Posts tagged with "india"

Museum of Art and Photo

The Museum of Art × Photography to launch digitally

The Museum of Art & Photography (MAP) will launch digitally on Saturday, 5 December, an opportunity to reach global audiences with the great art of the sub-continent. Their new building delayed by COVID, MAP nevertheless moves ahead,  presenting a week-long virtual program of events entitled Art (is) Life and inaugurating their Museums Without Borders initiative.

MAP’s digital platform will offer curated experiences, allowing audiences to interact with MAP’s exhibitions and events from the comfort of their homes at any time.  MAP has a growing collection of over 18,000 artworks, predominantly from the subcontinent and dating from the 10th century to the present, with concentrations in Pre-Modern Art, Modern and Contemporary Art, Photography, Folk and Tribal Art, Popular Culture, Textiles, Craft and Design.

Founder-Trustee of MAP, Abhishek Poddar says, “Our vision at MAP is to reach out to people from all walks of life and make the collection available to the world. Then why should we wait for a physical museum to come up? Launching digitally is the organic next step for MAP, achieving our agenda of inclusion and accessibility. To be truly relevant museums and cultural institutions need to always rethink and reinvent themselves, Even more so in challenging times like these. MAP’s digital launch marks the birth of a new museum for a new era.”

MAP’s digital launch is a week-long program of events titled Art (is) Life from 5-11 December, 2020. The opening session on Saturday, 5 December will showcase some of the most innovative performances in music, dance, poetry and technology, by leading Indian professionals including art historian Dr. B. N. Goswamy, filmmaker Nandita Das, and visual artist, Jitish Kallat. Each subsequent day of the program will celebrate one of the six departments of the museum’s collection including a commissioned performance. Each day’s programs will air twice, making them convenient for all time zones at 7pm (IST) and again at 5pm (EST)

“Art (is) Life is a culmination of everything we hope our museum to be,” says Kamini Sawhney, the Director of MAP. “The opening program will showcase how the arts are interconnected, each enriching the others. This is reflective of the Museum’s vision to draw connections across the collection, creating unique narratives. We are working on creative ways to bring art to everyone. The launch program of commissioned performances and collaborations with international institutions is  a  preview for what is to come regularly with MAP.”

The program will also launch the first five episodes of Museums Without Borders, video collaborations with 50 international institutions that will juxtapose a pair of objects, one from an international collection and one from MAP’s, to discover the differences and connections. Participating institutions include the British Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), The Morgan Library and Museum, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Vitra Design Museum, and the Rhode School of Design. This dialogue between the objects will be presented by curators from both institutions. Museums Without Borders allows audiences to discover new narratives and make comparisons without travel, an interesting alternative to gallery displays.

Digital Opening Art is Life daily schedule

To access the program on the day please use https://artislife.event

Opening Night:  Saturday 5 December 

7:00 – 7:45 PM Indian Standard Time 

1:30 – 2:15 PM Greenwich Mean Time 

8:30 – 9:15 AM Eastern Standard Time (Friday morning)

3:30 – 4:15 AM Indian Standard Time 

10:00 – 10:45 PM Greenwich Mean Time

5:00 – 5:45 PM, Eastern Standard Time

A uniquely crafted sensorial experience, bringing together art, poetry, dance and music featuring well-known Indian cultural figures including lyricist Javed Akhtar, actor Shabana Azmi, classical dancer Malavika Sarukkai, film and theatre professional Arundhati Nag, art historian Dr B N Goswamy, filmmaker Nandita Das, visual artist Jitish Kallat and singer Kavita Seth. Plus a virtual tour through the MAP building and collection. 

Second Day: Sunday 6 December  |  Popular Culture

7:00 – 7:45  PM IST / 1:30 – 2:30 PM GMT / 8:30 – 9:15 AM EST (Saturday morning)

3:30 – 4:15 AM IST / 10:00 – 10:45 PM GMT / 5:00 – 5:45 PM EST

Presented by actor and theatre director Lillete Dubey

Shri Shri Revati Baladev and Shri Shri Radha Krishna, c. 19th century, Painted Woodcut Print, MAP

In a special performance, drummers from Dharavi, Mumbai will respond to Bollywood posters on the themes of migration and the pandemic. MAP’s Madhura Wairkar presents fascinating stores from our Popular Culture Collection. Plus the premier of our Museum Without Borders series, this episode in conjunction with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, comparing 19th Century prints featuring a similar iconography of Krishna and Radha, the divine lovers in Hindu mythology. 

