The Fringe: Live on the Edge
This is where you have no limits. This is the part of TGP 2016 where you can truly be what you want to be and express yourself about anything. This is where the rebels and nonconformists gather and talk about anything and everything.
Fringe/Geekery is the track which hosts the content that doesn’t fit anywhere else. If your talk is the square peg and the other tracks are round, come to Fringe and find your place - we’ll talk about anything that you’re passionate about and want to tell us about. The zanier and more offbeat the better - we don’t have guidelines for Fringe, because there aren’t any - there is no content limitation and no restriction - come and tell us about your passion (except for the overall restrictions placed on politics and religion).
In particular, the geekery aspect of this track is unique: While modern civilisation may exist purely due to technology and the inventions of the gifted geeks among us, there are few platforms where geeks get to communicate and discuss their vision of what can be, and what must be.
This year, we hope to touch upon forward-looking sessions, participate in sessions that bridge the gap between where we are today and the fantastic future that geekdom is envisioning and creating: Renewable energy and the end of the oil economy, Elon Musk, Artificial Intelligence and interplanetary diaspora, and perhaps the end of electronic privacy as a concept.
Proposals with a flavor of futurism, rather than a rehashing of the present, are especially welcome for this track. Promote geekdom, adopt a babygeek today!
Talking to strangers about love
You know those intense emotions we go through while falling in and out of love? the ones we thought no one would ever understand?
I was curious about them, so a year ago I started talking to strangers intimately about love, and learnt (among other lessons) that there was so much universal in all the many ways we love, and yet each experience so uniquely ours.
Through this session, I wish to let you in on what I have discovered through this project about how we love: all kinds of love, and all the many things around it. Friendship, family, self-love and romance. The kind that makes you go weak in the knees and the kind that goes unrequited. Stories of being swept off ones feet and of being heart, cheated, ghosted, broken. Intimacy and sexuality. Insecurities and mindgames...
This is also an invitation for you to join me on plotting our ideas of universal love together, so that we can comfortably place ourselves in it, with a little bit more of belonging and empathy.
A little over a year ago, while trying to write a story about different ways of loving, I started taking to people about how they experience love. I took strangers out on “dates” and spoke to them about love, intimacy, trust, vulnerability, soul mates, marriage, sexuality, heartbreak, and everything else in between… I researched about these themes, and tried to see the patterns in the people I met.
This project, called “Saudade” has since been a lot more than just a musing about the most nuanced trick-question of our lives.
I will be sharing some insights from the process in this session, such as:
- Some questions about love and intimacy I asked, and some of the interesting responses I received. What they taught me and how that make me rethink what I knew about I knew about love.
- What I learnt about having intimate conversations with strangers, and about asking super personal questions without being intrusive. And why conversations like these that make us vulnerable are a great idea (and of the little experiments you can also try).
- Some thoughts about the universality of our experiences, and the nuances of our uniqueness within it all. Really, we all have the same stories, really, but we experience it in so many ways… and what that taught me about empathy and relating to people.
By putting these ideas out there, I want to invite you into this journey of re-discovering how we relate to people and let them into our lives, and how we love and belong.
Bring in your stories and questions about love and intimacy (and all the other things), and the willingness to rethink all of it with an open mind.
I ask people really basic questions (what does love mean to you? how do you define success?) and write about the answers I receive for a living. Literally, in the sense that I believe that these answers help me live better, and also figuratively, as this is also my career (professionally, I am a writer, a researcher, a story-curator, a story-teller, an artist and a very curious person).
Saudade, the project about talking to people about love, started out as just a writing experiment, but has been life-changing in many ways. Combining what I learnt from strangers with reading into theoretical perspectives on these themes has made me rethink how I looked at relationships in my life, also leading to social/ personal experiments. Which has only led me to ask more pertinent questions about this un-ending, but highly relevant (and I daresay) important journey of loving. Currently am working on writing a fictional novel and devise a performance piece based on what I have learnt so far.