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SAI Event Type : Cultural/Social Events


Poetry Against Tyranny: A Reading and Conversation with Three Burmese Poets

START
Fri, Oct 29, 2021 at 04:00pm

END
Fri, Oct 29, 2021 at 05:45pm

Register for the talk

Speakers:

Me Me Khant (Penname: PamarNi) is a Burmese poet from Yangon, Myanmar. She began her poetry journey by writing political poems in local media outlets, criticizing the military-controlled education system (particularly the National Education Law) and crackdown of the journalists. She has then transitioned to composing a wide array of topics from love to banishment, and she especially enjoys writing about her home city. She is currently a Knight Hennessy Scholar at Stanford University, pursuing a Master’s in International Policy.

Mandy Moe Pwint Tu is a writer and a poet from Yangon, Myanmar. Her work has appeared in Longleaf Review, Tint Journal, perhappened mag, and elsewhere. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of the South and is an MFA candidate at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She is also a Thomas J. Watson Fellow. At 21, she co-founded the Yangon Literary Magazine, providing a platform for young and emerging Burmese writers to showcase their work. During her undergraduate years at Sewanee, she was involved in a number of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, serving as the president of the Organization for Cross-Cultural Understanding (OCCU) for two years and as the Order of the Gown president in her senior year.

Edna Du (Ei Htet) is a reader, writer, and community supporter. She was born and raised in Yangon, Myanmar before moving to the United States. They are currently located on the traditional and unceded territory of the Tongva people (Los Angeles). She holds a B.A. in Politics from Willamette University, with a focus on international human rights and children in armed conflict. They also write under the pen name Away and has appeared on the Aruna Global South blog. Their commitments include transnational justice, mutual aid, and community building.

Discussant:

Chu May Paing: Born and raised in Yangon, Myanmar, Chu May Paing is a first-gen immigrant currently pursuing her PhD in cultural and linguistic anthropology at the University of Colorado Boulder. She is also the founder and director of Aruna Global South, a non-profit that serves to highlight and amplify experimental scholarship from scholars of marginalized backgrounds with interests in Asia and its diasporas. Her academic writings have appeared in The New Ethnographer, American Ethnologist, Society for Linguistic Anthropology among others. When Chu is not doing research on signs, symbols, and images in Burmese political communication, she writes under the pen name of Ma Chinthe (Miss Lion). Her creative writing in Burmese has appeared in Aruna Global South blog and is forthcoming in Jakarta Biennial.

Sponsored by the Harvard University Asia Center

Co-sponsored by the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute at Harvard


Mittal Institute Open House and Visiting Artist Fellows Art Exhibition

START
Mon, Nov 8, 2021 at 05:30pm

END
Mon, Nov 8, 2021 at 06:30pm

Each year, the Mittal Institute’s Visiting Artist Fellowship welcomes mid-career artists from South Asia to Harvard’s campus to engage with Harvard faculty and students, to participate in art exhibitions, and to perform research using Harvard’s intellectual resources to further their art practice. On November 8, the Harvard community is invited to this Mittal Institute Open House to meet the artists and learn more about their work. This event is open to faculty, staff and students.


Concert from Bangladesh

START
Sun, Aug 1, 2021 at 06:00pm

END
Sun, Aug 1, 2021

6pm Dhaka – 6pm London – 6pm New York

Stream the Virtual Concert


Concert from Bangladesh is a mixed reality music concert, using cutting edge technology to take audiences on a virtual audio-visual journey through Bangladesh past and present, encompassing mystical Baul singers from rural Kushtia, experimental electronics and hip hop from the streets of Dhaka.