Third Day:  Monday, 7 December. |   Folk & Tribal Art  

7:00 – 7:45  PM IST / 1:30 – 2:30 PM GMT / 8:30 – 9:15 AM EST (Sunday morning)

3:30 – 4:15 AM IST / 10:00 – 10:45 PM GMT /5:00 – 5:45 PM EST

Presented by author Devdutt Pattanaik 

Peacock, Jangarh Singh Shyam, c. 1990, Poster colour on paper, MAP

In a special performance directed by Sharanya Ramprakash, the artists of Udupi Yakshagana Kendra will reimagine an artwork from MAP’s collection depicting a fight from the Hindu epic, Ramayana, between Jatayu and Ravana to save Sita from being taken to Lanka. MAP’s Shubhasree Pirkayastha explores highlights from our indigenous art collection, these objects act as a tribute to traditional storytelling. Plus the second installment of our Museum Without Borders series, this episode in conjunction with the Rhode Island School of Design, discussing two pioneering indigenous artists in our collections – India’s Jangarh Singh Shyam and Canada’s Kenojuak Ashevak. 

Fourth Day: Tuesday 8 December  |  Pre-Modern Art

7:00 – 7:45  PM IST / 1:30 – 2:30 PM GMT / 8:30 – 9:15 AM EST (Monday morning)

3:30 – 4:15 AM IST / 10:00 – 10:45 PM GMT /5:00 – 5:45 PM EST

Presented by historian William Dalrymple

Brahmani, c. 10th century, Grey steatite schist, MAP 

In a special performance, Madhu Nataraj, Director of STEM Dance Kampni and the Natya Institute of Kathak & Choreography, and her troupe will respond to Amrut Manthana and a Nayika Painting from MAP’s collection. MAP’s Shilpa Vijayakrishnan explores artworks from the collection illuminating a rich repository of stories – historical and mythical, real and imagined.  Plus the third instalment of our Museum Without Borders series, this episode with the Detroit Institute of Arts; the sculptures of a Yogini and a Brahmani provoke  a conversation on powerful goddesses.

Fifth Day: Wednesday, 9 December  |  Textile, Craft & Design

7:00 – 7:45  PM IST / 1:30 – 2:30 PM GMT / 8:30 – 9:15 AM EST (Tuesday morning)

3:30 – 4:15 AM IST / 10:00 – 10:45 PM GMT /5:00 – 5:45 PM EST

Presented by designer Ritu Kumar.

A pida chair, c. 1900, Wood and jute, MAP

 In a special performance, musician Rajeev Raja and his band will respond to Krishna Pichwais with a jazz-fusion musical piece. MAP’s Vaishnavi Kambadur explores work that is at the intersection of craft and design.  Plus the fourth instalment of our Museum Without Borders series, this episode with The Vitra Design Museum, Germany, discussing similarities between two iconic chairs from distinct cultures – a pida chair from Rajasthan and a Rietveld Red & Blue Chair – from their respective collections. 

Sixth Day: Thursday 10 December Modern & Contemporary Art

7:00 – 7:45  PM IST /1:30 – 2:30 PM GMT / 8:30 – 9:15 AM EST (Wednesday morning)

3:30 – 4:15 AM IST / 10:00 – 10:45 PM GMT /5:00 – 5:45 PM EST

Presented by artist Rekha Rodwittiya, artist.

Drummer, Tyeb Mehta, 1988, Oil on canvas, MAP

In a special performance, dancers from the Attakkalari Dance Company will respond to nine unique works on the Goddess Durga by contemporary female Indian artists including Arpita Singh, Anjolie Ela Menon, and Nalini Malani. MAP’s Director, Kamini Sawhney takes us through highlights from the collection, revealing how India’s traditional art practices, myths, and legends inspire our modern and contemporary practitioners. Plus the fourth instalment of our Museum Without Borders series, this episode with The British Museum, London,  looking at artworks from our respective collections – Trumpeters by the acclaimed Pahari painter, Nainsukh and Drummer by Tyeb Mehta – humming the same tune across centuries.

Seventh Day – Photography |  Friday 11 December 

7:00 – 7:45  PM IST / 1:30 – 2:30 PM GMT / 8:30 – 9:15 AM EST (Thursday morning)

3:30 – 4:15 AM IST / 10:00 – 10:45 PM GMT / 5:00 – 5:45 PM EST

Presented by photographer Raghu Rai 

Last Supper, Vivek Vilasini, after 2000, K3 ink on archival canvas, MAP.

The theatre artist Ram Ganesh Kamatham will respond to Vivek Vilasini’s Last Supper with a theatrical performance. MAP’s Nathaniel Gaskill takes us on a journey through photography in the collection.  Plus the sixth instalment of our Museum Without Borders series, this episode with The Morgan Library and Museum, New York, looking at the works of two photographers – Malick Sidibé’s Chemise and a selection of images from Suresh Punjabi’s Suhag Studio.

