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Art, Culture & Architecture

Ministry of Culture Partners With Kathakar Under Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav To Take Storytelling Among The People

The Hawk
November25/ 2022

Ministry of Culture Partners With Kathakar Under Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav

New Delhi (The Hawk): The 15th edition of Kathakar will be inaugurated by Shri Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of Law and Justice and Smt Meenakshi Lekhi, Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture. This year Kathakar partners with Ministry of Culture under Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav and the event on 26th November will take place at Amphitheatre Central Vista India Gate from 4pm to 7:30 pm as Kalanjali. The storytelling sessions will be held at Sunder Nursery, Heritage Park in Delhi and at Central Vista, India Gate. The festival will showcase in its pristine physical form amazing stories and music by Indian and International storytellers from seven countries—United Kingdom; Australia; Mongolia; Israel; Sierra Leonne; Korea; and India.

The art of storytelling in India has many forms and utilizes many mediums. Despite differences in settings, genres, or cultures, all stories ultimately aim to convey something universal. They serve both an educational and entertainment purpose for audiences. It's clear that different sections of India's culture has its own distinct approach to storytelling. Puppets, dance, or even musical instruments are used as props to help the narrator make storytelling more impactful. Hence, Kathakar, the sole celebration of India's rich oral storytelling tradition, which was started under the umbrella of Ghummakkad Narain Travelling Literature Festival was launched in 2010.

This year’s Kathakar 2022 aim is twofold: to ensure the conservation of oral storytelling tradition and increase its popularity. This year’s Kathakar will feature big names and events, including: 

For the first time, powerhouse performer, Nawazuddin Siddiqui (Bollywood actor) will be narrating stories and will be in Conversation with Mohit Chauhan, noted music composer, singer who is also the patron of the festival;

Sufi musical night by Satpal Wadali, son of Padmashree Pyarelal Wadali;

The festival this year will have an event titled Kissey, Kahani aur Cinema, in which Prarthana Gahilote will be in conversation with ace actor Sanjay Mishra at the Central Vista at India Gate;

Another scheduled event is Kissey, Kahani aur Guftagu, in which Mohit Chauhan will be in conversation with stellar film maker Imtiaz Ali from Bollywood;

Kabir Vani by Prahlad Singh Tipania

Shadow puppet play of the Ramayana from Kerala by Ramchandra Pulavar and team.

Among International artists this year, Kathakar will feature Niall Moorjani (United Kingdom), Lilian Rodrigues Pang (Australia), Baatarjav Erdenetsogt (Mongolia), Alim Kamara (Sierra Leonne), Sarah Rundle (United Kingdom), Seung Ah Kim (South Korea) and Yossi Alfi (Israel).

Kathakar 2022—a marquee event to revive the traditional style of storytelling in a world dominated by hi-tech gizmos and gadgets—will thus feature professional and passionate storytellers from the country and abroad who will showcase their mesmerizing craft to underscore the fact that storytelling cuts across all boundaries of language and culture. “Stories emerging from villages are very powerful as life is totally different there love folk songs and stories that are connected to our lives. Whenever I meet filmmakers, I urge them to make movies based on stories from villages," says acclaimed filmmaker, writer and producer Imtiaz Ali, who will be part of the event Kissey, Kahani aur Guftagu on November 27 at Sunder Nursery, Nizamuddin.

Since its inception, the festival so far has been addressed by prominent personalities including former President of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, Sadhguru Vasudev Jaggi, Dr Shashi Tharoor, Manoj Bajpayee, Vishal Bhardwaj, Pankaj Tripathi, Shantanu Moitra, Imtiaz Ali, Margaret Alva, Sunil Shastri, Nandita Das, Sushma Seth, among others.