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In the context of the 60th jubilee
of the indo-swiss Friendship Treaty

This event - The Jaipur Forum - was set up by the International North-South Media Forum, the Swiss Confederation, the Indo-Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Swiss Embassy in Delhi. It aims to provide a platform for exchanges between the two countries in the field of training, development, science and culture.

The International North-South Media Forum (INSMF) is now celebrating its 24 th anniversary and was previously called the International North-South Media Festival. Its purpose is to give students, journalists and people versed in economics, politics and social sciences, along with the general public, the opportunity to plunge into an environment, an issue and/or a geographical area for several days.

The Forum thus provides participants a maximum of information, experiences and points of reference for possible comparisons and synergies. It is also a way to view such a world through a variety of modes of communication – documentaries, lectures, round tables and awareness building events, as well as radio or TV programmes, meetings with representatives of the press and other special events. The aim, always, is to raise public awareness of the challenges of the future.

Two steps towards one theme
In recent years, the Forum has focused on a rich raft of topics: the End of Oil Availability (2004), the Development of China and its impact on the rest of the world (2005), Global Warming (2006) and India – Future World Power (2007).

The aim now being to deepen exchanges and to provide new dimensions for deeper reflection, the idea has emerged of focusing our minds on the same theme over two years --one year in Geneva and one year abroad. It was submitted to the Board of the INSMF, as well as to Swiss Development Cooperation and to other Forum partners. Their agreement has led to The Jaipur Forum.
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Objective of the Jaipur Forum
In organising a week of events with such different facets, the objective is to demonstrate that Indo-Swiss partnerships and exchanges have multiple forms. It falls thus perfectly within the scope of the celebration of the 60 th Jubilee of the Friendship Treaty between the two countries. The chosen location reflects this very well.

Over the preceding 23 years, the INSMF has sought to bring the North and the South closer together. Now, continuing in this spirit, the Jaipur Forum will identify some common meeting points between the two countries. This will be the opportunity to analyse a number of contemporary global issues today and to share thoughts about sustainable development and the future of our partnership. At the same time, the INSMF will be testing its new two-step approach, with this event in India being the continuation of the 2007 event in Geneva.

Starting for five days in Jaipur on 15 November, our programme will offer films, round tables, lectures, animations and cultural encounters. On Friday 21 November, we shall move to Delhi for a closing event, in addition to the activities covered by the Forum budget. The special evening in Delhi will be in the presence of, amongst others, Dr. Karan Singh, the Maharaja of Kashmir and President of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, and of Ms. Ruth Dreifuss, former President of the Swiss Confederation. A special single art performance will unite East and West, presented by the Rudra Béjart Lausanne Ballet School and the dancers and musicians of the Dance School of Kuchipudi of Tamil Nadu.
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The Jaipur Forum will be held at the Jawahar Kala Kendra from Saturday 15 to Thursday 20 November 2008. Inaugurated in 1993, this cultural centre is the creation of the Indian architect Charles Correa. Its structure is the replica of the plan of the fortified city in 9 squares; it also refers to the configuration of nine planets. The centre welcomes theatre and musical festivals, art and handicraft exhibitions, workshops and film festivals. Its structure lends itself especially well to exhibitions, films, lectures and open-air performances in the inner courtyard. Similar facilities were also used in Geneva where the INSMF organised its first forum on India in 2007.

Reaching the target audience
The event is being organized in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture of Rajasthan.The centre will be visited every day by student classes from Jaipur schools and University. We are also hoping to attract a broad audience by offering an attractive mix of the proposed themes and entertainment. We can expect an eager attendance from people in the region keen to discover more features of Switzerland, and similarly motivated to act together. Participants from Switzerland, including experts and journalists, will also take part in the event.

Indeed, the INSMF can count on the support of media partners from both India and Switzerland.