About MAP:

The Museum of Art & Photography (MAP) will launch in 2021 and will be South India’s first major private art museum. Situated in Bangalore, MAP’s mission is to take art and culture to the heart of the community making it accessible to diverse audiences. It will achieve this by exhibiting, interpreting and preserving India’s rich artistic heritage. MAP’s five-storey building will include art galleries, an auditorium, an art and research library, an education centre, a specialised research and conservation facility, as well as a cafe. The Museum’s digital platform will feature unique ways of engaging with the collection, specially curated exhibitions, educational resources for kids, webinars and walkthroughs, as well as a comprehensive library of articles and videos.  

https://map-india.org/

https://artislife.events

@mapbangalore | #museumswithoutborders #artislife

Membership details

A year-long membership at MAP costs Rs 2000 (Approx $27 USD)

Diwali light illustrated by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Diwali 2020

By: Elle Grant

Over the course of mid-November, the annual five-day festival, Diwali, took place from November 12th to November 16th. Known as the festival of lights, for those who follow Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, major religions in South Asia, this is one of the most important religious festivals of the year. It lasts the aforementioned five days, from the 13th day of the dark half of the lunar month Ashvina to the second day of the light half of the lunar month Karttika. (the corresponding dates in the Gregorian calendar usually fall in late October and November).

Diwali as a festival has deep meaning within the communities it is celebrated. Its name comes from the Sanskrit term dipavali, meaning “row of lights.” In turn, the lighting of Diwali candles is an essential part of the celebration. The festival generally symbolizes the victory of light over darkness. In this context, light symbolizes knowledge and wisdom, while darkness is a symbol for all negative forces including wickedness, destruction, violence, lust, envy, injustice, greed, oppression and suffering. The third day of Diwali is celebrated on Saturday, November 14, 2020. While it is widely celebrated by a vast proportion of the world’s population, precisely how Diwali is celebrated varies by culture.

Across, South Asia, different regions celebrate different deities first and foremost with the festival. Among Hindus the most widespread custom is the lighting of diyas (small earthenware lamps filled with oil) on the night of the new moon to invite the presence of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. In Bengal the goddess Kali is worshipped with the event. In North India the festival additionally celebrates the royal homecoming of Rama to the city of Ayodhya after defeating Ravana, the 10-headed king of the demons, thus connecting the festival with the holiday of Dussehra. In South India the festival marks Krishna’s defeat of the demon Narakasura. The celebration of Diwali offers just a glimpse into how culture varies across South Asia.

Homes of those who celebrate reflect the importance of the day. Many begin the holiday with a deep cleaning of their home, from top to bottom. Floors inside and out are covered with rangoli, consisting of elaborate designs made of colored rice, sand, or flower petals. The doors and windows of houses are kept open in the hope that Lakshmi will find her way inside and bless the residents with wealth and success. Other ways Diwali is celebrated include visiting loved ones, exchanging gifts, wearing new clothes, feasting, feeding the poor, and setting off fireworks. Delicious food is a large part of the celebration. Yet how this holiday is specifically celebrated this year has been affected by the ongoing global pandemic caused by the spread of COVID-19.

Before Diwali even took place, experts warned of the danger of gathering for the event, in the vein of warnings being made for the coming holidays of Christmas and Hannukah for Christian and Jewish populations of the world. International lockdowns in places like Europe have put a damper on the plans of many. Yet many are finding ways around the restriction of movement and celebration; many are planning calls with families across different continents, in which there will be singing, games, and tasty foods shared through screens. Some say it has even brought them closer as a family.

Like many holidays, Diwali assuredly looks different this year. Yet the resilience displayed by those celebrating, to find a way to connect with family and friends during this special spiritual time, again reflects some of the best of human ingenuity during the coronavirus pandemic.

Vijay Mallya illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 MAGAZINE Netflix article.

King of Good Times

By Hannah DiPilato

Last month Netflix released a new documentary that gives an inside look at the corruption and greed of some of India’s most prominent billionaires. The first episode tells the store of Vijay Mallya’s extravagant life that takes a drastic turn. 

Vijay Mallya was born to Vittal Mallya, an entrepreneur who founded the United Breweries Group. When Vijay Mallya was only 28 years old his father died suddenly and Mallya had to follow in his father’s footsteps and run a business empire. 

When Mallya took over his father’s business he shook everyone up with his lifestyle. In an interview, he was compared to Donald Trump to which he responded he was “nowhere near bankruptcy,” an ironic foreshadowing to his future. He also talked about having many enemies. 

Alcohol is not viewed in India as it is in America and in some states of India alcohol is banned. Due to this negative stigma, Mallya needed a different way to advertise his brand. He became a pioneer for different kinds of advertising. He used surrogate advertising to promote his company while keeping the sale of alcohol disguised, instead he advertised soda. The brand was still high profile even if the beer wasn’t what was being advertised. In 1996 the World Cup was hosted in India and Kingfisher launched a campaign with a catchy jingle that was a memorable success. 

