Halloween in India is a counter-cultural festival which came to exist with the popularity of pop culture. With growing understanding of cosplay and drag the idea of Halloween has been quite widely celebrated for the past few years. Drag culture has an interlined with celebrating the festival. For the west, Halloween becomes every first time when someone dresses up in drag. So for many, Halloween becomes a safe space to explore their gender expression. With the debate of its celebrations in India going on and off, spaces in India has been always open to accepting the idea of celebrating. Bhoota Chatusdashi an Indian festival is celebrated as equally as Halloween. So saying it as a western concept, we are somewhere not seeing our roots.
Keeping aside the idea of Indian and western, Indian spaces has always been celebrating the festival but due to COVID and the lockdown for 8 months, not many spaces came this year to open the doors. However, Drag artists in Hyderabad have seen Halloween as a perfect celebration to come back to public spaces with their performance following the new normality. On 29th October, Hyderabad Drag Club in collaboration with Mobbera foundation curated its first event after 8 months to celebrate the new normality of drag shows. The event was organized at the Sacred Earth Café, Madhapur.
The event saw a footfall of 100 people all of them wearing Masks and following social distancing. The café has been proactive in opening up the space for queer community especially Drag performances and claimed the idea to be included as an Queer friendly space. The event started with a share session by Tousif Ahmad followed by a drag show by Suffoacted art Specimen aka Patruni Sastry. The event followed by Drag performances of Karan, Ahalya aka Rishi and Shaik Madan from the Mobbera Foundation.
The special attraction of the event was Magic show by Mynu, Mynu has been bringing the idea of magic to Hyderabad with an innovative concept. His performance gave chills to the audience where he used his Mentalism technique to make it spooky. his performance included both comic and balanced it with some breathtaking magic. he uses scary props such as cotton made voodoo doll and blank paint to keep the audience to hook and ensure they take the aspects of horror with a fun way. Post his session he spread awareness of how magic is more technical and people should stop believing in superstitions and be self-aware.
The event followed a beatboxing performance by Rishab and a Metal song by Praneet from the Nations rock beat. By the end of the show, Patruni Sastry thanked both the venue provider and audience for coming together and making the event successful. As a closing note Vineeth, the co-founder of Sacred earth mentioned that the space is open for all and believes in celebrating aspects of Humanity with green food and life.