The Forgotten songs Collective is a multimedia art collective initiated by Rest Of My Family’s Artist Connect program in collaboration with vinayak^a that aims to preserve, raise awareness about dying tribal and folk music and cultures through multi-media artist collaborations with musicians, visual artists, projection mapping artists, film makers, and other artists.
Biate is one of the oldest tribes residing in remote villages in Assam and Meghalaya. In Assam they reside in hamlets across the hills of Dima Hasao district. The elders believe that the younger generation can no longer comprehend the language spoken by their ancestors. It has changed over time. Some Biate folklore suggests that their ancestors fled China during the construction of the Great Wall. But since there are no written records of their history, not much is known about the tribe. Not many in the younger generation are aware of their history. Since their conversion to Christianity, the culture has experienced great dilution and crucial cultural knowledge is disappearing very fast. The elders are the last generation of Biate who remember their melodies, their dances, rituals and history. Biate elders expressed grave concerns about their fading culture and music.
So we decided to do something about it.
Journey So Far
For project Biate Rest Of My Family and vinayak^a have collaborated and the journey since then has been documented in the film Biate: The Forgotten Songs. This entire experience allowed vinayak^a to understand the community, feel their concern about their dying music, to collect various songs, sounds, field recordings from the community and start jamming with other musicians and working on producing music and performances.
More Artists to be announced soon. Stay tuned
Film covering journey of Phase 2 through a full length (45 - 60mins.) documentary will complete this story by documenting the following:
After the completion of Project Biate, TFSC will work to celebrate music and culture of the following tribes.
Bonda Tribe, Odisha
In Odisha, the Bonda Tribe reside in the hills of Malkangiri. Broadly, the tribe can be categorised into two -- the upper Bondas and the lower Bondas. The upper Bonda are isolated from the lower settlement. They have been recognised as a scheduled tribe and are one of the oldest and most primitive tribes living in mainland India. Their culture has barely experienced any change in the last thousand years.
After project Biate, TFSC will work with the Bonda tribe to raise awareness about their culture and music.
Gond Tribe, Bastar
Spread over the states of Madhya Pradesh, Eastern Maharashtra, Chattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Odisha. Their language belongs to the Dravidian family of languages. The Madia Gonds are one of the endogamous tribes living in Bastar, Chattisgarh and Chandrapur and Gadchiroli in Maharashtra. They still practise rituals and uphold traditions that define who they are. They reside in zones that are recognised as the red corridor zones -- naxal affected areas. With the entire belt transforming into a war zone for several decades, the tribe has continued to suffer over the years.While the Naxal-state conflict narrative has received tremendous attention, the voice of the tribe has barely found its place in any narrative. Living in the constant shadow of a bloody conflict the cultural, musical and historical identity of the tribe has been largely ignored.Through artistic collaborations and films to bring to the world- Gond music, culture, history and narrative.
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