Amar Mahal hosts Dara Shikoh Fellowship symposium

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 10/21/2019 12:35:33 AM

Launches redesigned museum galleries

JAMMU, Oct 20: The Amar Mahal Museum and Library held a weekend dedicated to the revival of syncretic cultures, launching redesigned museum galleries and hosting presentations by Dara Shikoh Fellows on topics ranging from shared sacred spaces in Bhaderwah to the revival of Gojri in the digital age.
On Saturday, the annual symposium of the fourth annual Dara Shikoh Fellowship was held in the historic library premises and was attended by luminaries like Dr. Karan Singh, professors from Jammu University, and renowned scholars from across the city. Four Fellows, two from Srinagar and one each from Kishtwar and Poonch, showcased their academic and cultural research into the syncretic culture of Bhaderwah and its lessons for communal harmony in the region.
Khalid Yaqoob Mir, a Ph.D. student from Kishtwar, presented his work on Sufi shrines of pirs in Bhaderwah; Taha Mughal, an architect with INTACH Kashmir, introduced his translation of Bashir Bhaderwahi’s book on the history of the region; Garima Sharma, an MA student from Poonch, showcased her findings on the revival of Gojri; and Tabish Haider, an artists from Srinagar, displayed his painting on the Naga culture of Bhaderwah.
The Fellowship, currently in its fourth year, has supported several young minds from across the region and abroad to pursue research in Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh. The symposium saw closing remarks by Dr. Jyotsna Singh, the Director of the Dara Shikoh Centre for the Arts, and Anish Gawande, the Director of the Dara Shikoh Fellowship.
On Sunday, the Museum launched its redesigned galleries on the history and culture of Jammu alongside a gallery dedicated to a rare collection of 49 Nala-Damayanti miniature paintings. There was also an exhibition of paintings by contemporary artist Suman Gupta on “Sacred Vision.” The launch saw speeches by Dr. Karan Singh and Dr. Jyotsna Singh, Director of the Dara Shikoh Centre for the Arts. The evening also saw music performances in Hindi, Urdu, Dogri, Pahari, and Gojri by musicians from Jammu and Poonch.
The paintings by Dogri-Pahari artists depict narrations from Sriharsha's 12th-century work, Naishadhacharita, and are an integral part of Jammu’s cultural history. Renowned art historian B. N. Goswamy has authored a book on them and they have inspired several contemporary artists across the world.
"There is an urgent need to preserve our culture and our language. If we don't speak to our children in Dogri, how will their children ever learn Dogri at all?" asked Dr. Karan Singh at the event.
“We are incredibly proud to launch our redesigned galleries at the Amar Mahal Museum and hope that they will become spaces for artists, writers, and scholars to come together for important collaborations,” said Dr Jyotsna Singh while inviting Jammu residents and visitors to engage with the region’s history at the museum.
“The Dara Shikoh Fellowship has been growing from strength to strength, providing a platform for young people to engage with the history, art, and culture of Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh in a manner never done before in the region,” said Anish Gawande, the Director of the Dara Shikoh Fellowship, while encouraging young minds to apply for the fellowship.



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