‘Mehfil’ was unique community arts initiative which attempted to capture the stories of 20 South Asian women, of any age, and of varying backgrounds, through the unique language of South Asian poetry.
A Mehfil is a uniquely South Asian gathering where poets and audiences gather to create and listen to poetry. Popularised in Mughal times with active patronage of the Mughal Kings, this performance tradition was extremely creative and interactive.
This interactive process of co-creation made a Mehfil or Mushayra a unique creative performance and ‘Shayri’ or poetry a truly ‘one of a kind’ art form.
This project was set up under the aegis of ‘Migrations’ the World Music Festival and Outreach programme at St. Georges Concert Hall in Bristol, and was hosted by Silai for Skills. The aim of this project was to involve local South Asian women of all ages to use the creative expression of poetry to talk about their unique experiences of Migration. A public performance based on the work created by the group helped create wider awareness of the rich cultural traditions of South Asia and help preserve the tradition for future generations.
Participants were taken through a series of workshops with a creative facilitator. The workshops took place at Silai for Skills in a bilingual setting, and was divided into poetry writing and development sessions. Workshops also include the opportunity to work with a Theatrical Director.
Creative Facilitation: Shagufta Iqbal
Theatrical Direction: Sita Calvert-Ennals
Project Management: Anita Kumar Mackenzie
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