Jitish Kallat: The Cosmos and Mumbai and the world come to The Thames at Somerset House
WELL-WORTH seeing and engaging with is the new art installation at Somerset House in Central London.
Jitish Kallat’s ‘Whorled (Here After Here After Here)’ represents a galactic whorl – or spiral to the naked eye situated in the courtyard; it’s a maze like series of barriers with unusual road signs and symbols emblazoned across them – once inside you’re compelled to visit the ‘centre’ and exit out the other side.
Kallat told www.asianculturevulture.com yesterday morning (February 16) at the press preview: “It’s such a joy and it was something I saw through my mind’s eye while sitting in a corner of the courtyard and watching the way people move and being able to organise that movement and produce a kind of reflection on it.”
The work is Kallat’s first major public artwork commission in the UK and acv also spoke to Dr Cliff Lauson, director of exhibitions at Somerset House and Kiran Nadar of Kiran Nadar Museum of Art in New Delhi, which is in partnership with Somerset House in producing the work with additional support from Malik & Azmina Karim, The Ruia Foundation and SANTI.
This year sees the return of Morgan Stanley Lates, where a series of evening performances, music, talks and poetry will take place in the courtyard and there will be a live activation of ‘Whorled (Here After Here After Here)’ on April 19. The artwork will leave the space on April 23.
You can read more including interviews with Kallat, Dr Lauson and Kiran Nadar – here
Jitish Kallat ‘Whorled (Here After Here After Here)’ (from February 16) to April 23, FREE, The Edmund J Safra Fountain Court, Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA.
Roopa Panesar and the sound of ‘Atma’ (Soul) at the Barbican ahead of album launch
RISING sitar star Roopa Panesar will present her latest work in a special concert at the Barbican tomorrow (Saturday, February 18).
British-based and raised Roopa Panesar is one of finest of a new generation of sitarists and she presents a concert featuring new work from her forthcoming album, ‘Atma’ , meaning The Soul.
Panesar has played some high profile events before – including the VJ75 memorial in the presence of His Majesty King Charles (when he was the Prince of Wales) and Darbar Festival in London and recognised as the biggest celebration of Indian classical music in Europe.
Her new album is described as deeply soulful and covers themes of love, loss, grief, separation and the bliss of union.
Panesar has assembled a veritable line-up of established and emerging British-based talent to perform alongside her.
Joining her are Shahbaz Hussain (tabla), Bangalore Prakash (mridangam, ghatam, moorsing), Kaviraj Singh (santoor), Giuliano Modareli (guitar), Sudarshan Singh Chana (jori) and Ben Hazleton (double bass).
Produced by Bristol-based Asian Arts Agency, the concert and album ‘Atma’ are part of a wider project known as Breaking Barrier’s Music Commission and the Indian music outfit is offering 10 bursaries of a £1,000 each to entry level musicians, artists and record producers who want to know more about how to build a career in the sector. For more detail on this, go here – the closing date for applications is 9.30am on Thursday, February 23.
Roopa Panesar, ‘Atma’ 8pm The Barbican, Silk Street, Barbican London EC2Y 8DS Saturday, February 18
Bengali poet Jibanananda Das continues to inspire…
BACK for more of the melancholic but also thoughtful and aesthetically pleasing poetry of Jibanananda Das is Saudha, Society of Poetry and Indian Music.
The arts organisation returns to Rich Mix in Shoreditch on Sunday (February 19) for its annual celebration of the Bengali poet’s life (1899-1954) and work – in the one-day Jibanananda Das Festival, now in its third edition.
Ahmed Kaysher, director of Saudha told acv that despite the poet’s sometimes dark verses on occasions, there was a delight in the language and his ability to connect with like-minded souls. He died in a tramcar accident in Calcutta (Kolkata).
“His poetry is just beautiful. The festival is bringing renowned academics, poets, writers and performers together to promote the time-tested literature of a great modernist poet – and part of the post-Tagore era of poetry.
Rabindranath Tagore was the first Nobel Laureate for Literature from Asia in 1913 and his legacy on world literature remains to this day.
The celebration of Das includes not only readings but also spoken word, music, dance and a global appreciation of his work.
It’s a very multi-cultural line-up with German, Spanish, Italian, Oria and Urdu speakers being among those marking Das’s contribution to poetry.
“He is one of the great ignored voices of the 20th century but his work is finally being discovered for the treasure it is by a much wider audience.
Among those appearing are poet and playwright John Farndon, BBC Poetry slam champion Dr David Lee Morgan, poet and translator Stephen Watts, writers Mona Dash, Shree Ganguly, poets Sarwar E Alam and spoken word artists Poppy Shahnaz, Dr Zaki Rezwana Anwar and councillor Jasmin Chowdhury and Flamenco dancer Mercedes Avila Caballero, and Indian classical dancers, Ariti Kundu, Mandipa Seal and Ishita Sinha.
