The Kabir Project. Bangalore and Mumbai (India)

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The Kabir Project. Bangalore and Mumbai (India)

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Publication 1-year master student thesis
Title The Kabir Project. Bangalore and Mumbai (India)
Author(s) Ancín, Itziar
Date 2013
English abstract
The Kabir Project (K.P.) was born in Bangalore, India, in 2002, after the Gujarat pogrom, which occurred in the same year. In the context of increasing divisions in Indian society, defined by religion, social class, caste and gender, this research explores how this initiative, through live concerts and documentary films, spreads the folk music traditions of the 15th century mystic poet Kabir along with his messages of unity and understanding between confronted identity groups. This study presents the context of violence between Muslims and Hindus since the Indian Partition and the reasons for gendered violence in the conflict. It focuses also on the connections between globalization and minorities’ prosecution in liberal democracies; on the colonial roots and socioeconomic reasons which led to the Gujarat massacre in 2002; and the social role of the mystic as bridging cultural and religious differences. Through two complementary methods: in-depth interviews to audiences and organizers at the K. P. festivals in Bangalore and survey questionnaires distributed to the Kabir Festival Mumbai audiences, this study tries to answer the following questions: What is the potential for social change of the K. P. in the world-views of today's Indian citizens? Are the messages presented by films and folk music capable of generating positive attitudes towards dialogue between confronted identity categories? In which ways? The research reveals the success of the K. P. to challenge audiences’ minds through communication for development events, whose objectives are reached by spreading Kabir values through artistic forms, and by creating shared spaces between confronted identity sections. Festivals in rural areas help to diminish the distance between those antagonized communities. In addition, urban festivals also generate positive attitudes in elites towards dialogue and coexistence, since that is the social profile of the audience.
Publisher Malmö högskola/Kultur och samhälle
Pages 81
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Kabir Project
arts for peace building
folk music
oral traditions
Gujarat 2002
Kabir festival Mumbai
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