Folk-digital fusion

Artists for Artists is organising a five-week-long programme featuring a series of online concerts aimed at providing folk artists with a platform as well as a new avenue to support them amid the pandemic

Public gatherings and events have been banned for several months now, the brunt of which has been felt by many. One of the several industries impacted in the pandemic are performers, musicians and artists who earn their living through events and live shows.

While there are no immediate signs of resumption of entertainment shows, many of the artists are subsisting on their savings. Without access to patrons or live performances, the future of these artists has plunged into uncertainty.

Keeping this in mind, documentary filmmaker Yasmin Kidwai and musician Amit Kilam in collaboration with Neeta Raheja, co-founder Longform have brought together concerned individuals to create a fundraising platform – ‘Artists for Artists’.

The five-week-long programme will feature a series of concerts under the theme ‘Folk Fridays’ that will be broadcasted live, every Friday. The aim is to spread awareness and help develop avenues to support them.

“Artists for Artists was born out of a need to put a spotlight on the plight of the already struggling folk musicians who have been left with no work. We know that all artists are not tech-savvy, hence we felt that there was a dire need to create a platform for these musicians that not only celebrates their craft but also provides the much-needed resources to support them and their families,” says Yasmin Kidwai.

Nizami Brothers

Featuring Sufi devotional music qawwali, Baul music, folk singing style involving narration of Pandavani tales and Sant Kabir’s poems, it attempts to bring in the essence of Indian folk music and celebrate India’s rich and diverse folk culture. The exciting line-up includes Nizami Brothers from Delhi, Raju Das Baul from Bengal, Prabha Yadav from Chhattisgarh, Kaluram Bamaniya from Madhya Pradesh and master drummer Nathu Lal Solanki from Rajasthan.

“It struck me that we independent musicians could come together and help the folk artists by giving them a platform to showcase their art and not just pass on monetary help. This would help them to feel the vibe of happiness and connecting with people even though the initiative is on a digital platform,” shares Amit Kilam.

The money raised through the shows will be distributed to lesser-known artists who do not have access to events and performances to make a living.

Artists for Artists will also witness a large-scale performance in December in Delhi with all these folk artists coming together for a grand finale.

The concert will be broadcast live, every Friday from 23 October to  20 November, 7:30 pm onwards on Book My Show page

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