Monday, February 23, 2009

Movie DVDs & Audio CDs

The Movie DVDs

The Audio Cds

The DVDs and CDs are being sold at all Screening Venues (23rd-26th Feb) and will also be available during the main festival event (27th Feb-1st Mar).

For more information

Friday, February 20, 2009


The festival poster to be seen at multiple locations in Bangaluru.

Festival Events & Run-up Events

The festival will take place at Sophia High School, 70 Palace Road, Bengaluru from Feb 27 to March 1. All events are free but entry to the live music concerts are against passes (free).

The run-up to the Kabir festival, to be held between February 23 and 26, consists of multiple events in geographically dispersed locations. Community concerts will take place in some suburban areas of Bengaluru. These are open to the public. There will also be multiple screenings of the films in Shabnam Virmani’s “Journeys with Kabir” series.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


The above is an e-update of the Festival Program (please feel free to download and share).
Watch this space for further updates.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

About The Festival

The Kabir Festival is week long event, a festive yet critical immersion in the ideas of the 15th century mystic weaver poet Kabir, through a series of film screenings, live music concerts by folk, classical and Sufi singers from India and Pakistan, discussions, seminars, an exhibition and outreach events in colleges, institutions of higher education, socio-cultural and religious communities in and around, Bangalore.

The Festival is being supported by a wide range of individuals, agencies and institutions, including Sophia High School, South Asia Foundation, Ford Foundation, Visthar, Srishti School of Art, Design & Technology, Adima, IIM-B, MS Ramaiah Foundation, NCBS-TIFR, Samvada, Abhishek Poddar, Green Earth Constructions, HIVOS, 1 Shanti Road Gallery, Goethe Institut-Max Mueller Bhavan, KC Das, N Chander, Navakarnataka Publications, Prism Bookshop, Suchitra Film Society, Urdu Academy and others. The Hindu is the media partner.

The festival would be an opportunity for audiences to experience the joy of Kabir in song, while engaging with the radically transformative power of his poetry. It would offer a powerful encounter with the philosophy of Kabir, hopefully generating moments of critical self-awareness and reflection on ideas of cultural identity and social divisions, death and impermanence, oral traditions and the nature of knowledge. It would offer an opportunity for singers from diverse musical and cultural traditions in India and Pakistan to come together in one performative space and share and exchange notes on the oral traditions of Kabir that they represent.

Envisioned by filmmaker Shabnam Virmani (see, the event is an outcome of her experiences consisting of a series of musical journeys in quest of the socio-political and spiritual legacy of Kabir in our contemporary worlds, as part of her Kabir project as artist-in-residence at Srishti. The Kabir Project has been supported by the Ford Foundation and resulted not only in the production of a series of films, music CDs and books, but also many relationships, workshops, events and social networks spun off by this 5-year journey.

A range of events are planned as part of this festival in satellite locations and a central venue. They revolve around the 4 recently completed feature-length musical documentaries and the presence of some of the finest singers of Kabir in our midst.

It is an open invitation!

The Events

* Watch this space for any changes in the schedule *

The Performers

Prahlad Tipanya is one of the most compelling folk voices of Kabir in India today who combines singing and exposition of Kabir in the Malwi folk style from Madhya Pradesh. He has toured the US, and in Feb 2008 was felicitated with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.

Vidya Rao is one of the leading exponents of the delicate style of thumri-dadra singing, and is one of the few singers who combines the delicate shringar of thumri gayaki with the stark shoonyata of Kabir. She is also an accomplished writer and has written on various subjects such as feminism, music and spiritual traditions.

Vijay Sardeshmukh is a classical singer based in Pune who has inherited the stark yet refined nirgun classical style of singing Kabir from his late guru, Pt. Kumar Gandharva, along with other bhakti poets.

Mahesha Ram belongs to the Meghval community of Rajasthan in western India, and represents a hypnotic folk style typical of the Meghvals, musicians not by profession but traditional carriers of Kabir’s poetry through the oral traditions of all-night jagrans and satsangs.

Farid Ayaz is an acclaimed qawwal from Karachi, Pakistan and belongs to the 700-year-old “Qawwal bachon ka gharana” of Delhi. He sings in Urdu, Sindhi, Punjabi, Pushto, Hindi, Poorbi, Persian, Arabic and Turkish, intermingling with aplomb the voice of Kabir with a range of Sufi poets including Jalaluddin Rumi, Sachal Sarmast, Zaheen Shah and others.

Mukhtiyar Ali is a Mirasi folk singer from Bikaner and blends the Rajasthani folk idiom with refined classicism, singing the poetry of Kabir, Mira and other Sufi poets like Bulleh Shah. Through the Kabir project, Mukhtiar was spotted by world music circuits and made his Europe debut in July 2007.

Shafi Faqir is a Manghaniar from Sindh, Pakistan and sings in a style that is highly classical yet distinctly folk, bringing home the voice of Kabir along with other Sufi poets in Sindhi, Punjabi, Urdu, Siraiki and other languages.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Kabir Project

Started in 2003 by filmmaker Shabnam Virmani, The Kabir Project brings together the experiences of a series of journeys in quest of this 15th century mystic poet in our contemporary worlds.
It consists of 4 documentary films, 2 folk music videos and 10 music CDs accompanied by books of the poetry in translation.
See for more information