Vijay Mallya’s genius was making his lifestyle the centerpiece of the brand. He became known as “the king of good times” and this became Kingfisher’s tagline. He knew how to build his image off of this to make everyone desire the lifestyle he was living. According to Sid Mallya, Kingfisher became “more than just a beer, it became a lifestyle” and everyone aspired to live like the king of good times. Vijay Mallya was one of the first people in India that wasn’t afraid to live lavishly and use his money unapologetically. 

In 2003 Mallya survived a devastating helicopter crash. The ride was only supposed to be a short 45 minutes and Mallya’s executive assistant, Tushita Patel, recounted the terrifying crash in the documentary. It was her first helicopter ride and she thought she was going to die. Mallya survived the crash and said, “Miracles do happen, there’s obviously a message from above.” He believed he would use his “second life” to the fullest.  

Mallya became one of the world’s largest liquor producers, but that wasn’t enough for him; he wanted to be recognized all over the world as more. In one recording he explained he wanted to be “a catalyst for change.” He had an urge to be number one, the boldest and brightest and he would do whatever he could to get there. 

The next year in 2004, Mallay got in touch with Alex Wilcox to help begin the next Kingfisher adventure. Here is where Kingfisher airlines began. Mallya created a promotional video that showed how luxurious and unique flying on Kingfisher airlines would be. Mallay appealed to the rising middle class of India, larger than the population of The United States, and knew this would be the perfect consumer for this new flying experience. This was beneficial to Kingfisher as another way to advertise and promote the flamboyant lifestyle. 

On Sid Mallya’s 18 birthday the airline was officially launched. At first, the airline was a rapid success. The brand focused on high-frequency and low-cost eliminating serving meals and first-class like many other airlines. The airline sent the message “everyone is welcome here.” 

Although the company was thriving, in 2005 Mallya went behind the back of Alex Wilcox and spent billions of dollars on new planes. The airline was no longer going to be the same low-cost service it once was, this was not what the market wanted. The desire to expand the airline began to put Mallya in debt as he borrowed money from the bank. Mallya continued to expand and eventually, Wilcox could no longer help Kingfisher airlines; the two men had different expectations for the future of the company. 

Mallya’s debt continued to grow as he continued to buy into more companies. In 2008, the global economic downturn stopped people from traveling, Kingfisher airlines was not making what it needed to, daily, to survive. The company continued to fall into a pit of large debt through 2009 and 2010. The reports of the business numbers were published and scrutiny of the company was heightened. The flights were even running out of food and the crew was giving away their meals to customers. Although things were bad, Mallya thought he could save his airline. 

By 2011 Mallya was doing everything to save the airline. The workers of Kingfisher were severely underpaid. Many went on strike and the wife of an airline worker committed suicide because of the financial stress. Mallya begged his employees not to turn to the press, but eventually, his true character was revealed. He could have paid off some of his debt out of pocket but refused. Eventually, the license of Kingfisher Airline was suspended, the money had run out and the airline closed. 

When Mallya’s 60 birthday came around in 2015, he did not shy away from another profligate party. This party created a negative view towards Mallya and he was seen as a theft that did not care about the lives of his employees. This tipping point led to an investigation into his finances and prosecutors believed he was hiding his finances. Allegations against him included money laundering and fraud. 

Mallya fled to London with no plan to return against the orders of the government. He said, “I disprove the narrative that I stole money.” He was charged by the UK court for money laundering, conspiracy and cheating. Some argued there are worse criminals that need to be caught, while others declare he is a thief and needs to be prosecuted. His son Sid concluded because this was a “lifestyle brand, he was easier to target.”

Mallya has sold most of his business and as of summer 2020, he remains in London where he continues to fight all charges against him. You can watch the documentary on Netflix along with the next two episodes of Bad Boy Billionaires: India.

Purdue × Abu Dhabi work on cybersecurity of drones

By Jim Bush

Abu Dhabi has intentions of making the city a leading hub for technology and innovation in the Middle East.

Part of that evolution is utilizing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, to assist with as many tasks as possible, from delivering packages to aiding in police operations to helping investigate crashes on highways to delivering high-value transports, like organs for transplant.

With autonomy, though, comes risks of hackers and complications between interacting agents.

A group of Purdue University researchers have been tasked to make sure drones and their systems could operate securely, safely and efficiently in the United Arab Emirates capital. Inseok Hwang, a professor in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, is principal investigator on a three-year, $2.3-million grant from the Technology Innovation Institute in Abu Dhabi to study the application of secure drone swarms in urban environments.

The project requires expertise in autonomous vehicles, control, sensing, virtual reality and security. James Goppert, a visiting assistant professor in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics and managing director of the UAS Research and Test Facility, and Dongyan Xu, the Samuel D. Conte Professor of Computer Science and director of CERIAS (Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security), Purdue’s cybersecurity research and education center, are co-principal investigators on the project.

