Urban Folk Project is a young collective started by Shilpa Mudbi Kothakota and Adithya Kothakota. UFP is working towards the collection of intangible culture across Karnataka and exhibiting it in a contemporary context. This involves field research, documentation, and curation of the content, among many other things.
Shilpa, accompanied by a chorus of musicians, tells the stories collected and compiled by the collective. The narrative (in English) will reveal the story of Princess Renuka who becomes Goddess Yellamma after going through testing times through her life. The story is interspersed with songs (in Kannada) from different regions within Karnataka. Also built into the narrative, are the stories of the remaining few folk practitioners of related forms who now serve as their mentors. The musicians are not permanent members of the band, but collaborators who have chosen to learn these songs and instruments to help their artistic sensibilities and better understand their collective histories.
Yellamma’s story is not a myth but the collective histories of people, especially, women and their trials and tribulations that echo from our past. Themes like sisterhood, motherhood, liberation, duty, and the quest for defining one's identity all make this telling relevant to us today.