Every school has that one feature that is seen to be “striking” which ensures it stands out from the rest of them. It perhaps even gives them an identity. Billabong High’s unique feature and event is undoubtedly the Annual Arts Fest. Since 2015, it has been the single most successful event to be held in the school, and has increased in prominence with every passing year. The idea behind the Arts Fest is to create a “humanities haven” in Billabong where Arts students, as a minority, have a platform to explore the varying and eye-opening strengths of History, Sociology, Travel and Tourism, Global Perspectives, and Geography through a range of activities. This includes small-scale events such as charades, speeches, and quizzes, to the intense debates, poetry recitations, and of course, the iconic rap battle at the very end.
This year’s event was on the theme “Ages of Revolution,” where both students and teachers dressed up as characters from differing revolutionary ages, including the French Revolution, waves of feminism, and even the feudalistic era. After weeks of planning and overcoming tedious obstacles, we began the event with a speech that highlighted the significance of Humanities, both as individuals and as a school, for refinement of the world. The BHIS Humanities Department was also proud to inaugurate its blog and magazine — the one which you are perusing today — called Invictus, meaning unconquered.
This was followed by the quiz and charades, where students from grade 9 to 12 faced questions that were a combination of all Humanities subjects at once. A mix of the simplest and trickiest questions surely held the mood in the school hall, which was magnificently decorated with canvases of historical eras that matched perfectly with the hanging fairy lights and dyed cloth from the ceiling.
A good hour or so of quiz and charades called for a break, during which we lined up to take photos and polaroid pictures of our costumes, as well as to prepare for the more energetic events up ahead. With renewed vigour, we returned to the fest with the next event: poetry recitation, with the topic being “women and labor,” during which students delivered heartfelt poems regarding the hardships women face as laborers. A few tears were spotted in the audience as well! With tough competition, 3 places were awarded to well deserving participants, making poetry perhaps the most prized activity of the day. Then, lunch was served at last — a huge thank you to the caterers that filled the void in our tummies!
After this event was the debate, during which our best debaters came up on stage and presented various arguments regarding the statement: “Is Communism practical?” This broad topic displayed several opinions on the popular notion of Communism and Socialism that many of us seem to be sharing memes about. The competitive mood amplified further with the next event, impromptu speaking, which displayed a considerable amount of talent. Students imitated characters — one participant almost fell off the stage during her impersonation!
The day came to an end with the epic Rap Battle. Now let me state a thing or two about Billabong and rap battles. The infamous rapping came into being in 2015, and since then we have never missed the chance of showing off the “rap god” skills. Thus, as expected, it was a blast with Hitler rapping against Putin, Blackbeard and Maynard hitting off some verses, and Karl Marx and a millennial dissing each other. We surely couldn’t have had a better end to Ages of Revolution, which in turn became a pretty revolutionary day itself.