“We will address this problem in a highly integrated, interdisciplinary way,” Hwang said. “We will consider it from the program level to the high-level network of systems, so we accomplish the hierarchic way from the very detailed lower level, the software and hardware level, to the large network of vehicles and from the single vehicle to multivehicle. So it’s multidimensional. That’s one of the unique pieces of this project.”

The project will utilize one of Purdue’s unrivaled assets, the UAS Research and Test Facility. The 20,000-square-foot, 35-feet high facility, located at Hangar 4 of the Purdue University Airport, features the largest indoor motion capture system in the world and offers unique capabilities for novel research.

Goppert will build a mixed reality environment, combining a virtual reality urban environment with a scaled physical model of the city. The drones will fly and navigate the city, and the environment can be programmed to simulate a wide range of settings, including weather, traffic and urban development, to test the drones’ applicability and agility. The testing will be done with single vehicles as well as swarms, which could include 10 drones.

Hwang said he hasn’t seen any research done using mixed reality to this scale. Neither has Goppert.

“Our unique capability is that we have such a large environment to do it,” Goppert said. “Just running so many vehicles at once is going to be a challenge. In the past, several vehicles have been used. But if we’re going to be running swarms where each vehicle needs a rendered virtual mixed reality image, that’s going to be really computationally challenging. That’s what we’re pushing forward.

“We thought we could try to bring it as close to real-life as possible to get as many of the bugs worked out before they actually deploy such a system. We can do it all in software, but there’s an added advantage in bringing it closer to reality by making some of it actual robots.”

Hwang and Xu will have a multitiered approach from the cybersecurity and robustness standpoint. Xu will investigate from the cyber perspective of security, encryption, authentication and peer-to-peer communications. Hwang will develop a mathematical model and use the control theoretical solution approach, assessing potential cyberattacks on the systems and working to design a controller in such a way that the system becomes more resilient to attacks.

“This project reflects exciting synergies between two areas of technical excellence at Purdue: aeronautics and astronautics, and cybersecurity,” Xu said.

Ultimately, all of the research will be integrated and pieced together around the state-of-the-art test bed, which could happen toward the end of the second year of the three-year grant.

With a variety of drones tasked with different assignments, “how do we make sure they play well together?” Goppert said. “We’re trying to simulate that within our facility.”

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked the No. 5 Most Innovative University in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at https://purdue.edu/.

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Hiccup in COVID-19 Vaccine Development

By Althea Champion

In a statement from AstraZeneca, reported by STAT News, the biopharmaceutical company reported a halt in their global research trial. The company, which is working with the University of Oxford and is one of the few waist-deep in the process of developing a COVID-19 vaccination, reported that the halt is a “routine action which has to happen whenever there is a potentially unexplained illness in one of the trials.”

The company is in Phase 3 of their clinical trial in the U.S., as well as Brazil and South Africa, according to the New York Times, and in Phase 2/3 in England and India. AstraZeneca began the third phase of its clinical trial not much longer than a week ago, on Aug. 31.

Phase 3 efficacy trials involve thousands of volunteers, some of which are administered the vaccine in question, and others the placebo.

AstraZeneca and its most close competitors, Moderna and Pfizer, which have each been in phase 3 of their clinical trials since July 27, are backed by the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed, a targeted allocation of resources meant to hasten the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

The halt of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine—AZD1222—is the first made public by its drug maker, and will allow a safety review to take place. 

“A volunteer in the U.K. trial [of AZD1222] had been found to have transverse myelitis, an inflammatory syndrome that affects the spinal cord and is often sparked by viral infections,” reported the New York Times. “However, the timing of this diagnosis, and whether it was directly linked to AstraZeneca’s vaccine, is unclear.”

The vaccine was first developed by Oxford University’s Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group, according to nih.gov, and was then “licensed to AstraZeneca for further development.” Oxford-Astrazeneca began the third phase of its clinical trial not much longer than a week ago, on Aug. 31

The company stressed in its statement that the safety of their participants is a priority.

“We are working to expedite the review of the single event to minimize any potential impact on the trial timeline,” said the company in their statement. “We are committed to the safety of our participants and the highest standards of conduct in our trials.”

Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, COVID-19

New COVID-19 Strain In Southeast Asia

By Eamonn Burke

A mutation of the COVID-19 virus called D614G has been discovered in Southeast Asia, mostly in Malaysia and the Philippines but also in China. The outbreak can be traced back to a man who did not quarantine after his trip from India, causing a 45-case outbreak in Malaysia. The man has since been fined and sentenced to five months in prison. D614G is the leading strain in the United States and Europe, after being discovered in Chicago in June. Now the mutation is quickly spreading across Asia and the entire world.

