Projects, we_the_school.org - Written by on Saturday, February 16, 2013 8:25 - 0 Comments

we_!NDIA

we_india_titel It’s just about a year ago when I started the endevour we_school in incredible !NDIA. One of my oldest friends, Egon Zippel, joined me on this journey – each of us experiencing the subcontinent in a very different way.

So for me it was only a question of time when to publish a new issue of we_magazine: we_!NDIA. And I am very happy to announce that we are working on it! By the end of March the magazine will be available. Today you get a very first taste what to expect – we’ll cover a broad variety of people and topics. But let’s start here with our editorial, written by Egon.

 

 

Incredible !ndia

When I first saw the slogan “Incredible !ndia” on a poster in the Indian Consulate in Manhattan, I thought it had to be an exaggeration. Believe me when I say, it is not.

I came to India to work with Ulrike, founder of we-magazine, on the we_school project. After my first visit I wasn’t sure what to think about India. During the second visit I decided I liked it and on the third visit I swore I would only come back again as a tourist. I knew going in we would face challenges getting the we_school up and running but it wasn’t until the third visit that it really dawned on me the complexity of the task.

India is a rich tapestry of dichotomies and contradictions. It is almost as if there are two Indias, two “we’s” if you will. The ancient India, with its restrictive traditions, conservative religions, patriarchal mindset and caste system is a monolith of a “we”, inert and resistant to change. This is in direct contrast to a more agile, lithe modern “we” of an India that embraces technology, new ideas and progressive behavior. Both of these Indias have to deal with the same problems of overpopulation, alarming levels of pollution, dwindling resources, misogyny and rampant corruption. To even begin to understand the intensity of life in India one has to accept the extremes of the reality there. There is no place with more glaring problems (abject poverty, disease, child labor, domestic violence, lack of infrastructure etc.). Imagine the worst problem and you will find it in India. On the other end of the spectrum, you will encounter incredible opportunities and an optimism that is to be found nowhere else. The youth of India is an incredible resource with their agile minds, their eagerness to learn and their passion for new technologies. It’s a powerful life force and if it can be tapped into, anything is possible.

I think India’s greatest challenge will be to bridge the two worlds of modern and old. To find a way towards a collective “we” by integrating the beautiful heritage, history and culture while embracing the benefits of technology, social and gender equality and the ethics of a humanist society. If those things can be accomplished, India will find itself one of the great superpowers of the 21st century. It’s up to India. The winds of change have arrived. Will India be like the mighty oak, unyielding and inert uprooted by the wind or will she adapt the flexibility of the bamboo and survive? Only time will tell.

Egon

 

To show the OLD and the NEW by the YOUNG and the OLD is one goal of we_!NDIA.
Another one is to open the door and show first glimpses of a collective WE.

The opening article of we_!NDIA will be my interview with Lakshmi Pratury, curator and founder of INKtalks.

 

 

Besides Lakshmi you’ll find Mehmood Khan`s thoughts on social entrepreneurship in it, Raghava K.K. will share his “Perspectives”, the young Delhi based photographer Vicky Roy will be portraited, you’ll find conversations between a Chinese and an Indian, a young Pakistani and an Indian and between a Saudi woman and an Indian. We’ll give 8 young Indians a voice and we interview an old family in rural India. And of course, since we are in India to build a school – education will have its fair share: Sugata Mitra will talk about his latest endevours and we hopefully hear some news from the government in Madyah Pradesh.

And we’ll have some surprises … !



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