Notes for an Oratorio

on Small Things that Fall (like a screw in the night)

Ari Sitas


Tulika Books, 2020

Language: English

120 pages

8 x 9.25 inches

Price INR 995.00
Book Club Price INR 746.00
INR 995.00
In stock

These Notes emerged as an outrage against my daily encounter with both the ugliness and wonder of our material and tactile worlds. They are a poetic, creative and sociological take on our contemporary Silk Roads and Hazmat highways – in a world of Daisy Cutter bombs and gadgets, refugee camps and refuse. Parts of the Oratorio’s libretto were staged by Anuradha Kapur and Deepan Sivaraman in Delhi in 2018, as Dark Things. The journey reconstructs a via dolorosa through the excesses and forms of exploitation, discrimination and suffering.

The Text, the arias, the intended soundscapes here are my desperate attempt to weave, to use the loom and frame to craft a musical narrative, a contemporary oratorio. I am delighted that my creative friends have responded in drawing, in composing and annotating to co-create this work. I am humbled that some have taken bits of this to classes and larger bits to find the visual poetry in theatrical form. I thank you that you have not allowed this to be commodified but touse it as a rough guide to some different kind of value.


Ari Sitas

Ari Sitas, a South African writer and a sociologist, works at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He has been a leading scholar among the development alternative sociological voices in southern Africa and, more broadly, in the global South.