UWC Mahindra College monthly newsletter

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Head of College's message

Dear Community,

It will soon be May Day when, every year, all over the world, millions of workers lay down tools whilst tens of thousands of students take up arms ready to face a few weeks of intense academic toil completing their IB examinations. In a UWC this is immediately followed by an emotional farewell, farewell to friends who have shared an unforgettable experience and farewell to a place, which has become home for two years.


Thanks to Anis Mebarki (alumnus) and Aimable Mugara (alumnus) for their donations to the Scholarship Endowment Fund.

UWC Mahindra College makes donating easy through their online donation form on the website.

To make a donation.

Thank you!

Reminiscing with the Pioneers

The Pioneers’ Year Book 1997-1999

The opening of the MUWCI of India in September 1997…… hum~!

What's new?

I am delighted to announce the following appointments for the 2012 - 13 academic year. 

GAP year developments

Dear MUWCI alumni,

Greetings from the hill! We are writing in order to inform you about some changes that we are making to our gap year programme structure and to see how you might be able to be a part of it!

Student profile

Maria Victoria Venezuela Class of 2012

Favourite quote: “It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.” - Gabriel García Márquez

Hobbies: Writing, walking, hiking, swimming

Languages: Spanish, English & a little French

Why did you choose UWC Mahindra College?: Out of all the options, I thought if I was going to have a UWC experience it should be the furthest away from what I had experienced up until now. I had finished school before I came here and I wanted to do something not only academic (as I already had my high school diploma) before going to college but also learn English, mixing the cultural exchange with the language.

Alumni Profile

Malika graduated from UWC Mahindra College in 2001 and completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Chicago in Public Policy. She then won a Fulbright Fellowship and went to the Dominican Republic to study MicroFinance.

INC weekend

Almost a month after the INC selection weekend, the campus awaits the final list of Indian students who will be joining us next year.

Buried Moon Theatre

Greetings friends, friends of friends or UWC alumni with a social conscience!


In less than a month we will be packing up our puppets and our skills as Community Theatre practitioners and researchers and heading to India…

The Gomukh Organic Farmer’s Market

Gomukh farm is part of the GORUS farming cooperative that promotes organic farming in the Kolvan valley of Maharashtra, India. A number of students from the college walk down to work here on a weekly basis, and have been doing so for over a year now.

Reflections from visiting UWCSEA students

Guiding questions:

How did you find out about UWC?
How did you apply?
How was the feeling of getting accepted?
Why did you decide to come to India for project week?
How did UWC change your life?
What are the differences between UWCSEA and UWC Mahindra College?
Relate your experiences in Project Week and how do you feel about it?


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Head of College's message

Dear MUWCI Community,

I am spellbound by my new home. The beauty and potential of this unique UWC, poised on a hill, home to a typically exceptional group of people, overlooking valleys inhabited by rural communities with life circumstances so different to our students, wrestling with the paradoxes of our human condition, and I am in India! In January I arrived in the eye of a storm;  centre stage, mid performance, a theatre “in-the-round”, closely observed, I found a seat.

INC weekend

Once again its time for the INC weekend! Three days of the year during which the UWC Mahindra College community and the Indian National Committee (INC) work intensively together to select the Indian students who will join us in August 2012.

Speeding up

The video below will give you some idea of the pace of life on campus these last 2 months!! Things were so hectic we didn't even manage to send out the February newsletter (sorry for this!) as it coincided with our Travel Week and everyone ran off for 10 days to get some Indian experiences that our isolated campus does not allow.

For what its worth...

A critique of the offerings in this year’s Theatre Season.....

I’m not a theatre critic and not much given to reading critics either.  However, it seems only fair, after so much work and dedication by so many, that some written feedback should be forthcoming, hence these appreciative reviews. There is criticism here too, though, because one important feature of the theatre season is its potential as a learning ground: an active forum of questioning, skill development and creative experiment. Theatre Season this year was better than it’s ever been. Fifteen productions took place over the course of a packed month of plays and the variety of offerings took in everything from psychodrama to community theatre, from the experiential to the experimental and from classic high drama to improvisation competitions. Especially impressive this year was the amount of plays written by students themselves and the smooth interaction of this huge event with the ongoing academic life of the college – completion of TOK, EE and World Literature papers all due at around the same time. This bears witness to the dedication of students and the appreciation by faculty of the value of this tradition at this college. Long may it continue to be the unique and powerfully enriching festival of creativity, humour, challenge and vision that it has become.

Benedict Clark
Head of Aesthetics

Aman - theatre season 2012

Aman’s show fell into three distinct parts. The first of these was delivered by a rather stiff character, wearing evening dress and a mask.

The General - theatre season 2012

What a tour de force!  

La Casa De Bernarda Alba - theatre season 2012

Arriving at La Casa the audience is confronted by a wake outside the door of Wada 1 House 3.  This was surprisingly affecting.  

Bricks - theatre season 2012

Fernanda has cleverly constructed a dark ‘murder mystery’ psychodrama about a suicide, which is entirely suffused with guilt and regret, as, character by character, the truth is revealed to us in a series of family confessions.  

Dogtooth - theatre season 2012

The directors of ‘Dogtooth’ transferred a film onto the stage, which is an awkward move and a difficult challenge. The camera has a different intensity, intimacy and a different sense of time. 

The Selfish Rakshas - theatre season 2012

This year’s Theatre Season had an unusual opening: an Oscar Wilde adaptation whose main stars were not UWC Mahindra College students, but 32 nine graders from a local school in Asade, a village 3 km from the campus. 

Fight or Flight - theatre season 2012

The proof of this will be in the feedback that comes from the participants, because this was not theatre for an audience, but an interactive role-play exercise attempting to force a new immediacy of experience in relation to the issue of dispossession and refugees.

