops, Events, Meetings
The following activities and events have had a participation varying from a few people up to 250+ participants. Overall we have had events reaching very various age groups, from the small children attending a book release, the school children who have come for exhibitions, mixed age groups in workshops, a lot of youth for music programs such as the African Night and the Papua New Guinea Sing Group Concert and the general community for Residents Assembly and other meetings, events and workshop.
During 2012 -2013 more than 25 seminars, workshops and lectures have taken place in the Unity Pavilion, varying from a few hours, to three days and in one case covering a period of two weeks. These are workshops arranged by Auroville groups in collaboration with outside institutions as well as workshops and Seminars offered for the general interest of Auroville. Examples are:
- The Auroville Farm Group
- Pitchandikulam and Tamil Nadu Women's Development Group
- Presentation and workshop on synchronized breathing
- Auroville Town Development Council workshop
- Dialogues and workshop on Collective Intelligence with Jean-François Noubel
- Tamil Nadu Teachers Workshop with Mohanam
- Seminar of Holoenergy
- “International Zone: Steps Ahead” seminar/workshop
- Manoj interaction with students from Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai
- “Doors to Auroville: working with the 12 Qualities” workshop
- Croquette theatre training
- Clown workshop
- Interactions with students from different university programs such as Religion, Philosophy, Anthropology and Architecture
More than 30 Cultural events have taken place, mainly involving the Pavilion Groups and the Peace activities. Some examples:
- Japanese Dance performance
- Kati Hoegen - peace work in Georgia
- French Indian Dance performance
- 3 book releases
- Ethiopia Day
- Papua New Guinea Sing music group
- Presentation on Peru
- Manogo Mujica
- Korean event
- Bulgarian event
- Hungarian event
- Presentation on the twelve Petals by Chantal
- Presentation by Pushkar
- A full day film show for “Zeitgeist Day”
We have had two major exhibitions, the Auroville Art Festival and a Matrimandir Exhibition by Ireno. We also had two smaller exhibitions by Kerubin Art Group and by Gerald, a newcomer.
Seeing the interest in food events related to culture, we have set up a simple outdoor cooking facility with capacity to serve up to 150 people. This year meals were served at events arranged by the Korean Pavilion Group, the Africa House Group, the Hungarian Pavilion Group and in connection with various workshops.
In connection with visits by Ambassadors and Consuls of Russia, Thailand, Spain and Netherlands we have arranged receptions on request of the relevant Pavilion Groups and put up smaller exhibitions on the International Zone and the relevant Pavilion.
This year the Unity Pavilion has hosted meetings for more than 15 of the communities working groups, among them the Residents Assembly, the International Zone Group and National Pavilion Groups, AVI, SAIIER, the Study Group, the Matrimandir Support Group, Higher Education Campus, UHU, the group on New Economy, Newcomers Introduction Group etc.
The Unity Pavilion Hall has turned out to be both beautiful and very versatile in its use, it is a very friendly and inviting space. The Groups who use the Hall also appreciate the approach which we base activities on, with a conscious striving towards forms and expressions which are aligned with the ideals of Auroville, in an aspiration to work in unity rather than divisiveness.