Activities - Seminars & Symposiums

The Foundation has initiated a one-of-its-kind symposium series titled ‘Understanding Qawwali’ which seeks to discuss, debate and understand Qawwali as a traditional art form of Indian sub-continent and further enlighten the masses about the same. Each year a symposium is planned to create interest and awareness about Qawwali and other related art forms belonging to the Indian sub-continent. The symposium features experts, musicologists, film makers, students and traditional performers.

The Foundation has organized three such seminars in the series which began in the year 2013.



“Understanding Qawwali-2013- A Symposium on the Traditional Art form of Qawwali". The first in its series of symposiums on Qawwali was organized to focus on this intangible performing heritage on 2nd March, 2013 at IIC, New Delhi in association with India International Centre, Indian Council for Cultural Relations and Sir Ratan Tata Trust and Navajbai Ratan Tata Trust. The one day symposium was a grand success as it was attended by over a 1000 people, and covered by mainstream newspapers, numerous magazines and multiple online platforms.

Understanding Qawwali-2014 – A Symposium Exploring the plurality of the unified art form. In its second year, the symposium focused on Qawwali as a unified art form of the Indian sub-continent. The Symposium was held on 8th and 9th March 2014 at India International Centre, New Delhi in association with ‘Sir Ratan Tata Trust’ and ‘Navajbai Ratan Tata Trust’, India International Centre and National Foundation for Communal Harmony. The two day symposium was a grand success, attended by more than 500 people and covered by mainstream newspapers, magazines and online platforms.

Understanding Qawwali-2015 –The anthropology and social impact of the art-form of Qawwali. The symposium was organized on 8th  March 2015 at India International Centre, Delhi, in association with ‘Sir Ratan Tata Trust’ and ‘Navajbai Ratan Tata Trust’. The 1 day symposium focused on revival of the oral tradition of Qawwali with a strong emphasis on the livelihoods of performing artists. The Symposium was of grand success and has received the great response from audience as well as the print and online media.


THE LAST SONG OF AWADH (YEAR 2014) - A symposium and performance exploring the music and dance of Awadh featuring Zarina Begum - a unique symposium dedicated to the Music and Dance of Awadh in the era of Nawabs.  The symposium relived the courtesan and featured the Last Living Court Singer of Awadh along with the researchers, scholars, film maker, and intrigued connoisseurs of music and traditional performers and practitioners associated with music form of Ghazal and thumri gayaki.. The Symposium “The Last Song of Awadh”, seeks to discuss and understand the traditional ghazal, thumri, dadra as sung at the opulent Darbars of the erstwhile Awadh and its representation by Zarina Begam, the last living singer of the Awadh court.