The target audience is largely one of students and teachers in Jaipur, as well as a broad public audience. We fervently hope that the journalists and 40 dancers of the Rudra Béjart Ballet School can build a bridge and facilitate contacts with the population.
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Round tables
In the course of the week, several round tables will consider a range of various topics:

  • THE STARS: ““The Exoplanets” and “Astrophysics, Astronomy, Astrology”
  • SWISS DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION and SWISSNEX (the Outpost of the Swiss Knowledge network ): “Climate change: Ethical and Scientific Challenges” 
  • “World Economic Crisis and India”
  • STUDENT EXCHANGES, TRAINING AND RESEARCH : “Future perspectives between Indian and Swiss universities or institutes (JNU Delhi, IHEID Geneva, EPFL Lausanne, EPFZ Zurich)”
  • THE PRESS: “Freedom of expression in India and Switzerland”

Daily film viewings will feature titles selected mainly according to the topic of the day, such as the Himalayas and the Alps, or global warming. There will be space for films to encourage participants to discover Switzerland. With the agreement of Nicolas Bideau, we shall project one or two of the Swiss films also being shown at the Film Festival of Goa, where Switzerland is the guest of honour. We shall also highlight documentaries which were warmly praised in Geneva including “Tales from the Margins”, winner of the INSMF 2007 Award, directed by Kavita Joshi.

An indicative list of the films to be shown in Jaipur is given at the end of the enclosed programme – it will be supplemented with additional titles.
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Throughout the various galleries of the Jawahar Kala Kendra , there will be several exhibitions. Some will be static, based on text and photographs, others will be looped film sequences being shown continuously on plasma screens.

  • Exoplanets (extra-solar planets): plasma
  • Indo-Swiss research projects: posters by Swissnex, Bangalore
  • Photography: Images of India, as seen by Swiss photographers, Olivier Föllmi and Jean Mohr*, and of Switzerland, as seen by the Indian Ashwin Gatha*
  • “Solar Impulse” (in the context of energy use): plasma, model and texts, with the participation of Phil Mundwiler*, director for communication
  • Exhibition of paintings – by the Swiss painter Gisèle Rime*
  • A brief history of the activities of the International Committee of the Red Cross in India: texts, illustrations and photographs
  • Homage to Maurice Béjart
    * will be present in Jaipur

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The Rudra Béjart Lausanne Ballet School will be present in India with 40 dancers and 9 teachers. Two reasons explain this: India has fascinated Maurice Béjart who has always insisted on the teaching of the values and traditions of Indian culture; moreover, strong ties exist with the main schools of Indian dance.

Michel Gascard, director of the Rudra Béjart Lausanne Ballet School, writes:
The Rudra Béjart Lausanne BalletSchool has been invited to study and teach in India, from 17 to 21 November 2008. In the very cradle of Vedic art and culture, these will be five days of exciting work and encounters between traditional Indian schools of art and students of the Rudra School.

The first four days in Jaipur will be rich with study and exchange between the greatest schools of Indian music and dance and the world-famous teachers of the Rudra Béjart Lausanne BalletSchool in ballet, modern dance, Kendo, music and singing:

First, South India will be represented by the dance schools of Kalakshetra and Kuchipudi from Madras and Karali-Payatum from Kerala, alongside the millennia-old musical traditions of the nomads of North India.

Through their daily practice of these traditional arts, teachers and students alike will develop and exchange their knowledge.

On the evening of Friday, 21 November, in Delhi, a single, special art performance will unite East and West, commemorating two important events:

  • The celebration of the first 60 years of the Indo-Swiss Friendship Treaty, in the presence of Dr. Karan Singh, Maharaja of Kashmir and President of the Indian Council of Cultural Relations, and of Ms. Ruth Dreifuss, former President of the Swiss Confederation
  • A loving look towards the horizon, on the first anniversary of the passing away of Maurice Béjart, exactly one year ago tonight.

It is on this occasion that I want there to be a homogeneous art performance in which the Indian masters take their due place. When we speak of, when we dance a fusion of cultures in art, it does not mean watering down the value and values of either or both. On the contrary, we enhance each identity by giving it an authentic place in the context created by both. The performance in Delhi will reflect the processes shared over the first four days in Jaipur.
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Official presence
Following on from the support given by Mrs. Micheline Calmy-Rey at the 2007 INSMF, when she was the President of the Swiss Confederation, it had been planned that the present President of the Swiss Confederation, Mr. Pascal Couchepin, would be present in Delhi for the evening of Friday 21 November. However, prevented from travelling by recent political events in Berne, he will be replaced by Ms. Ruth Dreifuss, former President of the Swiss Confederation.

Support and funding
The International North-South Media Forum could not organise the Conference of Jaipur without the active and direct support of its Foundation (Foundation Hans Wilsdorf, Télévision Suisse Romande, City and Canton of Geneva, Mirabaud Bank and Organisation internationale de la Francophonie) and of the Swiss Confederation (Ministry of External Affairs in Berne – Swiss Development Cooperation and Political Division II).
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