In 2019, during the early part of the first Agamishaala, I remember a moment on the first day, where Manish and Sonali (our expert co-creators) asked us to embody where we felt stuck. No words, just using our body to reflect our expression of our stuck-ness. Others in my small group were asked to playback what my ‘stuck’ expression felt like. Words like ‘over-stretched’ , ‘pulling apart’, were offered. And those descriptions felt right. On the last day, we were once again asked to embody where we felt we now were. This time, the group reflected that I was ‘standing taller’ (“did she grow taller in the last 3 days?”), there was “a lightness of being…”
It was a moment of a powerful realisation; that to change anything, the greatest agency lies within me. That my imagination and my courage were the key to advancing my work in transforming the justice systems. Something got unlocked that day. Others in the room were having the same realisation and suddenly it felt like we were all together at the heart of something. The heart, in many ways, of building the justice movement in India.
That really is why we do Agamishaala. And why we have been longing to bring back this space over the last two years. Just the times and what we have all been through made it a near-impossible task till now.
Today, all of us have been touched by deep pain and even anger. The inequities in our systems have been split wide open and how we move through the world may never be the same again. And so we feel the need for a space like this even more. Especially because for most leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators, this has become a great inflection point, maybe the great inflection point. In the words of a famous song:
A time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones
A time to gather stones together
To everything turn, turn, turn
There is a season turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose
And so, to step boldly into the emerging future, individually and collectively, whole again, we’ve embarked on Agamishaala 2021 with 30 wonderful Justicemakers reshaping their spaces within law and justice. There are a wide range of questions to explore before us: what does it take to build a movement? How can tech enable justice? What is the role every citizen can play? How do we build teams and ideas that will sustain beyond us? We hope that with Agamishaala we are able to hold space for each other to step back, reflect and draw from the strength and wisdom within the community.
As the Curator this year, I know that each person in the room offers a unique perspective to old and familiar problems. Innovators from legaltech, grassroots justice, dispute resolution, policy & research, media and big enterprises – all bound by the intent to lead together in a way that is inclusive, collaborative and powerful. Here we are, at the start of a journey that asks us to engage our whole heart, open our minds and bring our creativity and energy to play to shape how we move forward together. Because in how each of us evolves to our full potential, lies the future of the justice field as a whole.
Head here to meet the members of Agamishaala 2021.