Comedians Vir Das and Asif Ali will perform stand-up comedy Thursday in the Buskirk-Chumley Theater. The performance is part of the IU Global Arts & Humanities India Remixed festival, which celebrates contemporary and global Indian art.
Both comedians focus on comparing cultures in their comedy routines and finding humor in American and Indian cultures, said Joe Hiland, Communications Specialist for the Arts & Humanities Council.
Vir Das released a Netflix special in 2017 called “Abroad Understanding,” which addresses both American and Indian audiences.
Hiland said he hopes jokes about both cultures will be a part of the performance. Indian audience members might understand jokes that Americans do not, which may lead to discussion afterwards, he said.
“And that might spark conversations that move beyond comedy to discussions about real cultural differences,” Hiland said.
India Remixed is bringing in comedians following comedian Joe Wong's performance in last year's China Remixed festival.
Ed Comentale, director of the Arts & Humanities Council, said the council wanted to bring in artists and performers who are aware of issues in the world and in the media. Moving past stereotypes would allow for more creative thinking about India and its impact on the world, he said.
Comentale said in this country, we tend to have an idea as to what cultures can do stand-up comedy.
“It’s really important to show IU, and IU students, that art forms that we typically think of as American or Western have roots and practices in other parts of the world,” he said.
Comentale said when we think of India, we tend to think of the dance, costume and food, but it’s important to show the rich traditions and other art and cultural forms India has, like stand-up comedy.
This is the second year the Arts & Humanities Council is presenting India Remixed. This year, the India theme reflects the international student population. There is a large population of Indian students on campus, Comentale said.
The council give students opportunities to experience the arts and humanities outside of the classroom, Hiland said. Students who may not have a career in the arts can still experience the arts through these events, he said.
Other events include a lecture from British-Indian artist Bharti Kher and an appearance by filmmaker Mira Nair.
Hiland saidstudents will be graduating into a globalized world. He said that the more students are exposed to different cultures, the easier it will be to interact with people from different backgrounds.
“We hope that some of the India Remixed events create opportunities for some of our Indian and other international students to interact with domestic students in ways that maybe they wouldn’t normally in the classroom,” he said.
The comedy show is free but ticketed and is currently sold out. However, there will be a line for those without tickets to take unclaimed seats. For more information about the show, visit the Buskirk-Chumley Theater website. For more information about the India Remixed festival, go to the IU Arts & Humanities website.
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