AfroAsian Musical Imaginaries Of Circulations and Interconnections

This book contains a selection of papers presented at a colloquium on ‘AfroAsian Musical Imaginaries’ that was organized by the India International Centre–International Research Division (IIC–IRD) in collaboration with a multi-institutional project titled ‘Re-centring AfroAsia: Musical and Human Migrations, 700–1500 AD’, which involved the University of the Western Cape, the University of the Witwatersrand, the University of Kwazulu-Natal, the University of Cape Town, the University of Dar es Salaam, the University of Addis Ababa and the Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University Delhi, between 2016 and 2021. As part of an attempt to create a new scholarship that brings the two continents together, work by scholars from the project uncovering musical connections was brought into conversation with the work of other scholars and practitioners of music on similar themes. Based on an understanding that music can be an important lens through which cultural links between parts of the world that have long historical connections can be uncovered, even when these connections have not been adequately identified or acknowledged, the most important question raised by the papers in this book is how this can be done. The book also points towards how such scholarship and performative interactions can prise open several orthodoxies in the understanding of musical systems.
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Sumangala Damodaran

Teacher, singer, activist and writer Sumangala Damodaran is known for her work on the musical tradition of the Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA), an outfit of leftist theatre artistes formed in 1942 that had stalwarts such as Prithviraj Kapoor, Balraj Sahni, Khwaja Ahmad Abbas and Safdar Mir as its members. Sumangala has performed extensively from its documented repertoire. Currently engaged in an international collaborative project researching the relationship between music and migration involving scholars and musicians, and several universities in Asia and Africa, she has recently published The Radical Impulse (Tulika), which unravels the tradition of IPTA music and song. Excerpts from an interview.

Read her interview here.