THE Qawwali PROJECTS
An initiative to archive and preserve the form of Qawwali and work towards the spiritual music associated with Sufism.
THE QAWWALI PROJECT (Year 2011): An initiative to archive and preserve the form of Qawwalli and work towards the spiritual music associated with Sufism. The project is on the social impact as well as the syncretic traditions of the art form of Qawwali an integral part of Sufi music in the Indian Subcontinent, which is part of the living history of the diverse cultures in India. The collective and individual issues that are being dealt with in this are: Qawwali, not just as a traditional art form but as a cultural symbol to rightfully represent the essence of ‘unity in diversity’ of India. The unifying aspect of Qawwali, which is part of the living history of the diverse cultures in India. Special emphasis on the regional Sufi traditions and its impact on the form of Qawwali. Qawwali is increasingly becoming a de-centered art form no longer limited only as a part of the religious institutions and the Khanqahs. A kinship-oriented form – and the impact of modern times on the preservation of the form. Under this project 5 editions of seminars have also been held in New Delhi and Mumbai, that have been discussed under the head of seminars.
THE QAWWALI MEHFIL: Curated by Manjari Chaturvedi, Qawwali performances of Khanqahi Qawwals in its traditional form, with a narrator leading the audiences through the music with historical references and stories associated with the popular Qawwalis sung. These performances are an ode to the rich legacy and tradition of music and it traces the histories associated with the music. The raw spirituality of mystical voices from the Sufi Shrines and their stories narrated on stage all woven into one big experience for the listeners. The popularity of Qawwali has always touched the hearts of people and became an integral part in the music of Hindi cinema. It’s not only the tradition that is explored, it is a whole experience of the search for the Divine through music and moves into the realms of spirituality. The perfect setting. The perfect concept. Mystical, Otherworldly, Ethereal, yet real.
THE QAWWALI PHOTO PROJECT: An initiative conceptualized and curated by Manjari Chaturvedi where the untold story of Qawwali unfolds through the eyes of photographers. The practitioners are photo-documented with their performance art, their lives and their association with the Sufi shrines where they perform. With this project, we seek to bring forth interesting perspectives as captured through their minds and lenses, with respect to the cultural and social dimensions of the art form that unfold like pages from a visual story. As part of the project, an online photography exhibition by Dinesh Khanna, Leena Kejriwal and Mustafa Quraishi explores the art form through the power of images as a means of expression and communication. The images of the Qawwali practitioners are uniquely shot amidst the people in an organic, non commercial set up.