Ripples Festival Season 2, held between 3rd and 5th December 2021 in the Bardhaman district of West Bengal was organized in partnership with the British Council India. The festival aimed to promote cultural heritage, rural cultural tourism and strengthen grassroots creative enterprises and help local artists adapt to new ways of working with their audiences post the Covid-19 pandemic. Taking from its name, the festival had indeed created ripples across regions in its first phase in January 2021.
The second edition of Ripples covered traditional arts and crafts in 3 regions; Baul was an integral part of it. 15 Baul artists from Bardhaman district participated in this festival. Among whom Bhajan Das Bairagya, Girish Mondal, Subhankar Mondal, Narugopal Mistry, Barun Das, Chandan Sil, Suman Biswas, Anita Biswas, Maheswar Halder, Nirmal Das, Mamata Bharui, Pijush Banerjee, Arun Hajra, Bamaprasad Singha presented their music in Akhras during these three days. As a part of this festival “Meitheal – Working Together” (An international webinar) took place on 3rd December. The word Meitheal is an ancient Irish word that stands for putting in a collective effort, especially relevant post the pandemic when the world at large has connected online. Bridging gaps between Belfast and Bengal the webinar pointed out the importance of musical collaboration from different geographical locations and creating opportunities for artists. The speakers in this session were- Irish musician Jason O’Rourke from Belfast, Baul singer Girish Khyapa from Bardhaman and singer, musician and composer Deepmoy Das from Kolkata who shared their views on the topic with live music. Two pre- recorded musical collaborative presentations were shown in the session. Along with Baul, the festival also had Kantha exhibition, Dokra craft of Dariyapur, Chadar Badar and folk theatre.