IFA@Kochi | Performance of songs on Manipuri diasporas by Akhu (Ronidkumar Chingangbam) | March 16, 2019, Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2018

India Foundation for the Arts (IFA)
as part of the
Kochi-Muziris Biennale
is delighted to invite you to

A Performance of songs
on the lives and stories of Manipuri diasporas in Bangladesh and Assam
by Akhu (Ronidkumar Chingangbam) on vocals, guitar and harmonica
with Irom Singthoi on percussion and vocals and Pebam Amarjit Singh on the flute and electric guitar
Duration: 75 minutes | Languages: Manipuri and English

Saturday, March 16, 2019 | 07:00 PM | Biennale Pavilion
Cabral Yard, opposite Aspinwall House, Fort Kochi - 682 001

As part of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2018, IFA is delighted to present a performance of songs on the lives and stories of Manipuris diasporas in Bangladesh and Assam, composed and sung by Akhu (Ronidkumar Chingangbam) at 07:00 PM on Saturday, March 16, 2019 at the Biennale Pavilion, Cabral Yard, Fort Kochi (opposite Aspinwall House). He will sing and perform from Ema-gi Wari, a concept album about Manipuris he had met in Bangladesh and Assam, whose ancestors left during the Burmese invasion between 1819 and 1826.

Akhu (Ronidkumar Chingangbam) received a grant from IFA to research and create a musical performance based on notions of Manipuri identity that lie embedded in literature and folklore of the Meitei diaspora, spread across Assam, Tripura and Bangladesh. Through extensive field trips and interviews, the project explored the histories, stories, and songs of the Meitei community and its subsequent migration, to understand the constructions and erasures of identity – both within and outside of Manipur. The performance seeks to generate alternative perspectives on the current sociopolitical landscape of the state.

Click here to read an interview with Akhu about this project in the IFA Newsletter!

Akhu (Ronidkumar Chingangbam) is a lyricist, singer and founder of the folk-rock band Imphal Talkies and The Howlers, and more popularly known by his stage name 'Akhu'. Besides being a performer, he has worked with children in Manipur on a music project called A Native Tongue Called Peace. His band, Imphal Talkies, was one of the 32 bands chosen from 32 countries by In Place of War, a support system for community artistic, creative, and cultural organisations in places of conflict and revolution, and, Un-convention, a series of grassroots music events that took place in around the globe, for the Album of the Revolution.

Irom Singthoi, who has been performing since he was a child, was trained as a traditional pung (Manipuri percussion instrument) musician. Pebam Amarjit Singh has been playing music for the last decade. He is also a session flautist.

Akhu (Ronidkumar Chingangbam) received a grant from India Foundation for the Arts, under the Arts Practice programme.