IGNCA - Diaspora Program

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JANUARY 10, 11 &12 2008

EXHIBITION - Features origin of Roma in India, migration to west and Cultural marginalisation... read more...


Begun in January 2007 as an attempt to understand the cultural nuances of Indian Diaspora, from an ethno anthropological and historical perspective, the IGNCA Diaspora programme have made significant progress towards achieving its long term objective of establishing an Ethnographic Museum on Indian Diaspora.

During this short span of time IGNCA Diaspora programme has introduced a number of innovative initiatives such as regular interactive sessions with visiting scholars, artists, film makers and cultural activists from Diaspora and organized a few exhibitions. In an effort to understand the cultural impact of mass migration during the colonial period, the IGNCA has initiated its Ancestral search programme in January 2007. So far, it has helped several Diaspora members to locate their ancestral families and presently, several such searches are underway. We are planning to bring out the findings of these searches in the form of an anthropological report. 

The forthcoming Diaspora Cultural festival in January 2008 shall focus on historical Diaspora, the origins and history of Roma (Gypsies) in Europe and their historical ancestral cultural relations with India. According to available history, Roma have left India during the most troubled periods of early medieval India- 10 to 15th centuries AD. Sustained wars during this period along the north western frontier of the Indian sub continent resulted in phenomenal population movement and chain migration to different directions. Those who moved westwards are believed to be ancestors of today’s Roma or Gypsies. 

This year’s festival shall have exhibitions on and by Indian Diaspora, cultural programmes such as music, dance and theater performances and film screenings by and on Diaspora. Also this year we are organizing a meeting of the lost relatives found through IGNCA Diaspora Ancestral Search programme, request of Romani delegates to the Government of India and the Indian nation to recognize Romani culture as Indian origin. IGNCA Diaspora Archive shall be inaugurated as part of the festival.

INTERACTIVE SESSION - Topics include interactive presentation on identity issues in daily life of Diaspora cultural marginalisation of Diaspora "being a Gypsy in the west"... read more...
PLAY -  A play on Roma Migration and Indian origin by K. K. Rajan and Dr. Gopal Kamal. read more...
MUSIC & DANCE - Flamenco dance performances by Ms. Shoshi Isreali & Rajasthani troupe, music & dance performance by Ms. Simona Jovic, Czech Republic, Peacock dance by Ella, Romaina with Indian Dancers... read more...
FILM SCREENING - In Exile at home, Dir.: Satish Rai, LATCHO DROM, Dir.: Tony Gatlif, PURONA MANUSH, Dir.: Suresh Kumar Pillai...read more...



400 pm 

Welcome Address 

410 pm 
Keynote Address: Dr.K.K.Chakravarty, Member Secretary, IGNCA 

425 pm 
Reading by Prof. David Dabydeen from his latest book 

500 pm 
Interactive Session with Prof. David Dabydeen 

515 pm 
Release of Book written by Ms. Nalini Mohabir 

Vote of thanks 

530 pm 

600 pm 
A dance performance by Ms. Simona Jovic, Serbia 
on Migration of Roma from India with 
Indian dancers and musicians 

About Presenter

David Dabydeen was born in British Guiana (now Guyana), and left for England in 1969. He read English at Cambridge, graduating in 1978 with the University's Prize for Creative Writing (the Quiller Couch Prize), the first time it was awarded. Professor Dabydeen's first book, Slave Song, was awarded the Commonwealth Poetry Prize in 1984 and he has subsequently published five novels and two volumes of verse. He was awarded the 2004 Raja Rao Award for Literature. Professor Dabydeen is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Guyana's Ambassador/Permanent Delegate to UNESCO. He will be speaking about his most recent publication, his discovery of the diary of Theophilus Richmond, the doctor aboard the first ship in the 'coolie' trade which involved several hundred thousands of Indians being shipped from India to work in the sugar plantations of Fiji, Mauritius and the Caribbean. Please visit the University of Warwick’s Centre for Translation & Comparative Cultural Studies website for more information:

Nalini Mohabir is currently a PhD Student at the University of Leeds, School of Geography in the UK. Her research focuses on the M.V. Resurgent, the last ship to transport ex-indentured labourers from the Caribbean back to India in 1955. This ship was the last colonial connection between India and the Caribbean.

Roma dancer, signer and actress, Simona Jovic, has Serbian and Czech origins, and she grew up in the Former Yugoslavia. During her childhood, she was surrounded by Romany culture, and very young she started travelling in order to meet Roma people from all around the world. That's how she specialized herself in music and dances of the Rroma.

Please see her website for more info: http://www.simonajovic.com 


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