Soundscape Works in Progress (Narmada Valley India 2012)

Posted by on Aug 21, 2013 in Recent Events | No Comments

by Leah

Leah with one of the leading activists at the satyagraha

Dam(n) Narmada Sketch

The source material in the Narmada Sketch is predominately from the regional area of Jobat, where we collected stories and solidarity songs from over 20 displaced groups who had gathered at a satyagraha (non-violent protest). Embedding ourselves within both the satyagraha and remote affected communities was a vital part of capturing stories across the widely varied landscape.

During the trip we facilitated workshops and enabled the children to collect images, video and sound to tell stories from their perspective. The incorporation of these capacity building workshops within the broader project will showcase the long-term contribution that creative empowerment can make to communities in struggle. Narmada Sketch is developing into both an installation and the score for the original dance production that we hope will tour Australia and India in 2013.

Workshops at the satyagraha (protest) with Shakthi

Dam(n) Protest Chant

‘Protest Chant’ is a raw field recording from the Narmada Bachao Andolan Satyagraha (non-violent protest) with displaced families from the Narmada Dams in December 2011. The children are chanting about the their submerged homes, displaced families and hope for peace and freedom.

The kids line up for a group photo at the end of the workshops

Dam(n) Protest Dance

This raw field recording was made in the regional area of Jobat, where we collected stories and solidarity songs from over 20 displaced groups who had gathered at a satyagraha (non-violent protest). This was our final night at the satyagraha, the children were singing and dancing and we felt extremely honored to have spent time with this inspiring community.

The kids trying on Jehan's shoes

Dam(n) Badal Dusk

In Badwani we interviewed Dayal Solanki, a young adivasi (Indigenous of Badwani) whose story became the common thread for our journey. He became our guide leading us to the extremely remote village of Badal, accessible only by fishing boat from a makeshift wharf one hour from the nearest town. The region, which is now almost completely submerged under reservoir, was formerly one of the most agriculturally productive regions in India. We stayed in Dayal’s home, a wooden shelter perched on the arid crest of a mountain, and were welcomed by his family who told their stories of displacement and the hope they placed in their children. In addition to the satyagraha recordings, the core source material in the installation and dance production is drawn from Dayal’s father playing traditional bansuri flute, his sisters singing on the cliffs and the sparse and unsettling soundscapes of the submerged Badal village.

A Badal family learning how to take pictures of their village with Shakthi

DDam(n) Badal Children

This soundscape is based on children singing late at night on the riverbank in the extremely remote village of Badal. The region, which is now almost completely submerged under reservoir, was formerly one of the most agriculturally productive regions in India. This piece happened serendipitously; I was recording the sparse and unsettling soundscapes of Badal late at night when Dayal’s sisters came and sat beside me and started singing over the water.

The rising water levels around Badal

Credits

All soundscape works by Leah Barclay, in collaboration with the youth of the Narmada Valley; images by various.

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