MUMBAI LOCAL: DIFFICULT WOMEN: THE LIVING TRADITIONS OF MIRABAI
Much loved poet-saint Mirabai was also, to put it in no uncertain terms, a “difficult woman”, a woman extraordinarily difficult to contain. She crossed class and caste boundaries, chose to be an artist, and worse, chose to talk about it! She has been so very difficult that it is believed the Mewar community (she was married into their royal family) erased her from their history-telling for 200 years.
And yet, while master-narratives of Mira continue to try and sanitize her, oral traditions on the ground keep radical connections to Mira alive. “She fires so many imaginations,” says Anjali Panjabi, creator of the beautiful award-winning documentary film on Mira ‘A Few Things I Know About Her’. “In telling Mira’s story, you are telling your own story.”
We are delighted to invite Anjali Panjabi, now on her second wave of research on Mira, to share with us stories of people, communities and their links to Mirabai. There is the female impersonator who becomes Mira, the first female Manganiyar to perform in public – Rukmabai – whose story mirrors Mira’s, the many people who connect to Mira through her guru Ravidas, and so many others. Through an exploration of their stories, she will also discuss how oral traditions work on the ground, giving space to alternative stories and the desires of people and communities.
We look forward to seeing you on Sunday for this utterly special ground-informed access to Mirabai. And do remember, if for some unavoidable reason you are unable to make it to the venue, we’d love to have you join us on a live feed on our Facebook page.
This session is curated by Paromita Vohra.