Response - theatre season 2012 - the other side of humanity

Inspired by the International Red Cross Organization, MUWCI's first all-night refugee simulation theatre project, "Fight and Flight",  was carried out on 17 of February 2012. Students and faculty were exposed for 12 hours to the elements in the school’s large Biodiversity Reserve, human bureaucracy, discrimination, absurdity and the sense of not knowing what could happen next. Twenty three participants were assigned the roles of refugees along with twenty five actors and crew, complete with roles such as border policemen, bureaucrats, rebels and humanitarian workers.

Clara, an actress playing the role of a co-refugee, accounts for her experience:
The other side of humanity
Darkness.Solitude. Mistrust. I never imagined the power of acting could have such an impact on me. Putting myself in the situation of a refugee together with many of my good friends, I ended up feeling alone and desperate. We were a group of illegal immigrants, trying to cross the border from "Arumland" to "Babistan" at night, through what were our well-known surroundings but became unrecognizable and mysterious roads. The trust between us became threatened as we were standing inline for hours, filling papers in an unknown language, trying to bribe police officers in vain, walking aimlessly in the dark. The simulation lasted for more than 8 hours, through which I had to stay in character but at the same time remind myself of reality.

I was overwhelmed by the feelings that came to me as I went deeper inside my character; suddenly the insults of the police officers had a true impact on me and my real feelings became those of the refugee I was pretending to be. Some of the participants abandoned the idea of acting, maybe because it implied facing the fact that what they were going through could have been a real-life situation. The confusion was growing deeper in my head as I was separated from my peers,''attacked by rebels'', taken into an isolation place and ''abused''.At some point, I was so depressed and into my character that I lost the sense of reality and wondered about the possibility of other people actually having to face such traumatic experiences.

Finally,once I was directed towards a refugee camp, and as I began to regain hope, all my expectations were destroyed. I was hoping to see solidarity between the people, all working together, helping and caring for each other. But I saw none of that, rather the contrary. I noticed that my own friends, when put in this extreme situation of desperation for shelter and food, disregarded any suffering external to them. They were driven by their survival instinct and searched for individual protection, prioritizing their needs before those of others. Though making myself believe that it was only a simulation,deep inside I knew that I was looking straight into the selfish nature of a human being, and that I had no choice but to face it.

Written by Mark, Emilie and Clara
Photograph Sreedevi and edited by Mark

Shadow Liberation - theatre season 2012

Thanks to Evan Hastings and the students of Shrishti College Bangalore for stopping off on their tour to Pune to spend an evening with us. 

Antigone - theatre season 2012

What a wonderful play – a tragedy, a critique of tragedy and a comedy all in one. I didn’t know it in advance, and so was startled by the effectiveness of its murder mystery aspect - something this production emphasised by its setting and style. 

Lettres d’Amour - theatre season 2012

To the repeated strains of “La Vie En Rose”, Margot’s edited and adapted romantic comedy had us seated for half an hour in something of a boutique theatre, MUWCI style.  The director had taken care to provide carpeted seating areas and a cinema layout.

Trial of my Mind - theatre season 2012

A late entrant into the Theatre Season this year, Trial of My Mind certainly proved its worth.  And this was interesting timing too, because with TOK presentations and essays looming, this play attacked the question of a case of ‘inaccurate memory’.  

12 Angry Men - theatre season 2012

Despite threatening to be renamed ‘11 awkward men’, this production had a confident sense of where it was going from the start. Combining inventive staging and sensitive direction, it was a very convincing piece of work, and a tribute to a good-natured teamwork rare in this age group.  

9 Parts of Desire - theatre season 2012

Without much sense of irony, “9 Parts of Desire” focuses on the lives of some women caught in Iraq at the time of Sadam Hussain’s fall.  It aims, apparently, to give the audience a sense of the brutalization of individual lives in the tumult of a confused war. However, written by an American Iraqi, it was difficult for this viewer not to conclude in places that the piece was, essentially, veiled propaganda.  

Letters from 91 - theatre season 2012

Letters from 91

What they said about themselves.......

As the spring of 1991 sets in, the Himalayan snow begins to melt and the waters of the river Jhelum gain momentum. 

Impro Luchas - theatre season 2012

Just in case Theatre Season should pass by untouched by the world of glamorous hype and celebrity culture, Impro Luchas was here to make up for it. 

Parent profile

Marie, mother of Emil Class of 2013

Marie and her daughter Ella visited the college during the month of February and were lucky to spend a week here with Emil, visiting classes, eating in the caf, taking part in theatre week, and watching the sunset over the hill. 

Student Profile

Zibusiso - Zimbabwe Class of 2012

Favourite quote: "What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." Albert Pike

Alumni profile

Neha India Class of 2007

Neha is from Pune and considered MUWCI a home within a home in her years here. She graduated in 2007 and went on to obtain a combined degree in Earth and Space Sciences in Germany, specializing in environmental physics and ranking amongst the President’s list of outstanding academicians.

Urus celebrations


On 8 February 2012, the village of Chikhalgaon began their annual Urus celebrations. The Urus is a festival held in every village in most parts of Maharashtra. It is a collective effort by the whole village where every family contributes to the organisation of the festival. The Urus consists of religious discourses and entertainment for the people in the village and neighbouring villages.

Kisses for sale....

'Kisses For Somalia' was a Valentine's mini-fundraiser, part of the 'Somalia Project', which consisted of raising money and sending it to the International Red Cross of Somalia on behalf of UWC Mahindra College by end of April. 

When I close my eyes all I can see are boulders and chalk

In March 2012, twenty-three climbers from across the community embarked on a bouldering trip to Karnataka. A world heritage centre containing an infinite supply of boulders, Hampi really is an ideal setting for climbers of all abilities.