Seminars & Symposiums

Sufi Kathak Foundation organizes Annual Seminars on “Understanding Qawwali”. The series of seminars is a unique initiative to explore the music form of Qawwali. The seminar focuses on revival of the oral tradition of Qawwali with a strong emphasis on the livelihoods of performing artists. During the seminars multipronged approach of interaction is followed such as lectures, talks, discussions, screening of short films, photo documentation etc. This seminar also discusses the simple and complex approaches necessary for the artists, who are mostly uneducated themselves, to attract financial support and thus at the same time increase their livelihood opportunities through their performance skills.

• The first of its kind of seminar on Qawwali was organized by the Foundation in Delhi to focus on this intangible performing heritage on 2nd March, 2013 at India International Centre, New Delhi in association with India International Centre, Indian Council for Cultural Relations and Sir Ratan Tata Trust and Navajbai Ratan Tata Trust. The one day symposium was a grand success as it was attended by over a 1000 people, and covered by mainstream newspapers, numerous magazines and multiple online platforms.

• During 2014, the 2nd seminar on ‘Understanding Qawwali – A Symposium Exploring the Plurality of the Unified Art form’ was held on 8th and 9th March. The seminar intended to understand the present situation of traditional Qawwals with the purpose of outlining a clear framework to bring forth the original form of Qawwali. The two day symposium featured talks and discussions by eminent scholars, film-makers, photographers and practitioners.

• During 2015, a symposium titled ‘Understanding Qawwali: The anthropology and social impact of the art-form of Qawwali’ was organized on 7th March, 2015 at India International Centre, Delhi, in association with ‘Sir Ratan Tata Trust’ and ‘Navajbai Ratan Tata Trust’. The 1 day symposium focused on revival of the oral tradition of Qawwali with a strong emphasis on the livelihoods of performing artists. The Symposium was of grand success and has received the great response from audience as well as the print and online media.

• The 4th Symposium of the series “Understanding Qawwali” was held on 28th October, 2017 at the India International Centre, New Delhi. The theme of the seminar was “Understanding Qawwali – the Poetic Content and its Social Impact, with Regional Sensibilities”. The scholars and experts who deliberated during the symposium were eminent professors of different universities in Delhi including Delhi University and Jamia Millia Islamia, authors of repute, heritage and culture expert, sufi scholar, filmmaker as well as Qawwali performers.

Further, another symposium was held in 2014 on The Last song of Awadh – A symposium and performance exploring the music and dance of Awadh featuring Zarina Begum – a unique symposium dedicated to the Music and Dance of Awadh in the era of Nawabs. The symposium relived the courtesan and featured the Last Living Court Singer of Awadh along with the researchers, scholars, film maker, and intrigued connoisseur of music and traditional performers and practitioners associated with music form of Ghazal and thumri gayaki.

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