Songs Of Freedom: Celebrating Fifty Years of Bangladesh

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Marking Victory Day, with stories, song and music

This event takes place in the British Library Theatre

On 16 December 1971 the nation of Bangladesh was born after a bitter fight for independence. To mark the anniversary, all communities are invited to join an evening of conversation, words and music.

The event also launches the Swadhinata Trust oral history project, Bengali Music and Musicians in the UK, now part of the British Library Sound Archive.

The programme includes:

Mahmudur Rahman Benu-bhai who led the Bangladesh Mukti Shangrami Shilpi Shangstha Liberation Team of Artists in 1971, touring the war zone and refugee camps in India singing Songs of Freedom.

Moushumi Bhowmik, an Indian Bengali singer, writer and music archivist. She composed and sang the iconic ‘Joshor Road’ for Tareque Masud's documentary Muktir Kotha, which has become an anthem of the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh. Her research and collection of field recordings from Bangladesh may be found in The Travelling Archive

Budhaditya Bhattacharyya, an Indian musician and music researcher based in London, is continuing his training in Hindustani classical music and modern Bengali songs under the tutelage of Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty. As a DDS-funded doctoral researcher at Durham University, Budhaditya is working on musical histories of migration and citizenship between Bengal and Britain.

The Grand Union Orchestra, led by composer Tony Haynes, who has a long history of collaboration with artists from Bangladesh. Tonight he and three members of GUO are joined by Yousuf Ali Khan on tabla and singer Lucy Rahman performing songs by Lucy’s father Sheikh Luthfur Rahman, a celebrated singer-songwriter and activist in the cause of independence.

The event will be hosted by Julie Begum, chair of Swadhinata Trust, and Valentine Harding, a member of Swadhinata Trust and volunteer researcher for the Bengali Music and Musicians in the UK project.

Founded in 2000, The Swadhinata Trust is a London-based secular Bengali community group that works to promote Bengali history and heritage amongst young people.

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Name: Songs Of Freedom: Celebrating Fifty Years of Bangladesh
Where: Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546