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F R O N T L I N E

Children learning to play instruments from their cultural heritage PHOTOGRAPH: COURTESY SERGIO LÓPEZ FIGUEROA

INDIA the accessibility of Indian classical music the project some children wanted to do
education. Audiences were interested in live something to preserve their heritage and
BIG BANG LAB music for a new contemporary silent film
created and performed by young children,
most of them were not happy with the
amount of rubbish in their locality.
a group of boys and girls living in shelter The collective editing took place
Sergio López Figueroa homes with a history of child abuse, at Frameboxx, a school of animation
explains how the Delhi trafficking, child labour and displacement. providing resources and volunteers in
The host organisation was Prayas, a kind. The final film was presented with
City Symphony has helped national non-governmental organisation live music on World Heritage Day at the
change the lives of people supporting these underprivileged children India Habitat Centre, a central cultural
through various holistic programmes. This venue in the city and another active
with limited prospects. project made visible the hidden creative supporter of the project.

E ngaging communities with their


values, collective memories and
heritage in a way that is open, relevant
power of their children.
Together they made a digital film
about Delhi, focusing on its heritage and
The co-creation of the new live
soundtrack was a successful achievement,
working together with a group of young
and sustainable is at the core of Big Bang present life. The structure was created as classical Indian musicians. I was really
Lab, a cultural, social enterprise working a reaction to the visual material available, pleased to hear that as a consequence
across film, music and heritage. A turning not by following a script. “Heritage is the participants wanted to learn to play
point happened earlier this year when not only about the past. We are creating instruments from their own cultural
I received a Cultural Leadership award ‘Heritage’ right now,” expressed Kamalini heritage through formal training. This
for Creative Entrepreneurs to work in Dutt, Director of Doordarshan TV project proved that young people can
India supported by the British Council. Archives, who supported the project and be encouraged to reconnect with their
Delhi City Symphony was the outcome, the use of archive footage. cultural traditions and values whilst being
a successful project proving that archive The children contributed to the film empowered as responsible citizens.
films and media are powerful learning and by shooting at various locations and
outreach tools for tackling contemporary also interacted with local communities. To learn more about Delhi City
issues across cultural backgrounds. Amongst many other outcomes, the Symphony and watch videos
The process of musical heritage process helped the children to judge related to the project please visit
engagement was simple: the innovative the consequences of the lack of waste www.delhi-citysymphony.com
approach to new music-making using management affecting a local heritage site
balloons, singing and real car-horn sounds – Tughlakabad – and to look more deeply Sergio López Figueroa is Founder and Director of Big
was the starting point for questioning at the effects of consumer culture. After Bang Lab. www.bigbang-lab.com

10 Resurgence No. 257 November/December 2009

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