If you walk through Cubbon Park at 8 AM between Monday and Saturday, you might be able to find your way to Urban Folk Project by following the sound of Shilpa Mudbi singing at the top of her voice. Urban Folk Project archives folk art forms in Karnataka through its contemporary production based on Yellammanaata, a ritualistic overnight play hosted mostly during the Dussera season by lower caste Hindus around parts of Hyderabad, Karnataka and the Southern Maharashtra region.
Shilpa and Adithya, the creators of this project will give us a glimpse of their show as they take us through their process of archiving these forms. They’ll also talk of how the politics of a community are preserved and how they intersect with our urban sensibilities
How do we document and remember a history that is not ours? How do we represent communities that we don’t belong to? These questions are at the forefront for us as storytellers, as creators of work, as people who engage in history.
Shilpa Mudbi Kothakota
Shilpa Mudbi Kothakota is a filmmaker, theatre practitioner and Vocalist born and brought up in Bangalore. She completed her Masters in Filmmaking from the University of Technology Sydney in 2008 and returned to Bangalore to make films on agriculture, rural development and women’s empowerment for the Karnataka State Department of Agriculture, the University of Agricultural Sciences and Karnataka Mahila Samkhya. In November 2014, she worked as the program coordinator of the 10th Annual Ranga Shankara Theatre Festival. She worked as a manager/actor/singer/songwriter for Indianostrum Theatre: a Contemporary French-Tamil troupe and represented them at the SMART (Strategic Management of the Arts) forum, 2015.
Adithya Kothakota is currently managing the operations of Urban Folk Project. He is an accounting professional and has worked with one of the Big 4 accounting firms. He also briefly worked for a technology start-up as a project manager. He completed his CPA from CPA Australia and Masters in Accounting from Macquarie University, Sydney. As a couple, Adithya and Shilpa have shared their passion for travel and the arts. In May 2017, they made their first trip around Karnataka to locate and document Folk forms of those regions. The uniqueness of this project has drawn him to join and assist with the administrative and organizational aspects of Urban Folk Project.