The festival is organised by Saudha in partnership with the Bengali language literary magazine, The Gronthee and Rich Mix.
Jibanananda Das Festival from 5pm Sunday, February 19, Rich Mix, 35-37 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA.
Rushdie’s latest book is set in ancient South India
DESPITE being brutally attacked and recovering from his serious injuries, writer Salman Rushdie has lost none of his verve, intelligence, humour – or grace – in releasing his 16th title, ‘Victory City’.
In a long interview with the New Yorker, he spoke about the attack by Hadi Matar which left him fighting for his life after being stabbed more than a dozen times in the neck and upper part of his body in August in New York State.
When asked by the New Yorker to clarify just how many times he might have been stabbed, Rushdie heartily chuckled: “I wasn’t counting.”
His latest novel released officially on February 7 is regarded as a tour de force.
Starting in South India around the 14th century, the tale is narrated through the character of Pampa Kampana who goes onto reign over an empire called Bisnaga.
Rushdie mixes recorded history with that of his own imagination. And the story – loosely inspired by the historical ruins of Hampi in Karnataka and the grandeur of the Vijayanagara Empire, which lasted over 200 years, is an epochal tale.
The novelist who made his name with ‘Midnight’s Children’ (1983) mused in the same interview whether he could ever physically go back to the land of his birth.
Now resident in New York and married for a fifth time to American artist Rachel Eliza Griffiths, it is quite apparent that Rushdie continues to be inspired by South Asian history and culture and its influence modern thought and practice.
Mater remains in custody and awaits trial for attempted murder.
Buddha of Surburbia and My Beautiful Laundrette writer Hanif Kureishi updates slight improvement
HANIF KUREISHI is out of the bed and learning to walk again following his sudden and debilitating illness.
He fell at a flat in Rome while watching football on television in early January and has not regained the use of his arms or legs and spends most of his time in a bed in a special rehabilitation centre in Rome, aided by family.
Since his inability to write in the usual way, he has been dictating his progress and thoughts via his son Carlo who posts updates on his condition and wider reflections on his life and art, on his Twitter account.
The short epiphanies have become extremely popular and he has amassed more than 70,000 followers on Twitter and continues to post short updates including one from Wednesday (February 15), saying he had managed to stand up with some help.
You can now follow his musings and ongoing recovery on Substack, ‘The Kureishi Chronicles’ while he still posts short updates on his condition on Twitter.
Hanif Kureishi – (Twitter) – https://twitter.com/Hanifkureishi
Actor Armeena Khan confronts misogyny as first guest in Positive Solace podcast
OPENING the new Series 3 of the Positive Solace podcast is Pakistani-Canadian actor Armeena Khan, who is based in Manchester.
She has some very forthright comments about toxic patriarchy and her own battle against pre-eclampsia, a condition that causes high blood pressure during and after pregnancy. Now a healthy mother, she opens up about her life to date and both professional and personal challenges.
Talking to Positive Solace host and one-time acv presenter Attika Choudhary, the popular actor who appeared in ‘Janaan’ (2016) and ‘Bin Roye’ (2015) talks mental health and happiness – two themes at the heart of the Choudhary’s podcast series that began in the depths of lockdown and featured other entertainment figures such as Hollywood director James Bamford, Poldark actor James Brassington, and popular Pakistani actor, singer-songwriter and humanitarian activist Ali Zafar.
The latest series drops every Tuesdays and you can find it on https://positivesolace.podbean.com/
New comedy sitcom ‘Take-Awasian’ announcement
OUTUBE star and BBC Asian Network presenter Islah Abdur-Rahman, also known as Mistah Islah, returns to his Youtube content creation origins with a new comedy sitcom show about an Indo-Chinese takeaway.
Called ‘Take-Awasian’ and teaming up with his longtime collaborator Michael Troung, the pair behind the successful ‘Corner Shop Show’ series which started in 2013, and built a cult following as a regular Youtube show, now delve deeper into their Bengali/Bangladeshi-Chinese origin heritages, respectively with ‘Take-Awasian’. Both communities have had an incredible impact on the takeaway industry in the UK.
The original comedy series featured Ameet Chana and emerging stars such as Tanya Robb and Hamza Jeetoa and was set in a shop run by Malik (Abdur-Rahman) and ran for two series until 2017.
The trailer alone has clocked up more than 100K views and Abdur-Rehman, who co-writes and directs, is dropping the new comedy on his The Corner Shop Network Youtube channel.
The Corner Shop Network – https://www.youtube.com/@TheCornerShopNetwork