AVI - Auroville goes to Kazakhstan.
Programme of the conference
“Auroville – Experiment in Progress”
Realisation of Auroville's ideals from the creation of the city
till now - Present state of development - Next steps
Dates: May 24-27, 2007
First 3 days were at Sanatorium “Tau-Samal”, situated about 20-25 km from Almaty city, near pos. Beskainar (Gornyi Sadovod).
Day 1, May 24 – Introduction and the context of the Auroville experiment
11.30am: Introduction to the meeting –
12 noon: Opening address by the Head of UNESCO Almaty Cluster Office Ms. Tarja Virtanen. She began by introducing herself as had of cluster in Central Asia. Tarja, who has visited Auroville briefly (informal visit), described the main values and ideals of UNESCO and the reason why UNESCO has taken a supportive relationship to Auroville which shares common values and mission. She briefly mentioned many of the activities that UNESCO and Auroville have collaborated on since 1968 including UNESCO resolutions.
12.30 pm: Opening address by the Indian Ambassador to Kazakhstan – unfortunately this scheduled address could not happen.
12.30 pm: Opening address by the Director of Institute of Cultural Policy and Art Mr. Auezhan Kodar. He spoke briefly about the ways that Kazakhstan culture is rooted in inter-religious and intercultural tolerance and expressed the wish to learn more about Auroville and how collaboration may be fostered.
12.45 pm: Film “Dream of the Divine” – 30 min. Russian translation
1.15 pm: Auroville and India – Prof . Kittu Reddy. Kittu spoke about fundamentals of Indian Culture. He described the pioneering work of Sri Aurobindo who conceived of a harmonious world order and how Auroville was created in 1968 by The Mother as a possible solution to the problems of disunity in the world. The aspiration has existed across cultures and in ancient times in India. He spoke about the way the mind and reason have been elevated to the highest position yet this is insufficient to combat the problems which need essentially a change in consciousness. Auroville was created with the purpose to seek for perfection and unite with the Divine Consciousness, beyond religion, nationality or culture.
2 – 3pm Lunch break
3.00 pm Concepts of Steppe's Knowledge – Auezhan Kodar – gave a fascinating talk about the way that landscape affects consciousness, about some of the similarities that exist between India and Kazakhstan and about the traditional shamanistic ways that were close to nature.
Auroville – project of global relevance
15.30 Global context, International Networking, Auroville International Association – Kathy Walkling, Martin Littlewood- Kathy spoke (powerpoint pres) about Auroville's relationships to UNESCO, GOI, IAC, AVI, Auroville's outreach work especially in India, Foundational support and other more informal ways that Aurovill is networked as an International township in the making that needs the support of the world because it exists for the world. Martin followed on sharing his personal experience with AVI and what the work of the association is an how people may support Auroville from their home countries.
16.15 City the Earth needs – Why there needs to be a place like Auroville – Sergei Tretiakov. This address was in Russian and no translation was available in English
16.45 Film “The Genius of India” – 30 min.
17.15-17.30 Conclusion of the day.
Day 2, May 25 – Vision
9.30am This day was facilitated by Shivaya and about 20 – 30 visitors participated. The morning began with a concentration and the meeting was conducted in a round circle. After feedback from the previous day, we began with a round whereby Auroville visitors all introduced themselves and described why they came to Auroville.
11.30 – 1.00 Concept of Auroville as given by the Mother – Fundamental ideas of Auroville – Evolutionary context. – Prof. Kittu Reddy , talk 20-30 min followed by question/answers (Q/A) session with participation of Aurovilians.
13.00 – 14.30 Lunch break
14.30 Towards Human Unity
Short talk by Kittu Reddy on the concept (20 min), followed by sharing by Aurovilians of work towards this ideal that takes place in Auroville. This took the format of each Aurovilian expressing something of what it means to live aspiring to realise Human Unity and was followed by questions and discussion.
As there was a power cut, we conducted this session outside in the sun.
8pm Powerpoint presentation on Matrimandir facilitated by Amy.
