Kids Corner

1984

Kultar’s Mime March 2015 India Tour:
Bombay, Calcutta, Bangalore, Madras, New Delhi

NEWS REPORT

 

 

 



 

Kultar’s Mime is an immersive play that blends theater, painting, poetry and music to tell the stories of children who survived the 1984 carnage in Delhi.

The production was developed in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, by J Mehr Kaur and Sarbpreet Singh and features a cast of young American actors from Boston.

After premiering at Harvard University in September 2014, the play has been staged 28 times in USA, Canada, United Kingdom and India. It was performed in Delhi on the 30th anniversary of the massacre. A special performance was organized at British Parliament for an audience of MPs and members of The House of Lords.

It has also been performed at many prestigious universities such as Stanford, University of California Berkeley, Columbia, Boston University, Rutgers, Penn State University and Carleton University.
 
The production is back in India in March 2015; performances have been scheduled at:

MUMBAI
March 14 + 15
National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA)
For Tickets & Info, please CLICK here.


KOLKATA
March 16 + 17
Padatik Theatre

For Tickets & Info, please CLICK here.

BANGALORE
March 18
Jagriti Theatre
For Tickets & Info, please CLICK here.


CHENNAI
March 19
SPACES

For Tickets & Info, please CLICK here.

DELHI
March 21
Atelier Campus Theater Festival, Kamani Auditorium
For Tickets & Info, please CLICK here.


DELHI
March 22
Akshara Theater
For Tickets & Info, please CLICK here.




Play Synopsis

On April 6, 1903, the city of Kishinev, the capital of the Russian province of Bessarabia erupted in violence. A horrific pogrom was organized, targeting the Jewish population of Kishinev. After three days of violence, 49 Jews were dead, 500 were wounded, 1300 homes and businesses were destroyed and 2000 families were left homeless. The young Hebrew poet, Haim Nahman Bialik went to Kishinev to talk to survivors and report on the pogrom. Bialik wrote one of his most famous poems, ‘In The City Of Slaughter’ in response to the Kishinev pogrom, using searing, powerful imagery to describe the horror that descended upon the Jewish residents of the city.

Eighty one years later, Delhi, the capital of a country claiming to be the largest ‘democracy’ in the world, India, was witness to a horror of even greater proportions.

On October 31, 1984, Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India was shot dead by her Sikh bodyguards. In supposed retaliation, an orgy of murder, rape and arson was unleashed upon the innocent Sikh residents of Delhi in which more than 3000 men, women and children lost their lives; many more were raped and brutalized, their homes and businesses plundered. The pattern was followed in cities, towns and villages across the country, multiplying the figures.

The poem, ‘Kultar’s Mime’, written by a young Sikh poet, drew upon eyewitness accounts of the Delhi pogrom to describe the sufferings of the Sikhs of Delhi, through the eyes of a group of young survivors.

There are uncanny similarities between the Kishinev and Delhi pogroms. Both targeted minority communities with violence following libel, innuendo and propaganda, designed to stoke fear and hatred.

Kultar’s Mime‘, the play, synthesizes the sufferings of innocent victims of organized violence, separated by thousands of miles, numerous years and insurmountable differences of religion, language and culture. Drawing upon the raw imagery of both poems, it tells a story of human suffering and courage, reminding us that in the end all innocent victims are the same, regardless of who or how they worship and what tongues they speak.

The play is set in New York City. A collective of young Jewish artists, influenced by Bialik’s ‘In The City of Slaughter’ decides to commemorate the Kishinev Pogrom by organizing an art exhibition in which they intend to display paintings about the pogrom accompanied by a reading of the poem.

As they get together and revisit Bialik’s poem, it occurs to them that it would be very powerful to honor the suffering of the innocent victims of Kishinev by shining the spotlight on other similar instances of organized violence that the world has largely forgotten.

They decide to focus on the massacre of 1984 in Delhi and make it the subject of their exhibition, using words from the poem to augment the impact of the paintings they have created about the events.

'Kultar's Mime' is being presented by the Sikh Research Institute worldwide.

 

March 14, 2015
 

Conversation about this article

1: Irvinder Singh Babra (Brampton, Ontario, Canada), March 14, 2015, 1:10 PM.

'Kultar's Mime' is a most original and creative drama depiction. What mind set, thought, production costs, direction, assembly of artists, performance, marketing and presentation! So far, it is just outstanding. God bless. See what you have unleashed, Kultar?

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Bombay, Calcutta, Bangalore, Madras, New Delhi "









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