The mutation is estimated to be up to 10 times more infectious, but “We still don’t have enough solid evidence to say that that will happen,” says Phillipines’ Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Verviers. A study from Johns Hopkins points to evidence showing that the new virus is not more deadly than the previous strain. Benjamin Cowling of University of Hong Kong agreed: “(D614G) might be a little bit more contagious. We haven’t yet got enough evidence to evaluate that.” A Cell Press paper also corroborates this, saying that the strain will most likely not impact vaccine development. However, Malaysia’s Director-General of Health, Noor Hisham, warns that this may mean that vaccine studies may be incomplete without accounting for the new strain.

A mutating virus is far from an exceptional thing, because it is how they can continue to spread. In fact, the genome of the coronavirus changes about 2 times a month, according to Science Magazine. Some of them help the virus reproduce, others damage it, and some are neutral. These changes can be just a single letter in the genetic code, but it can make the virus much more transmissible. Dr Thushan de Silva, at the University of Sheffield, says that there is not enough evidence to say whether the D614G mutation helps or harms the virus, but he knows that it is not neutral.

This comes as the FDA has just granted emergency authorization for COVID-19 spit tests, which will make testing much easier and much wider spread. The SalivaDirect test, developed at Yale University, will expedite testing by eliminating a time consuming step in the process.

Meanwhile, the United States passes 170,000 deaths from the virus, with infections of children rising as they return to school. New information from the CDC says that rates of COVID-19 in children are increasing. While they make up only 7% of cases in the country, they are responsible for over 20% of them. In addition to this, and in contrast to previous beliefs, “Recent evidence suggests that children likely have the same or higher viral loads in their nasopharynx compared with adults and that children can spread the virus effectively in households and camp settings.”

Data to reinforce this claim can be found in the rising cases among children at schools that have already reopened, including 7,000 in Alabama. Many schools have debated or committed to reversing course and going online. These rising cases correlating with schools reopening “may explain the low incidence in children compared with adults,” says the CDC, suggesting that children’s perceived resistance to transmitting the virus may have been partly a result of simply staying inside – a sobering reminder of the ever changing narrative of COVID-19.

Madame Gandhi, 360 Magazine

Madame Gandhi Releases New Video

Acclaimed artist and activist Madame Gandhi debuts her new music video for “Waiting For Me” and announces other exciting upcoming events

Today, multi-talented artist, percussionist, producer and activist Madame Gandhi releases her newest video for “Waiting For Me.” Directed by Misha Ghose, “Waiting For Me” was conceptualized and produced by an all-female team and features queer, trans, female and gender non-conforming cast members. With its contrasting industrial imagery and color palettes, the visual brings the song’s empowering message to life: an eco-feminist call to action that eschews institutionalized power structures in favor of forging new narratives of self-expression. This feminist anthem perfectly aligns with Madame Gandhi’s persistent fight for equality and justice and you can check out Vogue Magazine’s article about Madame Gandhi and the video here.

When asked about the video, Madame Gandhi explains, “We as artists have the power to use our art to vividly reimagine the world we wished we lived in. ‘Waiting For Me’ is a song about questioning societal norms as they exist. The video opens with the quote, ‘We always assume our own powerlessness, but never our own power.’ With the interconnected social justice movements happening around the world, we are seeing a larger belief in the power of the collective for change. This music video is a call to action for each of us to examine how hierarchy, capitalism and systemic oppression serve to keep us obedient, with little space for dialogue or critical thinking. My hope is that this video inspires folks to ask, ‘Are my behaviors contributing to the oppression of somebody else? And what contributes to my own oppression? What does my version of freedom look and feel like?’”

The video for “Waiting For Me” launches the next chapter in Madame Gandhi’s already critically-acclaimed career, as she announces her signing with Sony Music Masterworks. Having already released her first two EPs, Gandhi begins her new partnership with Sony Music Masterworks ahead of the third and final installment in the series.

Madame Gandhi has had even more excitement recently, one of which being her performance for NPR Tiny Desk (Home) Concert. In addition, Gandhi was elected as 2020 TED Fellow for her commitment to creating meaningful and positive change and will also participate in TED2020 this summer. Here, she will be joining multidisciplinary individuals across the globe for an online gathering of conversations, sessions and performances. But, this is not Madame Gandhi’s first experience on the TED Stage; she returns after her 2018 TED Talk about the importance of making music accessible to those hard of hearing.

Madame Gandhi also recently provided a song to the documentary series And She Could Be Next. For this project, Gandhi works in collaboration with Gingger Shankar on a track entitled “Freedom Cries” which will be found on the show’s soundtrack. The documentary series chronicles the defiant movement of women of color who are transforming American politics. And She Could Be Next is currently airing on local PBS stations, streaming online at AndSheCouldBeNext.com and on the PBS app on your smart TV.

