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1984 Kultar's Mime: Experimental Drama about 1984 by Hopkinson Teens

Discussion in 'History of Sikhism' started by spnadmin, Jun 29, 2013.

  1. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Video of the story behind the story at this link <Kultar's Mime Indiegogo Video - YouTube

    Kultar's Mime invites audiences to understand the 1984 Anti-Sikh Pogroms through a series of paintings. The artists use their work to tell the story of the children whose families were taken from them in the genocide; who relive the tragedy each day, waiting for someone to stand up and speak for them. This experimental performance is not only to raise awareness of this event, but to invoke the desire to achieve justice for those opressed worldwide.
     
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  3. spnadmin

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    http://www.hcam.tv/news/two-path-productions-presents-kultars-mime-june-28


    The play depicts the violence unleashed upon Sikhs in Delhi in October 1984, following the assassination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, from the perspective of a group of young Sikh children from one of the poorest and worst affected neighborhoods.

    “The world has largely forgotten the innocent victims of 1984” said Mehr Kaur, the director of Kultar’s Mime. “Art is an essential way of responding to oppression, but because of many complex circumstances the artistic community has largely ignored this tragedy in which thousands of innocents suffered greatly”. Kultar’s Mime is adapted from a poem of the same name by Sarbpreet Singh, a Boston Area writer, commentator and playwright, who in 2012 was selected by the Boston Globe as one of the finalists for ‘Bostonian of The Year’ for his interfaith work.

    According to Singh, “The adaptation of Kultar’s Mime for the stage, brings to life the stories of many young children, who were brutalized in the 1984 pogrom. Their twenty-nine year long quest for justice has largely been futile as the largest democracy in the world refuses to acknowledge the role that elected officials played in orchestrating the massacre. The staging of Kultar’s Mime, in Hopkinton, which is so far removed from the site of the massacre, by a cast that is completely unconnected to the tragedy speaks to the strength of human compassion and gives me great hope”.

    A series of original paintings, depicting the events described in the poem have been commissioned for the staging of the play and will be incorporated into the performance. The play, based on a poem by Sarbpreet Singh, and adapted for stage and directed by Mehr Kaur, helps audiences to understand the tragedy by viewing a series of paintings that come to life through performances by the young actors Ali Weinstein, Aidan Connelly, Evelyn Oliver, Leah Raczynski, and William Blanchette.


    ABOUT
    In June 1984, the Prime Minister of India, Mrs. Indira Gandhi launched an armed assault on the Golden Temple, Sikhism's most prominent place of worship, ostensibly to dislodge and capture several Sikh militants led by a charismatic preacher named Jarnail Singh Bhinderanwale, who had sought refuge there. Several thousand innocent Sikh men, women and children, pilgrims who were in the Temple to celebrate a major Sikh Holiday were killed in the assault, which greatly alienated Sikhs, who represent a miniscule 2% of India's population.

    Several months later, in a unilateral act of vengeance, Mrs. Gandhi was assassinated by her two Sikh bodyguards. In response, her political party, The Congress, unleashed several days of terror on every innocent Sikh in Delhi. Armed mobs roamed India's capital with impunity killing, raping and looting. When the pogrom was over several thousand innocent Sikhs lay dead and millions of dollars’ worth of property was destroyed. Even though various Human Rights groups clearly implicated Congress leaders in the attacks and documented the names of hundreds of perpetrators, 29 years later, nobody has been brought to justice.

    Given the constraints on speech that ironically exist even today in the 'largest democracy in the world', there has been a marked lack of art in response to this brutal historical episode. With the exception of a documentary and a couple of feature films, the events of 1984 have largely been forgotten.

    Two Paths Productions , a company of young artists from the Boston suburb of Hopkinton, presents Kultar's Mime, an immersive theater experience, which depicts the pogrom from the perspective of several children who were victims of the violence.
     

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