Musicians and Performers

  • Adittya Arzu aka Siaminium (Electronics and Recording Engineer)
  • Meerashri Arshee (Classical Raga vocalist)
  • Arif Baul (Baul vocalist and composer)
  • Nishit Dey (Composer, Sitar and Tabla player)
  • Enayet (Producer, Electronics, Composer)
  • Moumita Haque (Nazrul sangeet vocalist)
  • Nazrul Islam (Dhol player)
  • Gully Boy Rana and Tabib Mahmud (Hip hop artists)
  • Jawaad Mustakim Al Muballig (Bansuri flute player)
  • Provhat Rahman (Electronics)
  • Saidur Rahman (Harmonium player)
  • Shoummo Saha (Audio producer)
  • Sohel (Percussionist)

About the Concert From Bangladesh

Concert From Bangladesh is a groundbreaking mixed reality digital collaboration between UBIK Productions (London) and Samdani Art Foundation (Dhaka) supported by the British Council Digital Collaboration Fund. The organisations have commissioned acclaimed British-South Asian artist Shezad Dawood to create a virtual reality stage for a concert released on 1 August 2021 via Pioneer Works’ (NYC) website, expanding on the 50 year legacy of Concert For Bangladesh: the original charity concert initiated by Ravi Shankar and George Harrison of Beatles’ fame, in aid of the relief effort and refugee crisis during the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971.

Co-curated by Diana Campbell, Artistic Director of the Samdani Art Foundation (SAF), with Dhaka-born music producer and artist Enayet Kabir, together with assistant curators Ruxmini Choudhury and Shoummo Saha, Concert From Bangladesh updates the 1971 concert to showcase a wealth of talent across varied Bangladeshi musical traditions – from mystical Baul singing to experimental electronics and socially engaged Dhaka hip hop – and raise funds for the Bangladeshi climate change and human rights charity Friendship.

The concept was developed by Campbell together with multiple collaborators including Dawood. In the words of SAF Founder Nadia Samdani, “As Bangladesh celebrates 50 years of independence, we are delighted to be a part of producing a work that allows the world to listen to the wealth of music and culture found in our country, and to reconsider the role that music and art can play in banding people together to fight for a better and more equal future.” Miranda Sharp, UBIK Productions Director, says,“We’re thrilled to be working with SAF and Shezad Dawood on this multidisciplinary, transnational project that pushes the boundaries of art and music production and develops new digital collaborative workflows.”

Concert From Bangladesh will go live to audiences via Pioneer Works’ online platform on 1 August 2021, accompanied by live events at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (Wakefield) as part of Yorkshire Sculpture International and Pioneer Works (New York City), 50 years on from the original concert. Additional events will take place with Chisenhale Gallery (London), at Leeds City Varieties Music Hall (Leeds) and Srihatta Samdani Art Centre and Sculpture Park (Sylhet). These institutions are located in significant diasporic or rural Bangladeshi areas and will further de-centre and democratise the project’s reach, amplifying the experience to diverse Bangladeshi and international communities.

The concert will take viewers on an expansive sonic journey spanning six centuries, beginning with renowned Baul singer Arif Baul accompanied by instrumental virtuosos Nazrul Islam, Saidur Rahman, and Sohel. This will be followed by a piece composed by Enayet and Nishit Dey exploring the shared musical language between Nazrul sangeet, classical raga and 90s jungle, by blending cutting edge electronic production and arrangements by Enayet, Provhat Rahman and Adittya Arzu aka Siaminium, with classical raga and Nazrul sangeet vocals by Meerashri Arshee and Moumita Haque, Bansuri flute by Jawaad Mustakim Al Muballig and sitar performance by Nishit Dey. The concert will end with the Bangladeshi hip hop duo Tabib Mahmud and 12-year-old Gully Boy Rana, whose socially engaged lyrics highlight some of the pressing issues the Concert aims to fundraise for.

Shot against a green screen by a Bangladeshi team in Dhaka, Concert From Bangladesh will feature the musicians performing against shifting virtual sets that will immerse audiences in vibrant Dhaka streets, and transport them to the riverbanks of Gorai River Kushtia via mangrove ecosystems and Somapura Mahavihara – one of the best known monasteries in the Indian Subcontinent built in the 8th century AD –, culminating with a performance in the iconic Beauty Boarding, a historically vibrant literary hub in Dhaka and a meeting place for intellectuals to this day.

