< Opening of festival >
Welcome by Dr Geetha Narayanan, Director, Srishti, Bangalore & Dr Sara Bjärstorp Head of Department of K3, Malmo.
Video timeline : 00:00-05.19 > Dr.Jyothsna Belliappa / 05.21-11.00 > Dr.Geetha Narayanan / 11.04-15.09 > Sara Bjatstorp / 15.15-01:22:00 > Dr.Jyoti Sahi
< Keynote brief >
This paper will explore some reflections that have come out of the Kabir Project over the last ten years.
The Kabir project is a series of on-going journeys and enquiries into the stunning diversity of social,
religious and musical traditions concerned with the medieval mystic poet Kabir and explores how his
poetry intersects with contemporary ideas of cultural identity, secularism, nationalism, religion, death,
impermanence, folk and oral knowledge systems. The paper will also draw on my own work as a
practicing artist, concerned with the process of dialogue between different cultures which relates to my
own experience and understanding of a modern world of hybrid identities and area of inter religious
dialogue through art forms.
Dr Jyoti Sahi trained as an artist in Shantiniketan, Kolkata, with Sudhir Khastigir, one of the early disciples
of Rabindranath Tagore. He further studied art in London at the Camberwell School of Arts and Craft.
Throughout his life Dr Jyoti Sahi has been deeply interested in religious art, symbolism and theology. He
has been invited to work with a number of religious associations and inter-faith associations across the
world including the Missio in Aachen, Germany and the National Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical
Centre (N.B.C.L.C.) in Bangalore. A practicing artist, he is also founder and resident of the Art Ashram in
Silvepura Bangalore, started in 1983, that is concerned with the relationship between art and spirituality.
He works closely with his wife, Jane Sahi, at the Sita School, an experimental primary and secondary
school for village children, also situated in the ashram.
He was invited to give the Alexander Duff lectures in Edinburgh and the Teape Lectures in Cambridge and
Birmingham. In 2004 he was made William Paton Fellow at Selly Oak College. He received ‘Doctor of
Divinity’ status from the Senate of Serampore for his work relating Theology and Art in the Indian context
Dr Sahi’s publications include The Child and the Serpent: Reflections on Popular Indian Symbols in 1980,
Holy Ground in 1998 Stepping Stones: Towards a Theology of Indian Christian Culture in 1986. Dr
Sahi is passionate about the role of art in mitigating conflict and facilitating dialogue among diverse
groups. Since 2006 he has been closely involved in the Kabir Project at Srishti School of Art Design and
Technology, a series of enquiries into the life and work of the 15th century north Indian mystic poet, Kabir
as well as other Bhakti and Sufi poets in our contemporary worlds.