Research and documentation forms the core of The Foundation’s activities. We seek to continuously study the various art forms related to Spiritual traditions, or those witnessing gradual decline for lack of awareness and mass attention. Through our various efforts, we aim to document these traditions for easy access by our future generations and bring these art forms in public domain to ensure their sustenance and growth.
The Qawwali Heritage Museum: Preserving Qawwali
The Qawwali Heritage Museum is a one of a kind research and documentation initiative to preserve the 700 year old Sufi and Qawwali tradition of India and the Indian sub-continent. SKF seeks to digitally create an archive of all resources that contain this traditional art form through music, poetry, images and languages used in Qawwali. It is responsible for maintaining an archive of audio recordings, video recordings, books, instruments and other items that truly represent this tradition. Qawwali is one of the most well known forms of Sufi music, common to both India and Pakistan.
In other words, “The Qawwali Heritage Museum” is a platform to meticulously document sources such as audio and video recordings, books, journals, and dissertations, and other items that contain evidences to the intangible heritage of Qawwali. The museum at present is complemented by a library that includes resources relevant to the field of ethnomusicology in general, with a particular focus on Qawwali. The archives in the museum are a repository of collections, gathered over the years by Sufi Kathak Foundation. With state of the art technical facilities and archives, “The Qawwali Heritage Museum” will serve as the model for comparable archives all over the world and at the same time measure up to the technological standards set by the present generations. The museum will be better equipped for making preservation copies of new and old material as well as for making working copies and research copies dedicated to the use of scholars, students and connoisseurs for listening and viewing archival material. In future, it will also hold seminars, workshops, and live interactive sessions with Qawwals and training programs regularly on a larger scale as well, which at present is a micro-level initiative.
The objective of “The Qawwali Heritage Museum” is not only to promote the music, as a cultural form in general but also make the practitioners of Qawwali and society more accessible to each other. By archiving rare compositions of poets, artists, musicians and authors not only does it preserve the age old tradition but also gives the people involved a platform to showcase and represent their talent. “The Qawwali Heritage Museum” therefore acts a voice and a medium of communication between the known and unknown poets, musicians, artists and performers and the wider society. In addition to the above it maintains a directory of the various Qawwali musicians located in various parts of the world in order to bridge the gap created between the musicians and the masses.
At present, there is no such museum in the world to make those aware who are interested in the 700 year old rich tradition of Qawwali. Sufi Kathak Foundation together with “The Qawwali Heritage Museum” seeks to preserve this age old tradition in a composite form unlike any other initiative before.
Preserving the Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb – a living heritage
The Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb is a unique heritage of the traditions of erstwhile Awadh that is a way of different communities and religions living in harmony and enriching each other. To preserve and propagate this invaluable heritage especially in modern times of intolerance, The Foundation has conceptualized and organized a unique festival “Bhakti Rang” at Jaipur, Rajasthan, which explored the inter-religious issues through music and dance and brought together references of different religions on the same plane of confluence, for the audiences to experience. Another major effort is a one of its kind concept project, titled “Radha Raas” that captures the divine love of Lord Krishna as imagined and written by Muslim poets. Such a unique secular initiative has never appeared before the masses and adds to the list of successful initiatives taken by The Foundation.
THE 22 KHWAJA PROJECT
DIALOGUES FROM THE MYSTICS
Conceptualized and directed by Sufi Kathak danseuse Manjari Chaturvedi.
Started in 2010, “22 Khwaja Project” is a long term initiative conceptualized by Manjari Chaturvedi, to create awareness about the mostly unknown 22 Sufi Shrines located in Delhi and around, taking the city dwellers through the lives and messages of the many Sufi Saints who had made this city their abode. Such annual concerts promote traditional Sufi music and dance through unique artist collaborations. The project also revives the works of erstwhile lesser known but exemplary Sufi poets of Awadh/ Uttar Pradesh who had extensively written under the influence of Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb. This initiative brings to foreground the Sufi poets who have written in-depth poetry that is sung till today at the various shrines, however the public at large is unaware of the lives of these marvelous poets.
• BEDAM SHAH WARSI
• SHAH TURAB ALI QALANDAR
• BABA BULLEH SHAH – A TRIBUTE
“CHIRAG-E-DEHLI, A tribute” was dedicated to Khwaja Roushan Chirag-e-Dehli, the Sufi Saint of the popular Dargah or Tomb located in one of the prime localities of Delhi, Chirag Delhi. The production was successful in enlightening most Delhi residents, who recognized the significance of the place only by a recently built flyover rather than an age-old Dargah of the Khawaja.
The production dedicated to Khwaja Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, also affectionately known as Hazrat Mehboob-e-Illahi, literally meaning ‘Beloved of God.’ Nizamuddin Auliya, stressed on love as a means for the realization of the Divine. According to him, by bringing happiness to human heart, one could trace his path to the Almighty.
Hazrat Bedam Shah Warsi–
A Tribute dedicated to a murid of Sufi Saint Hazrat Deva Sharif, writing under the pen name of Bedam whose shrine is situated in a small village – Dewa of Barabanki, Lucknow. He has written in-depth poetry that is sung till today at the various shrines, however the public at large is unaware of the life of this marvelous poet who lived and wrote under the influence of the Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb.
Shah Turab Ali Qalandar–
A Tribute Sufi Kathak Foundation presented a programme dedicated to Sufi Saint Shah Turab Ali Qalandar, of the shrine Hazrat Takiya Kakori Sharif, popularly known as Kakori Sharif situated in Kakori, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.
Sufi Kathak Foundation presented a programme dedicated to Sufi Saint Baba Bulleh Shah. The Programme featured an Audio Visual on the life and times at the shrine situated in Kasur, Pakistan and the social relevance of poetry of Baba Bulleh Shah.