The performances will be interspersed with archival and contemporary documentary footage, and the concert will be amplified by Augmented Reality assets, including a free filter activated through audiences’ phones and laptops, bringing 3D objects from the screen into viewers’ immediate surroundings. The Concert’s graphic identity is developed by long-time Samdani Art Foundation collaborator Fraser Muggeridge Studio.


25th Annual Harvard India Poetry Meeting

START
Sun, May 16, 2021 at 10:00am

END
Sun, May 16, 2021

VENUE
Webinar

The theme for this year’s India Poetry Reading is “Mother Nature.” This annual event celebrates India’s contribution to the field of literature and invites local poets to recite original compositions in the language of their choosing.

This event is hosted in partnership with the Department of South Asian Studies at Harvard University and South Asian Poets of New England. This year, the event will be presented virtually.

Please contact Bijoy Misra (bmisra@fas.harvard.edu) or Chandu Shah (bostonwale@gmail.com) for more information and the Zoom link for this session.


Channels of Expression in Times of Change

START
Wed, Oct 7, 2020 at 01:00pm

END
Wed, Oct 7, 2020 at 02:00pm

VENUE
Webinar

Featuring music and dance across continents, this session sheds light on creative and expressive processes and celebrates the means of resilience they provide. Four units of Harvard University across continents will present dance expressions of ancient, modern, and contemporary understandings of:

  • Cosmic synergies encompassing both change and equilibrium in the cosmos (Asia)
  • Timeless truths on human emotion and experience to seek answers to contemporary questions (North America)
  • Human relations and their dynamics (Europe)
  • Universal connections between humanity and elements of nature (South America)

The presentation of these four dance performances will be followed by a conversation among the artists and special guests.

Opening remarks by Sanjay Kumar (The Mittal Institute, New Delhi), Helena Monteiro (DRCLAS Brazil), Evan Katsarelis (CHS Greece), and Zoie Lafis (CHS US, also the curator of this event)

Guest respondents: Panayotis League, Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology and Director of the Center for Music of the Americas, Florida State University

Time: 1:00p EDT / 10:30p IST / 2:00p BRT / 5:00p UTC / 8:00p EET 

Venue: Live on 24 hours of Harvard website 

This event is a collaboration between David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (Brazil), The Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute, Center for Hellenic Studies, and Center for Hellenic Studies in Greece. It is presented as part of “24 Hours of Harvard,” a special feature of Worldwide Week at Harvard 2020


Khusrau’s River of Love: Cosmopolitanism and Inclusion in South Asian Traditions

START
Thu, Oct 8, 2020 at 07:30am

END
Thu, Oct 8, 2020 at 09:00am

VENUE
Webinar

Preview: https://bit.ly/34uH0Rn

In its recent history, South Asia has witnessed a deep polarization of society fueled by ideologies that seek to exclude “the other,” variously defined through the lens of caste, religion, ethnicity, language, gender, sexual orientation, and race. Promoted through various media, these exclusionary discourses have overshadowed the region’s rich legacy of inclusion and humanism expressed through its vibrant literary and performative traditions, best exemplified by Amir Khusrau, South Asia’s legendary historian, poet, musician, and mystic.

This presentation, which features performances by musician and writer, Ali Sethi, and Dastango (story-teller), journalist, and writer, Himanshu Bajpai, with commentaries by Harvard Professor Ali Asani, aims to highlight this cosmopolitan ethic and shared cultural history by showcasing Khusrau’s work and legacy. Through the dastan-goi or qissa, traditional form of storytelling, and the qawwali, the iconic form of South Asian Sufi poetry, the presentation will offer an alternative lens through which we may engage with and appreciate difference.

