The documentary film about Khusiram Pakhrin that Bhakta Syangtan and I made, Singing A Great Dream, won two awards at the Darbhanga International Film Festival on February 9, 2020. We're excited and honored! Here's the trailer: https://vimeo.com/364925937 And the poster:
Translation of a report by Sewa Bhattarai from June 1, 2017, on BBC Nepali. Although Nepali communists today refer to the 1950 overthrow of the Rana regime and establishment of democracy as "change" rather than "revolution," members of the Nepali Congress refer to this change as revolution. At this juncture, as well as in the… Continue reading “Revolutionary Songs” of the Anti-Rana Movement
When I do pay attention to the literary study of songs, it's this kind of attention to the sonic aspects of lyrics that piques my interest.
"After Jagat Shah was killed in action during a revolt against King Mahendra's government in 1962, Rashmi Rajya stayed in Calcutta as a political refugee before she committed suicide in full bridal wear a day before Teej of the same year. The poem was penned during that time in memory of her husband."
Who were Ralpha? Nepal's original leftist cultural group, they began as a politically neutral artists' collective interested in nihilism and existentialism (and surrealism, as Manjul points out in the 1988 memoir The Footsteps of Memory). As I begin writing a new book on political performance, love, and friendship among Nepal's political left, Ralpha are the… Continue reading Ralpha: An Overview (translation)
I'm thrilled that I've been awarded two fellowships, a Fulbright Scholar Award and the CAORC NEH Senior Fellowship, to work on my new book project, on Nepali progressive song. 2018-2019 will be a sabbatical year of research and writing in Nepal. I'm looking forward to seeing old friends and new, and working on this project (more… Continue reading Fulbright, CAORC NEH, and a Sabbatical Project
In May 2007, this celebration of kauda chudka song and dance, in Lower Gyaja village of Manakamana VDC in Gorkha district, helped me understand how Nepal's urban dohori restaurants were trying to create a rural festival atmosphere. It also led me to question strict separation between political songs and "regular" folk songs. The song posted… Continue reading Kauda Chudka in Gorkha District
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcmnCoTMxto "Returning from the Battlefield" is an opera written by the Nepali composer of progressive and revolutionary songs, Khusiram Pakhrin. It was written for a meeting of the leadership of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist during their People's War (1996-2006); this meeting, in 2005, proved decisive in the conclusion of the war. The opera was… Continue reading Experiences informing the Maoist Opera “Returning from the Battlefield”: Photos from Khusiram Pakhrin