THE QAWWALI PROJECT

Sufi Kathak Foundation aims to conserve intangible heritage and oral tradition of Qawwali, which at present is a dying art form and needs serious attention. In continued efforts, the Foundation has already conducted four successful Seminars on Qawwali in Delhi in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017 and aims to launch a much needed Web interface on the concept of “Digital Museum” to digitally archive the music form of Qawwali. There is a strong need to curate the rich intangible heritage and culture and supporting their related art forms. The Qawwali project is a digitizing and conservation initiative by Sufi Kathak Foundation to digitally conserve the dying art form of Qawwali for future generations and at the same time create awareness and knowledge and understand Qawwali as a languishing traditional Sufi art form of Indian sub-continent. Till date no such initiative on Qawwali in India has been undertaken.

There is a general lack of information among people about the rich intangible cultural heritage of Qawwali, therefore the project is aimed at imparting knowledge about culture and rich heritage of qawwali practitioners and develops better understanding among masses and strengthens tolerance and social knitting. Networking with other associations and academic bodies such as universities and schools, non-profit organizations, government bodies, scholars and researchers in India and abroad to present their view and the available documents, and will further initiate people to learn and get involved in this art-form. It also aims to provide the most authentic source of any information about Qawwali. It will involve students, scholars, experts who take interest in studying Indian Music, Medieval Indian Music, Musical Poetry, and the Poetry of Social Revolution, Qawwali or any such relevant subject.
While Qawwali is being presented through Hindi Film industry, the intrinsic nature of the traditional art form has faded away in due course of time. What the present generation knows is only a distorted image of real Qawwali. While most might be aware of this form of Qawwali, a lack of foundation or a strong base about Qawwali can be observed. Besides this, there are no other organized platforms, seminars, symposiums, discussions and forums have been organized to represent the practitioners of Qawwali music. Sufi Kathak Foundation, through its various initiatives is trying to preserve and revive the inherent character of this 700 year old art form that forms an intrinsic part of India’s culture.
The project will help in fulfilling the following objectives:

  • It lays new pathways for social development of those musicians who currently belong to the lower sections of the society, by exposing their art to the world and giving them recognition.
  • It serves as a library of Qawwali music to a large number of national and international students of music. Thus it stands as a government’s educational initiative of preserving the dying art form.
  • It serves as archive of rich ancient poetry in languages such as Persian, Arabic, Urdu, Awadhi, Punjabi, Braj Bhasha etc, and their transliterated Roman version and translated version.
  • Since Qawwali as a form of music brings together the cultures, the project intends to create a better society by promoting communal harmony.
  • The Qawwali archive increases the interaction of a common man with traditional art form and enhances the ideas and creative impulses curating their music.
  • The documentation of this art form will help in preserving the traits of this art from.
  • The literature, documents and manuscripts on this art form will be preserved digitally.