About Madame Gandhi:

Kiran Gandhi, who performs as Madame Gandhi, is an artist and activist whose mission is to elevate and celebrate gender liberation. With an imitable pairing of complex percussive rhythms and empowering messages of liberation, Madame Gandhi is known for her passionately uplifting music that continues to elevate the female voice and redefine notions of gender, identity and politics.

She has toured as the drummer for M.I.A, Thievery Corporation and most recently Oprah on her 2020 Vision Stadium Tour. Gandhi holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and Gender Studies from Georgetown and an MBA from Harvard. In 2015, she ran the London Marathon bleeding freely to combat period stigma around the world, sparking a global viral conversation about how we treat menstruation in various cultures. She has been listed as a Forbes 30 Under 30 member and is a 2020 TED Fellow. Her uplifting music and inspiring talks have been critically acclaimed by The New York Times, Billboard, NPR and more. Her song “The Future is Female” reached #8 on the Spotify Viral US Charts following the 2017 Women’s March. She has released two short-form albums, Voices and Visions, accompanied by a series of music videos produced by women and gender non-conforming creatives. Gandhi is currently working on her third short-form album Vibrations.

Follow Madame Gandhi: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Madame Gandhi, 360 Magazine
Madame Gandhi, 360 Magazine
Madame Gandhi, 360 Magazine

Entrepreneur Of The Year

Dr. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is named EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2020 

Dr. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Executive Chairperson of India-based Biocon Limited, was this evening named EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2020 at a ground-breaking, virtual award ceremony. Kiran was picked from among 46 award winners from 41 countries and territories vying for the world title. In the award’s 20-year history, Kiran becomes the third EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winner from India. She follows former Indian world title winners Uday Kotak of Kotak Mahindra Bank (2014) and Narayana Murthy of Infosys Technologies Limited (2005). She also becomes the second woman to hold the title, following Olivia Lum of Hyflux Limited from Singapore in 2011.

Kiran, 67, founded Biocon, a bio-enzymes company, in 1978 with just two employees and $500. Since its inception, Biocon has grown to employ more than 11,000 people and become one of the strongest innovation-driven biotechnology companies in Asia with revenues of $800m for FY19. Biocon and its subsidiaries are making a lasting impact on global health care. Millions of people living with diabetes now have access to affordable insulin, while millions more who are battling cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and other debilitating diseases now have access to affordable biosimilars.

Manny Stul, Chairman and Co-CEO of Moose Toys and Chair of the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year judging panel, says, “Kiran is an inspirational entrepreneur who demonstrates that determination, perseverance and a willingness to innovate can create long-term value. The judging panel were impressed by her ability to build and sustain growth over the past 30 years and by her integrity and passion for philanthropy that has delivered huge global impact. She has built India’s largest biopharmaceutical company on a foundation of compassionate capitalism and putting patient needs before profits.”

Dr. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Executive Chairperson of Biocon Limited, says, “At its core, entrepreneurship is about solving problems. The greatest opportunities often arise at the toughest times, and that’s been my experience throughout my entrepreneurial journey. My business focus is global health care and the provision of universal access to life saving medicine; however, my responsibility as an entrepreneur is greater than simply delivering value to shareholders. Wealth creation can be a catalyst for change, and all entrepreneurs have a responsibility to the world around them and the communities in which they operate. Women also play a hugely important role in economic development, and for too long their contribution has been ignored. It’s important that we use the platform of EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year to encourage more women to participate in entrepreneurial pursuits. I’m truly honored to receive this prestigious award.”

Carmine Di Sibio, EY Global Chairman and CEO, says, “Entrepreneurs are the unstoppable visionaries who inspire innovation and fuel growth and prosperity by building remarkable companies and services. Kiran’s passion to develop low-cost, cutting-edge pharmaceutical alternatives has brought affordable health care to patient communities all around the world. Her drive to innovate has created huge growth for Biocon Limited and helped diversify the company’s portfolio of therapies for chronic diseases. Kiran is a truly inspiring EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year winner.”

Stasia Mitchell, EY Global Entrepreneurship Leader, says, “With an exceptional record in creating long-term value, Kiran’s clear vision of making a difference to the lives of millions of people around the world make her a worthy EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year winner. Her impact on improving global health access and affordability will endure for decades to come. She is a beacon for other entrepreneurs to follow.”

About Dr. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and Biocon Limited
A first-generation entrepreneur, Kiran graduated as a Master Brewer from a brewing school in Australia and returned to her native India in 1975 to find work as a brew master. After two years of unsuccessfully trying to overcome the hurdles of entering a male-dominated brewing industry, Kiran started Biocon Limited, producing bio-industrial enzymes in the garage of her rented house in Bengaluru, India. A year later, Biocon became the first Indian company to export enzymes to the US and Europe.