Speakers:

  • Ali Asani, Murray A. Albertson Professor of Middle Eastern Studies and Professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures, Committee on the Study of Religion and Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University
  • Ali Sethi, singer and writer
  • Himanshu Bajpai, Dastango, writer, and journalist

Time: 7:30a EST / 5.00p IST / 4:30p PKT / 5:30p BST 

Venue: Live on 24 hours of Harvard website 

This online session is presented as part of “24 Hours of Harvard,” a special feature of Worldwide Week at Harvard 2020


24th Annual Harvard India Virtual Poetry Meeting

START
Sun, May 17, 2020 at 02:00pm

END
Sun, May 17, 2020

The theme for this year’s India Poetry Reading is “Justice.” This annual event celebrates India’s contribution to the field of literature and invites local poets to recite original compositions in the language of their choosing. 

This event is presented in partnership with the Department of South Asian Studies at Harvard University and South Asian Poets of New England. This year, the event will be presented virtually. 

Please contact Bijoy Misra (bmisra@fas.harvard.edu) or Chandu Shah (bostonwale@gmail.com) for more information and the Zoom link for this session.


India Science Festival 2020

START
Sat, Jan 11, 2020 at 10:30am

END
Sun, Jan 12, 2020 at 06:45pm

The beginning of 2020 will mark a massive celebration of science and technology with the India Science Fest, which aims to bridge the gap between science and society. This extravaganza is a non-profit initiative to help youth engage with the latest in science from across the world, fueling curiosity and demystifying the scientific career path. Aspiring Minds, an Indian-born global assessments leader, is a lead organizer of the Festival in association with the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute at Harvard University, the primary academic partner for the event.


Pride & Progress Film Festival and Symposium

START
Fri, Oct 25, 2019 at 09:00am

END
Fri, Oct 25, 2019 at 06:00pm

VENUE
Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, MA

ADDRESS
Harvard Kennedy School
Cambridge, MA

The Pride & Progress film festival and symposium will screen movies and highlight human rights filmmakers and activists who are leading the cultural fight against laws that criminalize and discriminate against LGBTQ+ people in the former British colonies.


Art Exhibition: Exploring Identity Through a Contemporary South Asian Lens

START
Tue, Oct 15, 2019 at 06:00pm

END
Tue, Oct 15, 2019 at 08:00pm

Our Fall 2019 Visiting Artist Fellows, Sagar Chhetri from Nepal and Sakshi Gupta from India, will exhibit their artwork to provide creative commentary on identity today in South Asia. During the reception, both Chhetri and Gupta will present their work and engage in a discussion with the audience. Snacks will be served at the October 15 opening reception!

Eclipse, Sagar Chhetri
At the Still Point of the Turning World, Sakshi Gupta

The exhibition will be available for viewing between October 15, 2019 and November 26, 2019 on the fourth floor of CGIS South. The opening reception will take place on October 15, 2019.


Welcome Back Mixer

START
Wed, Sep 4, 2019 at 04:30pm

END
Wed, Sep 4, 2019 at 06:00pm

VENUE
CGIS South Concourse
Harvard University

ADDRESS
CGIS South Concourse
Harvard University
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

Celebrate the start of the school year with the Mittal Institute over chai and snacks! Learn from our team about the work that the Mittal Institute is doing in South Asia and the numerous funding opportunities available, interact with various Harvard South Asia student groups, and meet with other Harvard students who are interested in South Asia! 


23rd Annual Harvard India Poetry Meeting

START
Sun, May 19, 2019 at 02:00pm

END
Sun, May 19, 2019

VENUE
CGIS South, S010

ADDRESS
CGIS South, S010
1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA

The theme for this year’s India Poetry Reading is “Compassion.” This annual event celebrates India’s contribution to the field of literature and invites local poets to recite original compositions in the language of their choosing. 

This event is presented in partnership with the Department of South Asian Studies at Harvard University and South Asian Poets of New England.

Please contact Bijoy Misra (bmisra@fas.harvard.edu) or Chandu Shah (bostonwale@gmail.com) for more information.