Sight and Sound are the most powerful of senses bestowed to us. They catch our attention & our imagination to transport us in a world where we are our own creators. At the end its all about feeling & living the impact. And there’s nothing better than an interdisciplinary exhibition curated by Sumangala Damodaran, designed by Sudhanva Deshpande, and animated by Shaaz Ahmed that delivers this loud and clear. If Music wasn’t powerful enough as a medium to drive the message add to it the force of Art and Animation and what you get is People’s Music in ways reconstucted through community, conflicts and music
If you walked into the Defence Colony building that day you would have been transported into a remote yet vibrant corner of our country where folk music engulfs you with such warmth that you feel the vibes. It cant be ignored. The ample and loud display of old loud speakers makes you feel that its wanting to be heard.
You walk down the stairs and everywhere you see is the effort – an effort to bring to life this unique amalgamation of arts intertwined with music. Rustic perhaps , crude and in your face – sure, rough sometimes- maybe but then these are what hold its appeal in the true sense. As you move from one story to another there’s a sense of a strong undercurrents in every corner and you really cant differentiate if its the music or the visual arts that call it out.
Held from 28th April to 6th May 2018 the event began with a special preview of “People’s Music: A Reconstruction” for a select few people on 27th April 2018.The evening included a phenomenal music performance by scholar and musician Sumangala Damodaran. The preview was followed by a weekend of exciting performances by scholars, artists, and performers around the role of resistance in the arts today. Through this exhibition, SAF is exploring the processes that go into interdisciplinary collaboration through an exhibition of the notes, archival animated footage, and photographs that constituted ‘People’s Music’ itself.
And as Smriti Rajgarhia, Director, Serendipity Arts Foundation, says “We are delighted to bring a version of “People’s Music- A Reconstruction” to Delhi. It’s thrilling to work with such talented curators once again and explore the diverse elements that inspired the inception of the project while creating a special space for conversation, performance, and dialogue around People’s Music in India.”
The exhibition also included a weekend of interesting programmes. There was an interactive stop-motion demo-workshop on 28th April, by animation film director Shaaz Ahmed, which included learning the art of basic stop-motion animation with clay, paint etc. and was attended by various colleges, institutes and young artists. SAF also hosted an interesting conversation between Dr. Shubha Chaudhury (Associate Director General at the Archives and Research Centre for Ethnomusicology) and Dr. Sumangala Damodaran (economist and musician) about the multiple interpretations of ‘the people’ through music through recent history and varied contexts, which was followed by a conversation between Amitesh Grover (theatre and new media artist) and Sudhanva Deshpande (theatre-person and publisher) about theatre, politics, and the pleasures and perils of performing on the streets in India today. The weekend programme concluded with a hard-hitting performance by street theatre group Jana Natya Manch, on violence against women.
Off the people, by the people and for the people is what this truly symbolises. We have heard of movements that came out of need for social reforms and justice. We have seen how people have come together to support causes that are about welfare and upliftment, about equality and fairness. Even if its just a start this People’s Music certainly will get counted as one in times to come.
Next time in a metropolitan street if you come across a container with inviting looks and seductive music that is yearning to be heard, if it draws you in and moves you so strongly that you feel one and connected with the thousands out there in their respective regions deem it as hearts beating in unison for its the People’s Music Reconstructed all over again courtesy the Serendipity Arts Foundation
About Serendipity Arts Foundation : Serendipity Arts Foundation [SAF] is a Munjal initiative for creativity. The Foundation acts as a platform to promote new creative strategies, artistic interventions and cultural partnerships. It aims to support dialogues that are responsive to social, cultural and environmental issues in innovative ways. Committed to innovation, SAF seeks to support and create opportunities for the arts, propelling unique cultural and historical sources of information and knowledge for modern and contemporary art and culture. Serendipity Arts Festival is a multi-disciplinary arts Festival organized by the Foundation, held annually in December, Goa, which is curated by a panel of eminent artists and institutional figures and spans the visual, performing and visual arts. The third edition of the Festival will be held on 15-22 December 2018.
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