People’s Music



We create music when we are happy. We create music when we are sad. We make music to accompany work. We make music for relaxation. There is music that brings entire communities together. There is music that only the truly sophisticated aficionado can appreciate in all its subtleties. There is no feeling that music cannot convey. There is music for every occasion. 

Including protest and resistance. 

This sound, graphic and animation installation presents music of protest, resistance and social engagement over the last 80 or so years. People’s Music showcases material from different languages and regional contexts on everyday concerns of livelihoods, work, hunger, strife, war and conflict. 

From Ravi Shankar’s moving music for the 1946 film Dharti ke Laal (the only film produced by the Indian People’s Theatre Association), to Makhdoom Mohiuddin’s soulful anti-war song; from songs of Bangladesh’s Bhasha Andolan (Language Movement) to Iqbal Bano’s stirring rendition of Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s Hum Dekhenge; from Paul Robeson’s magisterial Ol’ Man River to Sambhaji Bhagat’s foot-tapping Lafda Kai Ko Re, People’s Music is an experience to enjoy and be inspired by. 

Images courtesy Philippe Calia & Sunil Thakkar


Curated by Sumangala Damodaran, Design by Sudhanva Deshpande, Design, Direction, Animation by Shaaz Ahmad, Composed by Sumangala Damodaran, Sound design, Arrangement, Mixing by Mark Aranha, DOP Inderjeet Singh,Gurinder Singh, Film reference Dharti Ke Lal, IPTA Central Squad, (Dir. K A Abbas), Visual inspiration Chittaprosad, Pablo Picasso, Saul Bass, Somnath Hore, William Kentridge, Music track credits Strange Fruit – Nina Simone, Din Khoon Ke Hamare – Reba Roychowdhury, Khoon Apna Ho Ya Paraaya Ho – Poem by Sahir Ludhianvi recited by Saeed Khokhar, Jaane Wale Sipahi Se Poocho – Sumangala Damodaran, Ekushe February – Bangladesh Liberation Song, Bhookha hai Bengal – IPTA central squad in the film Dharti Ke Lal, Actor Sudhanva Deshpande, Artists Dharendar Kumar Prateek Kushwaha Rajat Kumar Shaaz Ahmed Yogesh Kumar, Art Assistant Athar Hamid, Edit by Raju Sahu, Lighting by Inderjit Singh, Compositing, Colour Correction by Raju Sahu, Executive Producer Shadan Raza Ahmed, Produced by Inderjit Singh, Creative Director Sudhanva Deshpande.

All 2019 Grants