Singer and artist-in-residence at the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore, Shabnam Virmani is coming to the coastal town. Inspired by the inclusive spirit of folk music, she will perform a wide repertoire of folk songs of mystic poets, along with interpretations of poetry and a curation titled ‘Jhini Jhini Jhini’ at Adishakti Laboratory for Theatre Arts and Research in Auroville on Sunday at 7 p.m.
Stung by the religious riots of Gujarat in 2002, she initiated the Kabir Project journeys in quest of the 15th Century mystic Kabir, exploring how his poetry intersects with ideas of identity, religion, nationalism, impermanence and morality.
In a press release issued by Adishakti Laboratory for Theatre Arts and Research, it stated that inspired by the spirit of Bhakti, Sufi and Baul oral traditions, the Kabir Project team has now been engaged for over 15 years in curating and re-expressing the power of this poetry through documentary films, music CDs, books, urban festivals, rural yatras, school workshops and a Web archive called Ajab Shahar.
In her earlier work, Shabnam co-founded the Drishti Media Arts and Human Rights Collective in Ahmedabad in 1990, and worked for over a decade with social activist and grassroots women’s groups in creating several video films and community radio programmes.
The work of the Kabir Project was given the Sadbhavana Award in Gujarat in June 2017 for contributing to inter-faith understanding in the country. Shabnam’s films on the women’s movement and Kabir have won several awards, including the Special Jury Prize at the 52nd National Awards in 2010 for her film Kabira Khada Bazaar Mein.
Inspired by the inclusive spirit of folk music, Shabnam took up playing the five-stringed tambura herself and performs a wide repertoire of folk songs of mystic poets.
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