Junoon's Mumbai Local: 'My Journey's With Kabir' with Shabnam Virmani

Kitab Khana

Many of us feel some fracture within, and much of life's journey and the choices we make are propelled by the impulse to heal that fracture. Ask Shabnam Virmani about her journey with Kabir and she responds, "the lack of peace inside propels you to fix the lack of peace outside. This, and then there was the convent-education that left "a deep emptiness inside". And so began her forays into rural areas, language cultures and music spaces - a journey that has not only given us her films, but also sparked the Kabir Project at Srishti, the Mumbai-based Kabir Festival, and the Kabir Yatras through different parts of rural India. In their own way, each of these seeks to explore, share and celebrate the spiritual and social discourse offered - even demanded - by the mystic poets, as a way to address strife and discord in our worlds.

On behalf of Junoon, we are delighted to welcome Shabnam Virmani - filmmaker, writer, singer, seeker, storyteller - to Mumbai Local, to give us a glimpse into her journey with Kabir. This glimpse will take us through rural India as a site of creativity, insight and joy; through the power of music and poetics to touch people across time and space; and through her own journey through multiple professions impelled by the music and words that spring from the source of Kabir and the mystic poets.

Please join us on Friday for an evening replete with anecdotes, song, film clips and readings, and a compelling story of our contemporary connections with the mystic poets.

Curated by The Kabir Festival and Sameera Iyengar
RSVP for this session begins on Monday 13th January, 2020.

Shabnam Virmani initiated the Kabir Project journeys in 2002 and has since been exploring the philosophy of Kabir and other mystics through a deep engagement with their oral folk traditions. Her inspiration and joy in this poetry and its wisdom has taken the shape of 4 documentary films and a digital archive called Ajab Shahar, singing and performing, translation and writings, research and curations, urban festivals and rural yatras and more recently, infecting students with the challenge and wonder of mystic poetry. All this as part of her work as artist in residence at the Srishti Institute of Art, Design & Technology in Bangalore where the Kabir Project is housed. Earlier she has worked on gender issues through journalism, video and radio work in the community. Her film Kabira Khada Bazaar Mein won the Special Jury Prize at the 52nd National Awards in 2011, and the work of the Kabir Project was given the Sadbhavana Award for contributing to inter-faith understanding by Shri Morari Bapu and Vishwagram Trust in Gujarat in 2016. She has co-authored two books 'I Saw Myself: Journeys with Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai' and 'One Palace, a Thousand Doorways: Songlines through Bhakti, Sufi & Baul Oral Traditions' with colleague Vipul Rikhi, and is currently working on a third book 'Burn Down Your House: Life Lessons from Kabir'. She also curates, interprets and sings a diverse repertoire of folk songs of the mystics to very local rural audiences as well as urban, global ones.


કોઈને ઉપયોગી થવાની તક ના ખોવી -ક.જે. સોમૈયા