Monday, 10 September 2018

RePost - Punjab 2.1 Searching for Punjabiyat in two lands one people

Poetry, Politics, Song and Film
An afternoon dedicated to Punjabi identity, poetry, politics, song and film.


Audio & visual recorded on 31 May 2014 at the BFI Southbank, Blue Room.




Dr Virinder S Kalra discussed the importance of the radical filmmaker Ajay Bhardwaj’s work and the work of renowned Punjabi poet Surjit Patar amongst others. The artist and folk singer Sara Kazmi sang the poetry from one of the pioneers of modern Punjabi literature Najam Hossain Syed and of Bulleh Shah and Madhu Lal Hussain. Writer Kavita Bhanot read an excerpt from her novel in progress "Boulton Road vale Baba". The afternoon concluded with an audience discussion about the future of Punjabi culture chaired by the writer Kavita Bhanot.

Podcasts in order of presentation

Speaker : Sara Kazmi The poetry of Najam Husain Syed, Bulleh Shah and Madhu Lal Hussain

Speaker : Dr Virinder S Kalra Searching for Punjabiyat

Speaker : Kavita Bhanot “Boulton Road vale Baba” (working title) A short reading from a novel-in-progress. Set in 80’s and 90’s Handsworth, Birmingham, this is a fictional depiction of a dera community that gathers around a guru on 23 Boulton Road

Speakers : Sara Kazmi,Virinder S Kalra and Kavita Bhanot (Chair) Audience discussion



Camera and editing David Somerset

Kavita Bhanot grew up in London and lived for many years in Birmingham before moving to India where she directed an Indian-British literary festival and worked as an editor for India’s first literary agency. Kavita is a PhD student at Manchester University, and has Masters in Creative Writing and in Colonial and Post-colonial Literature, from Warwick University. She has had several stories published in anthologies and magazines, two of her stories have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4, and she is the editor of the short story collection Too Asian, Not Asian Enough (Tindal Street Press, 2011).

Sara Kazmi has been actively involved with street theatre and folk singing since the past four years. Based primarily in Lahore, the troupe she performs with has also toured rural parts of West Punjab, and has performed Punjabi plays in Ludhiana, East Punjab as well. Her interest in these activities is rooted in the desire for discovering new forms of cultural and aesthetic politics. She is currently pursuing a Masters in History at SOAS, University of London.

Dr Virinder S Kalra is a senior lecturer in Sociology at the University of Manchester with an interest in Punjabi culture and religion. He has written extensively on the Punjabi diaspora, especially on performative culture such as music and film. His latest book is Sacred and Secular Musics: A Postcolonial Approach (Continuum) which looks at the terrain of spiritual music in Punjab.

Event supported by the BFI The Punjab Restaurant & Peanut Photography

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