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Uncovering the Archive What story will you tell?

Performance Migration, Memory and Music: Bringing an archive of songs from Bengal to London. Moushumi Bhowmik; Oliver Weeks; Ben Heartland

21 Oct 2023

Presentation-performance by Moushumi Bhowmik, with Oliver Weeks (guitar) and Ben Heartland (double bass).

  • Location

    MayDay Rooms, 88 Fleet St, London EC4Y 1DH

  • Date

    Saturday 21st October 2023

  • Time

    5pm - 9pm

  • Admission

    Free! Booking required.

‘Uncovering the Archive’ is thrilled to present Moushumi Bhowmik, a Calcutta (Kolkata)-based Bengali singer, composer and practice-led researcher who has been making and archiving field recordings from India, Bangladesh and London for over two decades. During this event Moushumi will talk about her archival practice and perform a selection of her songs rooted in Bengali folk and protest traditions. Her concert will be performed alongside longtime collaborators Ben Heartland and Oliver Weeks. 

Her main focus is on questions of home, homeland, borders and displacement and her main research methodology involves listening and telling/singing. She collaborates with artists, filmmakers and scholars across disciplines and continents. Moushumi is also a published author in English and Bengali. Her research, including the archive that comes out of her doctoral research, can be found at www.thetravellingarchive.org.

Moushumi is handing over a set of her/The Travelling Archive’s recordings relating to Bengali life in London and elsewhere in the UK, to help us study our histories of migration through sound. These include recordings made from 2006 in London and others made in and around London as well as in Kolkata/Calcutta for an exhibition held at Rich Mix in 2015 entitled The Travelling Archive in East London. Moushumi continues to make recordings of her friends in London every time she visits the city and copies of her recent work will be held at MayDay Rooms. 

While the event is open to all, participants between the ages of 18 – 25 will be given priority and are strongly encouraged to attend!