Mela Obscura at the Bar of Ideas - Mela [from the Sanskrit to meet] Obscura [Darkened chamber, also from Camera Obscura – a Victorian optical device that projects an image of its surroundings on a screen]The Bar of Ideas, created by the famous Victorian renaissance men, the Dowelling brothers, has come to the Lo...ndon Mela, following its’ ground breaking journey to the centre of the world and Shangri-la, at the request of their dear friend Dr Imran Aslam, (still alive at a sprightly 119 years old!) the renowned photographer, cinematographer and ethnomusicologist.
Fari will be performing a piece called "Mela Obscura" with a tabla player and VJ in the Bar of Ideas, a submarine tent.
Dr Aslam has commissioned a new audio visual piece called “Obscura” working with Iranian musician, Fari Bradley and her collaborators, especially for this years Mela. The transition from the Mela's early days as an abstract idea, when it was only a concept of the imagination to the colourful bustle and immediacy of the reality of today's festival is itself a huge social and artistic achievement. Mela Obscura is a 15 minute audio-visual aperture view into the history of the Mela as it has snowballed from year to year, becoming more diverse and more a living thing with it's own identity as the years roll on.
The piece references the first mention of the science of the camera obscura in ancient China when it was referred to as a "collecting plate" or "locked treasure room".
As a trio we have collected sights and sounds that reference these roots, both of what has become the largest Asian festival in the UK and of the beginnings of the camera obscura which thread all across the East from China to Turkey to Arabia and then to it's heyday in Victorian Britain. We marry old and new: electronics, tabla, wind instruments and more to bring you a play for the eyes and ears. We'll be performing at 2pm, 3.20, 4.40 and 6pm - each performance is 15 minutes and is improvised so no two performances will be exactly the same just as no two images captured by a camera obscura, or no two people's experiences of the Mela are exactly the same.
We'll also be DJing Indian, Iranian and Pakistani 1970s disco after 6pm - and there's a lassi bar and sofas - come take part in the bar of ideas!
If you fancy coming along, the Gunnersbuy Park London Mela is full of Indian food stalls and handicrafts, fairground rides and music stages - and it's free - info is HERE