Day 3, May 26 – Auroville Today
Amy facilitated this day and approx 50 visitors were present
10 – 11.30am Planning and development. Shivaya and Ruslan presented the general Aurofuture prepared powerpoint on Auroville which covers four Zones, Galaxy plan, bioregional development, farming, health care earth restoration etc. Due to time retstraints this presentation was cut short and questions were taken. General questions followed including how is land acquired, how does housing development happen, how do people move around, how is energy supplied, is industry enough to cover basic needs of everyone, what is the organisational structure, how are conflicts resolved, how is overall budget for city made? (responses to answers were all given in Russian).
11.30 Economy of Auroville; maintenance system; attempts towards no exchange of money; need to be self-sustainable – Amy Bassett. Amy described the basic principles of Auroville's economy using PowerPoint presentation and how there is a discrepancy between ideal and reality which is due to the state of consciousness not yet developed sufficiently. She also described the evolution of Auroville's economy and some of the experiments of developing in-kind economy and the aspiration to create a system of prosperity for all where basic needs are taken care of. This session was followed by many questions including how is social protection offered (eg repatriation, medical expenses etc),how much money is needed to come and live in Auroville, and how does PT actually function.
12.15 - 11.30 Principles of education in Auroville – schools, Centre of International Research in Human Unity – presentation, dialog – Prof. Kittu Reddy, Auroswaha Antoine, Sergei Treatiakov. Most of this talk was Prof Kittu Reddy speaking of the principles of education that The Mother gave and in practical terms what integral education actually means. Brief time was given for questions which included whether meditation was used in Auroville schools, how many children to a classroom, is there a curriculum, what about adult education?
13.00 – 14.30 Lunch break
Concept of the International Zone / National Pavilion – Ruslan Yeskendirov, Sergei Tretiakov (session was in Russian and no translation)
15.00 Auroville's technologies, inventions, experiments, research, environmental work over almost 40 years – presentation, dialog – Shivaya, With a powerpoint presentation prepared by CSR, the basics were described of the types of technologies that are being used, developed and applied in Auroville.
15.00 Auroville International (AVI):Kathy Walkling, Martin Littlewood, Camille Eggar, Elizabeth Edema
This was an informal interaction with people (approx 15) who were interested to know more about the AVI association and how it is functioning and how they may become involved. They were referred to Nurlan and Kaisha in Kazakhstan as local liaisons. Guidelines for establishing new liaisons were provided. In terms of upcoming programs, information was given about upcoming meeting in Montreal and 2008 in Auroville for 40 th birthday. The possibility of creating exhibitions on Auroville in different countries was mentioned.
15.45 How to come to Auroville - Entry process and newcomer period, conditions for coming to Auroville, work in Auroville, housing, visiting Auroville, volunteer's Andre Deplechin, and Amy Bassett. Andre as a member of the Entry Service described in detail the entry process today including housing, costs, monitoring during newcomer period. Amy shared some of her personal experience as a newcomer. This was followed by an open panel – question regarding life, work, and personal experiences in Auroville. Some questions included the difference between a newcomer and Aurovilian, the weather, volunteering possibilities, the necessity of English.
6.30pm A concert was given by a traditional group of musicians including a presentation about the features of traditional Kazakh music which is seen as a modality to connect to the higher realms. The concert was fascinating and beautiful an very much appreciated by all present.
Day 4, May 27 – Public Day:
This day was a public event – invitations were posted in 12 different universities around the city and was open to all. The venue was an old music hall in Almaty city. The hall we set up as it was on previous days with display of posters on Auroville in Russian, products from Auroville, books and display material. About 20 people who had not come to previous days were in attendance – mostly young people
10.30 Introduction to Auroville – Sergei (in Russian)
11.00 General presentation on Auroville using Power point presentation (52 images) – Ruslan and Sergei
11.45 Auroville group introduced themselves – name, where they came from, years in Auroville and what they do there.
12 – 1pm Open question and discussion session with all present.
Official close of meeting
14.00 – Lunch with participants – banquet and nearby traditional Kazakh restaurant generously provided by Ruslan from Moscow.
Organiser of the conference:
Address: ul. Zhanbyla 49, ? .2, Karaganda city, Kazakhstan.
Tel/fax : +7(3212)562922 .
Guests of the conference :
A group of approx . 15 people from Auroville International Township, from some Auroville International Centres and prof. Kittu Reddy from Sri Aurobindo International Educational Centre (Puducherry).
Tel: 8-3272-788520 ; 8-700-9106367.
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