Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Collective Expressions ..

The event on ‘Identity in Metroplex’ took place on 27-28th April 2009 in Vikas Maitri. Singing song of liberation तुम्हारे हाथ पत्थरो की तरह संगीन है, जेल में गाये गए गीतों की तरह उदास है ‘Tumhare haath paththaro ki tarah sangeen hai, jail mein gaaye gaye geeto ki tarah udaas hai’ (Your hand are strong and can cause a change) the mood of the topic was set. The song of Nazim Hikmat the turkish poet inspired to take efforts for freedom from bondage, exploited labour and lack of dignity. About Nazim Hikmat

Sriprakash, film maker - Art form is basically of two types in the context of present discussion, one of those who practice collective singing and music, and are not into profit making. The other art form is guided and controlled by capital interests. Mainstream art forms are in the dominated by the latter, capital interests.

There is need to work on how the collective singing and dancing amongst the adivasi communities are represented and given opportunity in the mainstream media and culture. Most of the mainstream cultural traditions are based in individual creativity and performance and hence when the adivasi cultural expressions are performed the hosts / producers overlook this collective endeavour.

In Jharkhand the traditional songs reached Akhra / Jatra, becoming a political voice in the Jharkhand movement and then now they have been taken over by Music casssette producers of Daily Market (in Ranchi). Now we have come to the stage of स्कूल के टाइम पे आजा गोरी डैम पे School ke time pe aaja gori Dam pe ..The song like कहाँ से लाऊँ मै छापा साडी Kahan se mai laoon Chhapa sari (From where should I bring printed Sari ..boy expressing to girl) reflects the aspirations developing in tribal youth.

Sunil Minj, freelance journalist said that it is very important to protect the tribal language otherwise the language will be die off. Only those languages have survived which have been used by people and has been scripted well. While it is difficult to maintain the dress and lifestyle as prevalent in the tribal rural forest heartlands from where we come, we all should make an effort to keep our language alive.

Efforts are required to interpret tribal identity on the basis of the commonality and the basic feature that our life values depict. This is what will be the distinctive feature which will bring us together.

Other opinions that were expressed were...

1. With focus on trying to retain identity let us not forget that we have to make space in the mainstream world, hence we should equip our children in such a manner through education and socialization that they are able to compete equally with other people.

2. Land is the basic identity of the adivasis. When land will be taken away by multinationals then how can we talk of separate tribal identity? Another New York will come up over the land of indigenous people.

3. Working on identity could be tricky idea too with the fascist interpretations being given by right wing forces. Sarna tradition is claimed by both the Church and Hindu forces to be close to the respective religious traditions. The topic is very vital to be discussed in the present context when the fundamentalist forces are on the rise.
Please CHECK Video Recordings on You Tube here and here. And send your responses.

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