An exhibition entitled ‘Women on Record’, celebrating the music of women in early 20th century India began at Jawahar Kala Kendra on Sunday. Curated and designed by Parthiv Shah, the exhibition is an overview of the women who sang in the gramophone era, of the technology that evolved in the first half of the 20th century and the impact of these changes on the world of Indian music. The exhibition features a tapestry of archival images, contemporary photography of the Jalsaghar of that time. In addition, through a series of video interviews with artists, collectors and connoisseurs, some of whom even witnessed some of these soirees, created another world of stories and anecdotal experiences. Women on Record combined newer technologies with contemporary art practices in collaboration with artist communities traversing across film, photography, scenography, dance, theatre and music. The art practices came together to recreate the ambience of the gramophone era.
The inauguration was followed by a multimedia performance by Vidya Shah celebrating women singers in the gramophone era. The scripted performance involved narration, visuals and a concert to walk the audience through and experience the time and the challenges of women singers as well as their sense of enterprise including the diverse repertoire they brought into Indian music.
The ongoing Performing Arts Festival ‘Navras’, witnessed ‘Meet the Artist’ with Director, Deepan Sivaraman of Khasakkinte Ithihasam – The Legends of Khasak in conversation with Azim Premji Foundation Jaipur’s, Abhishek Goswami at JKK on Sunday.
Sivaraman said “It was a real test for me and the team to perform in front of a Non-Malayali audience”. The novel The Legends of Khasak by O.V. Vijayan which insprired the play is sacrosanct literature in Kerela. According to him, Malayali literature can be distinctly characterized by Before Khasak and After Khasak. Speaking on devising the concept of the play he said that he works on plays which are already on his mind. The village of Khasak is a powerful place with dominanting people. The people of Khasak, Hindus and Muslims, consider themselves descendants of the 1,000 horsemen who had come in times past. The plot explored all the myths of the land with a strong relationship between Nature – Ancestors. Deep and meaningful philosophies of togetherness, nature (flora and fauna), ancestors and a past, the people don’t want to let go of.