A Delicate Weave, set in Kutch, Gujarat, India, traces four different musical journeys, all converging in the ways they affirm religious diversity, syncretism and love of the ‘other’. Drawing on the poetic and musical traditions of Kabir and Shah Bhitai, as well as the folk traditions of the region, these remarkable musicians and singers bear testimony to how oral traditions of compassion are being passed down from one generation to the next. Whether it is the group of young men in Bhujodi who meet every night to sing the bhajans of Kabir, or the feisty women from Lakhpat, who quietly subvert gender roles through their music performances, or Noor Mohammad Sodha, who plays and teaches exquisite flute music, or Jiant Khan and his disciples, whose love for the Sufi poet Bhitai is expressed through the ethereal form of Wai singing—all are committed to the project of what Naranbhai, a carpet weaver and community archivist from Bhujodi, calls “breaking down the walls”; walls that have been built up through the politics of hate and intolerance that marks our times.
Anjali Monteiro and K.P. Jayasankar are Professors at the School of Media and Cultural Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. Both of them are involved in media production, teaching and research. They have played a key role in setting up the School of Media and Cultural Studies, TISS and the MA programme in Media and Cultural Studies. Their documentary films, which have been screened across the world, have won 32 national and international awards. Their most recent awards are the Best film award at the International Folk Film Festival, Kathmandu and the Basil Wright Prize for So Heddan So Hoddan (Like Here Like There) at the 13th RAI International Festival of Ethnographic Film 2013. Retrospectives include Vibgyor Film Festival, Kerala, 2006; Bangalore Film Society, 2010; Madurai International Film Festival, 2012 and Parramasala Sydney, 2013. An adaptation of their film Saacha (The Loom) was a part of the art exhibition ‘Project Space: Word. Sound. Power.’ at the Tate Modern, London, in 2013; and at Khoj, New Delhi in 2014. They have served as jury and as festival consultants and directors to several film festivals in India. They have mentored many student and fellowship documentary film projects as commissioning editors.
Their recent book A Fly in the Curry, on independent Indian documentary, published by Sage in 2016, has won a Special Mention for the best book on cinema at the National Film Awards, 2016. They are both recipients of several fellowships, including the Howard Thomas Memorial Fellowship in Media Studies, the Fulbright visiting lecturer fellowship, and the Erasmus Mundus scholarship, among others. They have also been visiting faculty at several leading media and design institutions and lectured at universities in the USA, Australia, Europe, and in Asian countries.