Yatra - combining traditional Gaelic music with Indian rag - first performed in An Lanntair as part of the Purvai Festival last year
An Lanntair celebrates the continued success of its Festival of South Asian Art and Culture, Purvai in 2018 as the festival travels to India for some very special events and live performances.
The festival, held in Stornoway, was a signature event for Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017, was original inspired by the life and collection of Stornoway-born Colonel Colin Mackenzie, who became the first Surveyor General of India.
The Purvai Festival engaged audiences with the rich history that exists between India and Scotland, celebrating and exploring the South Asian cultural heritage that is an integral part of Scotland today. Now the headline and YHHA Signature event of Purvai – Yatra (meaning Journey) – which told the journey of Mackenzie from the Hebrides to India through a confluence of Gaelic vocal tradition and Indian Rag, will be performed to audiences in India at The India Museum in Calcutta.
To bring ‘Yatra’ back to India and for it to be performed at The India Museum is hugely poignant and befitting for the project, as Colin Mackenzie life’s work and collection was dedicated to documenting, sharing and understanding the ancient art and cultures of India.
Alongside the live performances, Purvai, in partnership with The Edinburgh International Book Festival, will continue also its New Passages Project.
New Passages, a special year-long project commemorating both the 70th anniversary of Indian independence and the partition of India, was developed in 2017 by An Lanntair and the Edinburgh International Book Festival as part of the Purvai project.
Also using the Mackenzie Collection as its axis, Scottish writers Nalini Paul and Abir Mukhrjee, having travelled to the Hebrides to view the Collection and birth place of Mackenzie, are now writing on their discoveries and personal responses to that journey.
In collaboration with the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival in Kolkata, Nalini and Abir carried out a week-long residency, continuing their journey and research into the Mackenzie Collection, and meeting and collaborating with Indian counterpart writers Sandip Roy and Sampurna Chattarji.
This partnership between Apeejay Kolkata Literature Festival, An Lanntair’s Purvai Project and Edinburgh International Book Festival is supported by the British Council through their UK India 2017 fund.