In 2013, Ronita Mookerji was involved in another project called The Dam(N) Project which is based on Water and Land issues at the Narmada Dam sites and narrative of the present situation and livelihood of people living there and people involved. The process of creating ZAMEEN highlights the validity of community engagement, social activism and digital technology in environmentally engaged interdisciplinary art practice. While the initial stage is focused on the relationship between Australian and India, the long-term vision for The DAM(N) Project expands into other communities and cultures worldwide. See more at: http://thedamnproject.com/archives/projects/
ZAMEEN has been conceived and developed by Sydney-based producer Jehan Kanga, Queensland based award-winning music composer Leah Barclay, and S. Shakthidharan, the Artistic Director of CuriousWorks in Sydney. ZAMEEN features live performances from Ronita Mookerji and Sylvester Mardi, from Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts, India’s leading contemporary dance company.
ZAMEEN is the first major performance from The DAM(N) Project, a large-scale interdisciplinary art venture that connects Australian and Indian communities around the common concern of global water security. ZAMEEN presents the lives of remote communities in the Narmada Valley of North India, displaced by large- scale dam development securing hydropower for Indian cities. This holistic project integrates innovative technology, diverse community perspectives and true stories of resilience to create an immersive performance combining projections, choreography and multi-channel soundscapes.
This performance draws on material from our first creative development journey into the Narmada Valley of North India, capturing visual footage and field recordings in the affected landscapes working directly with remote communities. The source material is predominately from the regional area of Jobat, where we collected stories and solidarity songs from over 20 displaced groups who had gathered at a satyagraha (nonviolent protest).
Each movement of the work draws from our experiences onsite, ranging from abstract explorations of the powerful Narmada River to the songs of hope from the children. Ultimately, the DAM(N) project is designed to connect global communities around the common concern of global water security and reveal the ramifications of damming rivers that hold cultural and spiritual significance for indigenous communities worldwide. The process of creating ZAMEEN highlights the validity of community engagement, social activism and digital technology in environmentally engaged interdisciplinary art practice. While the initial stage is focused on the relationship between Australian and India, the long-term vision for The DAM(N) Project expands into other communities and cultures worldwide.
The process presentation full-length show was performed on 7th, 8th May at Boreen Point, Sunshine Coast, Queensland as a part of the Floating Land Festival Australia 2013. ZAmeen, the full-length multi-media performance was premiered at the Parramasala Festival, Sydney, Australia on the 6th and 7th of October, 2013. An excerpt of this piece was performed in Prayana Dance Festival in Collaboration with Goethe Institut, Kolkata on 25th of October, 2013 under the Young Choreographer’s Platform.