On Mourning

Khoj International Artists’ Association

supported by

Goethe-Institut/ Max Mueller Bhavan New Delhi
The Royal Norwegian Embassy


On Mourning

A live event at Khoj Studios, S – 17, Khirkee Extension, New Delhi – 110017.

Date: 30th January, Friday

Time: 6 pm – 8 pm

To refuse to mourn is to condemn a trauma to repeat itself ad infinitum. But can repeated mourning ever take the form of a productive practice?

How can we (un)learn through exposure to absence? Despite the intensely personal nature of mourning, to witness a mourner often makes tangible the intimate, aching anguish that all of us have felt at some point. On Mourning is a live event that will extend the positions on trauma in Khoj’s exhibition Nameless Here For Evermore, by setting up a dialogue with a traditional performative practice.

Lakshmi, a professional mourner for the last 20 years is in conversation with Janagi, a young person interested in learning the ritual/performance form. Traditionally a practice where women sing in mourning of a man’s passing, Lakshmi transforms this ritual by performing an intense autobiographical composition, which extends beyond a single event/deceased body. The event is designed as a pedagogical interaction, wherein Lakshmi shares, recounts, and performs in response to the question of whether mourning can ever take form as a productive practice.

The event has been conceptualized in collaboration with Amitesh Grover, Shaunak Sen and Arnika Ahldag.

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