Music Of Resistance : “Peoples Music” Attract Audience At Serendipity’17

A short installation on music, that comes without poster, actors or ticket. Sound fun? Well, that was
exactly what “Peoples Music” did to its viewers in Goa. A 6 minute long installation that covers the
music of resistance throughout the country it stood out from the normal. There is Nina Simone
singing “Southern trees bear strange fruit, Blood on the trees and blood on the root” and an
animation sequence follows the music. The animation makes the whole installation more vivid. As
this music plays in the background microphone, simultaneously appears on the screen an ant and a
tree. The tree as an apple which slowly reshapes to form a man’s head with a cord round his neck.
Well, it doesn’t end there. The animation is then zoomed out, and there are shadows of people
appear who are hanging on the branch. Giant arm appears out of nowhere to take a photograph of
the hanging bodies. Yes as Simone sing in the background “Black bodies, swinging in the southern
breeze”. And the name appears of Junaid, Akhlaq and Pehlu khan, the state sponsored victims of
fascism. Conceptualisation of music is to the point. This is where art transcends its border. This is
where art fulfils one of its purposes- resistance. Well, people music as an installation is a journey
through resistance music of Indian subcontinent- from the songs of freedom struggle to the latest
anti fascism protests. There are also references made to the civil rights movement of the United
States, as you just read that of Simone and Paul Robeson.
Ants are something that appears throughout the film. As Ahmed, an artist who had an instrumental
role in people’s music explains in an interview given to the Indian Express, “The moment you look at
an ant, you think of buildings and builder ants. But we are focussing on the resilient ones.” People’s
music is curated by Sumangala Damodaran, designed by Sudhanva Deshpande and animation was
done by Shaaz Ahmed. To conclude I would say, “Peoples music” is intense and thought provoking.

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