Seminars Conceptualized And Curated By Manjari Chaturvedi

Undertsanding Qawwali Series – 5 Editions Of Seminars

  • Year 2019: Understanding Qawwali, Royal Opera House, Mumbai
  • Year 2017: Understanding Qawwali – The Poetic content and its social impact with regional sensibilities, India International Centre, New Delhi
  • Year 2015: Understanding Qawwali – The anthropology and social impact of the art-form of Qawwali, India International Centre, New Delhi
  • Year 2014: Understanding Qawwali – A Symposium exploring the plurality of the unified art-form, India International Centre, New Delhi
  • Year 2013: Understanding Qawwali – A symposium on the traditional art-form of Qawwali, India International Centre, New Delhi

“Understanding Qawwali”- The first of its kind symposium on Qawwali was organized by SKF in Delhi, which discussed Qawwali as a traditional Sufi art-form belonging to the Indian-subcontinent The symposium is an initiative that brought Qawwali, a traditional performing art, to the domain of serious academic discourse, bringing together artists, students, film makers and academicians on the same platform. Being organized in India’s national capital region it opens up options for a large number of visitors, scholars, students and music enthusiasts.. The symposium is an initiative that makes its research suitable and approachable for the new globalized world. The symposium through its lectures and discussions not only serves as an academic initiative, but caters to a large group of people who wish to absorb the traditional culture of India through film screenings and performances.

Women Performers Series – 3 Editions Of Seminars

  • Year 2019, Women Performers – India International Centre, New Delhi.
  • Year 2019, Tehzeeb-e-Tawaif – The Royal Opera House, Mumbai.
  • Year 2014, The Last Song of Awadh – Indira Gandhi Centre for Arts, New Delhi.

This seminar is an academic initiative to create awareness, preserve and promote the intangible cultural heritage of the erstwhile Tawaifs and the role of women performers in the shaping of the process of preservation and promotion of the intangible cultural heritage. The seminar through lectures and discussions will serve as an academic initiative, and will also introduce to the youth an alternative narrative about the brilliant women performers, about whom till now they have only heard derogatory words which are largely Bollywood driven.

The subject of courtesans in Indian history has not been much researched and documented. Critical scholarly work on courtesans emerged as late as the 1980s. The courtesans have been an integral part of the Indian society. Unfortunately, with interchangeable terms used for them from ‘courtesans’ to ‘nautch girls’ to ‘prostitutes’, these women seem to have come a long way, battered down at each stage with their performing art of music and dance greatly damaged.

It is the need of the hour to question and challenge the “disregard” towards these women artists and their traditions. We must think about this as a collective society and a project like this helps to shape up the collective conscience of the society.

The Last song of Awadh – A symposium and performance exploring the music and dance of Awadh in the Royal era of Nawabs featuring Zarina Begum, the Last Living Court Singer of Awadh. The symposium re-lived the courtesan and featured scholars, film makers and intrigued connoisseurs of music and also traditional performers and practitioners associated with music form of Ghazal and thumri gayaki.

It is important to focus on the performing arts of the courtesans with a multipronged approach of lectures, talks, discussions, photo documentations and actual live performances. And in view of the above, interactive platforms such as the three seminars became important as a sustained approach.