Now, Biocon and its subsidiaries are the pioneers in areas less frequented by Indian pharmaceuticals companies, including fermentation-based small molecules, human insulin and insulin analogs, biosimilars for key antibody drugs, novel therapies, and high-end contract research services. With customers in over 120 countries, the company is a world leader in biosimilars and APIs for statins, immunosuppressants and other specialty molecules. In 2014, Biocon was India’s first biotech company to go public and only the second Indian company to pass the US$1b mark on its first day of listing. The company’s market capitalization is currently over US$4b.

Biocon is also leading the way on universal access to affordable life-saving medicine. For example, in September 2019, the company announced that it would supply rh-insulin at less than US$0.10 per day (for the average 40 units of insulin required per patient per day) to low- and middle-income countries — less than a third of current rh-insulin prices. The company has supplied more than 2 billion affordable doses of biosimilar insulins to patients globally in the last 15 years.

Compassionate capitalism that addresses inequality is at the center of Kiran’s business and leadership philosophy. Founded in 2004, the Biocon Foundation provides basic health care, sanitation and early diagnosis and treatment of common cancers and non-communicable diseases to marginalized communities. Kiran has also been an angel investor for numerous successful health care startups in areas such as affordable breast cancer screening, chemotherapy determination, and low-cost warming devices for premature and low-birth-weight babies. The Mazumdar Shaw Center for Translational Research, a nonprofit research institute established by Kiran and dedicated to developing scientific breakthroughs for treating a wide range of human diseases, has also developed several advanced yet affordable cancer diagnostics. In 2016, Kiran signed The Giving Pledge, committing 75% of her wealth to philanthropy and giving back.

360 Magazine, 360, Vaughn Lowery, Bouquet of Hope

MAP’s Bouquet of Hope

As India has been on lockdown for 66 days Abhishek Poddar, Founder of India’s Museum of Arts and Photography (MAP), has spent his time trying to bring the world together – digitally.

Over 1000 flowers have been submitted from around the world to MAP’s Bouquet of Hope. Some were drawn or painted, others photographed their garden or a motif from fabric. Flowers — symbols of courage, love, and life — are messages we all need now more than ever.

For his parents 25th wedding anniversary in 1989, MAP Founder Abhishek Poddar surprised them with an art installation of 25 flowers. Well-known artists from India created a single flower, one for each year of his parents’ married life together, in the artist’s own inimitable style. Each image reminds them of a fond moment, “at times like these, we hold on to precious memories – of family times, of challenges we managed to overcome, of personal journeys we ventured on” said Abhishek. That’s why Abhishek was inspired to build the world’s largest Bouquet of Hope.

Flowers can still be submitted here. You can also use the site to send a loved one a free virtual bouquet made from your favorite flowers (for their Birthday, Father’s Day or any other special occasion). Use #BouquetofHope and tag @MAPBangalore when posting on social media channels.

360 magazine, Vaughn Lowery, Bouquet of Love

Artist: Djena Sunawala

360 magazine, Vaughn Lowery, Bouquet of Love

Artist: Vinita Chaitanya

360 magazine, Vaughn Lowery, Bouquet of Love

Artist: Jay Levenson

About MAP
The Museum of Art & Photography (MAP) is a new museum being built in Bangalore, the Silicon Valley of India. It will be among India’s very first major private art museums, with a goal to share India’s artistic heritage while also igniting a new modern museum culture. MAP connects India’s past, present, and future by showcasing historical artifacts alongside modern and contemporary works, folk art, textiles, painting, sculpture and photography. The MAP collection currently has more than 18,000 works ranging from the 12th Century to the present day. The first 7000 objects and the first six million dollars were donated by Abhishek Poddar.

 

Fifi’s New Song Kudi Lit Vey

Viral music artist Fifi releases urban Desi hit, “Kudi Lit Vey” with producer Byg Bird.

Listen Here: http://lnkfi.re/KudiLitVey

As of late, the upcoming international recording artist, Fifi, unleashes a new Urban Desi track, “Kudi Lit Vey.” The singer partnered with renowned hip-hop Bollywood producer, Byg Byrd, for a new spin on what it means to stay “lit.” In the music video, Fifi grabs our attention in the first scene making a TikTok dance to her song but leaves shortly after for a night out with the girls. The video reminds viewers that they are still powerful during quarantine.

Fifi is an independent artist who gained her initial following on Tok Tok and now has nearly one million followers on the platform, otherwise known as the “Fifi Fam.” She released her first single, “New York Di Kudi,” with Bollywood producer, Deep Jandu, this past November. The video has garnered over 700K views and featured on multiple South Asian music networks and radio stations. Fifi recently caught major press for her women’s rights initiative with her latest single, Mera Jism Meri Marzi, including Pakistan’s Diva Magazine and The Tribune Edit.

Follow Fifi:

YouTube | Facebook | TikTok | Instagram | Twitter