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Shabnam Virmani

Area of Practice

Artist-in-Residence; Film Director; Researcher; Writer; Curator; Archivist


Post-Graduate Diploma (Journalism), Times Research Foundation School for Social Journalism, New Delhi

Masters of Professional Studies (MPS) (Development Communication), Cornell University, USA

Work Experience

  • Journalist with The Times of India, Jaipur edition
  • Co-founded Drishti Human Rights & Media Arts Collective in Ahmedabad, making community video films & radio programs with women’s groups & human rights movements, such as Ekta Parishad, Jan Vignan Vedika, Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan & others
  • Initiated the Kabir Project (Kabir Yatra & Festival) – a series of journeys into oral folk music traditions in a quest for the wisdom of Kabir & other mystics and Sufi poets for our contemporary worlds

Interest Areas

research & writing; film direction; education; curation; archiving oral traditions

Current Practice at Srishti

Artist-in-Residence, Kabir Project, Cultural Archiving, Film

Direction, Research & Writing

Creative Practice and Outreach

  • Film direction & web archiving
  • Research, translation & writing books on mystic & Sufi poetry
  • Kabir festivals, yatras and workshops in association with NGOs, schools, universities, individuals and other cultural groups.

Projects showcase:

Kabir Project

Team (Shabnam Virmani, Prashant Parvatneni & Smriti Chanchani)

  • Philosophy and Politics of Mystic Poetry: 2 batches of online weekly sessions with Srishti students during lockdown with colleague Prashant Parvatneni
  • Field recordings with 25 rural folk mandlis and scholars on Bhakti and mystic poetry for ‘Ajab Mulakaatein’ – an upcoming program series affirming our decades long collaboration with and support to folk singer communities in Malwa, Rajasthan and Kutch
  • Field recordings with scholars and singers on Sufism for ‘Rooh Ji Rehaan: Journeys with Shah Latif’, an upcoming online series of programs in collaboration with the Sindhi Culture Foundation
  • Student Internship: Editing of 2 new films on the folk love legends of Sasui-Punhu and Umar-Marui as expressed in the poetry of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai
  • Editing and post-production of a new film on the essence of Mirabai, her life legends, poetry and songs, by colleague Prashant Parvatneni
  • Ongoing work with Srishti students’ on their capstone projects of developing animations for the above films
  • Ongoing scholarship, translations & writing for an upcoming book called ‘Burn Down Your House: Life Lessons from Kabir’
  • Enrichment and upkeep of Ajab Shahar, web archive on the poetry and music of Bhakti, Sufi and Baul poets drawn from oral traditions & the creation of our Instagram channel

Kabir Project
Upload onto Ajab Shahar of a 2nd podcast created by PGDP student Swagath Sivakumar, as part of his diploma project under the Kabir Project


Kabir Project
Field Recording for ‘Ajab Mulakaatein’ program series with Arun Goyal & Mandli, Dewas, Malwa


Kabir Project
Recording via Zoom with Karachi-based urban musician, Saif Samejo on the poetry of Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai for the program series
‘Rooh Ji Rehaan’


Kabir Project
Students’ animation with the artwork of Roy Varghese, for the film on the folk love legend of Sasui-Punhun


Kabir Project
Field Recording for ‘Rooh Ji Rehaan’ program series with Saidu Ibrahim & Mandli, Bhuj, Kutch


Kabir Project
Zoom Recording Session by KP Team with folk singer Arun Goyal in Dewas,Malwa