Research-based performance bridges socio-political divisions
- Man of the Heart celebrates the life of a renowned Bengali saint
Man of the Heart celebrates the life of a renowned Bengali saint – preserving a living oral tradition, reconciling socio-political differences, and enhancing the global appreciation of South Asian history.
Almost two decades of research conducted by a Loughborough academic underpins a live performance exploring the life of Lalon Shah Phokir – the nineteenth century Bengali Sufi Baul song-maker and saint who preached religious tolerance and secularism.
Man of the Heart draws on a combination of field research in Bangladesh as well as collaborations with key scholars worldwide. It represents one of the most comprehensive archives of the living oral tradition stemming from Lalon Phokir’s life and music which is as resonant today as it was during his lifetime.
The solo performance – a combination of drama, dance, multimedia and song – has been performed to critical acclaim world-wide across Bangladesh, Europe, India, and the USA.
In this way, it is contributing to a more far-reaching international understanding and appreciation of South Asian history, culture and performance than via traditional academic publications alone.
The work is contributing to a process of commemoration, memorialisation and reconciliation across the Bangladesh-Bengal border
The research and performance have made significant impacts on the preservation, conservation and presentation of Baul cultural heritage
The international performances have brought the work and philosophy of Lalon Shah Phokir to a global public audience.