Documents (EN)

In the press:

  • The anti-protest song (Ashwin Khan) — Pune Mirror, 9 April 2017
    The Grindmill Songs Project, which has been revived this year, documents much more than music. It is a record of oppression faced by women in rural Maharashtra and Karnataka.
  • Grindmill Songs: Listen to the world’s largest archive of folk songs (Urmi Chanda-Vaz) — Scroll.in, 21 April 2017
    These simple songs sung by rural women are precious because they are songs about all of us.
  • Project revives women’s oral tradition set in stone and verse (Mohua Das) — The Times of India, 28 May 2017
    Given the unyielding face of the Grindmill Project at celebrating unsung women without whom there would be no song, the stones will hopefully not stop grinding.
  • India’s Largest Collection of Rural Folk Music Contains Over 10,000 Songs that Women Sing While Grinding Grain (Sharanya Gopinathan) — The Ladies Finger!, 12 June 2017
    The songs touch upon issues like caste, political movements, mythology and religion, and it’s just a really precious and unique resource.
  • Songs of grit and grist (Shriya Mohan) — The Hindu BusinessLine, 30 June 2017
    The women’s struggle continues, but they have lost this avenue of expression. More women go to school and some even further to colleges. But this collective expression is no longer available to them, whereas the society around them continues to be patriarchal and oppressive.
  • From grindings at dawn, ring songs worth saving (Mohua Das) — The Times of India, Pune edition, 27 August 2017, page 4.
    The act of singing at the grindmill is now a rare phenomenon, usually restricted to haldi ceremonies at local weddings. But given the unyielding face of the Grindmill Project, at celebrating unseen women without whom there would be no song, the stones will hopefully never stop grinding.

Personal comment:

A dream of Hema Rairkar and Guy Poitevin has become a reality: the monumental corpus of grindmill songs collected by the team of GDS animators is now publicly accessible and even “returned” to the communities as information technology reaches remote areas. They would have appreciated PARI‘s eagerness to return to villages and revive memories of singing at the grindmill 20 years after our recording sessions… rather than creating a “museum piece” only amenable to scholarly use.

Working with the PARI team is a great honour and pleasure!

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