(Suriname, 1962) published his first volume of poetry, Bapauti/Erfenis (Bapauti/Heritage) in 2008, an elaboration of the songs on his album Kantráki/Contract. Tihá / Troost (Tihá /Comfort) followed in 2001 with lyrics from his album Daayra. Love, death and reminiscences of Suriname are the main themes. The Hindustani singer, poet and composer deals with general societal themes but also with subjects that are taboo within Hindustani and Indian circles. Mohan writes in Sarnámi, the mother tongue of the Hindustani in Suriname and the Netherlands. He is the founder and artistic leader of musical groups like the Raj Mohan Ensemble, Vistar and Shai'rana, with which he tours at home and abroad. He plays and sings compositions based on his own lyrics and on poems by contemporary Urdu poets in the (light) classical tradition of Northern India.(WN 2019)
Archive available for: Raj Mohan
Telling their stories via spoken word, rap, beats and songs -- this is what HemelBesem, Raj Mohan and Djani do better than anyone. For young and old, Winternachten and the Schilderswijk Library staged an encounter between three very musical word artists. HemelBesem is from South Africa, a famous performer, artist and MC who has four self-produced hiphop albums to his name. He often performs with other artists, hosts a radio show, and stands up for the binding force of the Afrikaans language. Raj Mohan translates his own Surinamese-Hindustani music and sung poetry from the original. He has released five albums and two poetry collections. The young Hague rapper Djani founded the group FDG with two friends in 2015, for which he composes songs, beats and a portion of the texts. He also works solo. His favourite styles are trap, dancehall, afro and old-school hiphop.
Opening NIght of the Winternachten festival is dedicated to freedom of expression, featuring poetry, music, the Free the Word! speech, and the Oxfam Novib PEN Awards ceremony.
Robert van Asten, The Hague Elderman for Mobility, Culture and Strategy opened the festival. Radna Fabias, winner of the 2018 C. Buddingh Prize for best Dutch-language poetry debut, started the night off with a reading from her collection Habitus. Then the Mexican-American writer Jennifer Clement, chair of PEN International, delivered a statement about freedom of expression. After that, Canadian writer Madeleine Thien delivered the Free the Word! speech.
Nicaraguan writer and poet Gioconda Belli and Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour who currently risk their freedom and lives to seek out and publish the truth were honoured during the prestigious Oxfam Novib PEN Awards ceremony. Oxfam Novib director Michiel Servaes handed out the prizes. Also Italian writer Roberto Saviano received an Oxfam Novib PEN Award. Since the publication of his book Gomorrah (2006), he lives under police protection and could not attend. Afterwards, the other two winners discussed their work and experiences with writer and journalist Hassnae Bouazza and Dutch national news presenter Eelco Bosch van Rosenthal. They read from their own poetry. English spoken.
The Opening Night programme was framed with musical performances by singer-songwriter Raj Mohan and hosted by Hassnae Bouazza. The evening is a collaboration between Oxfam Novib, PEN International and PEN Nederland.
"Thinking of Holland / I see broad rivers / winding slowly through endless lowlands" is perhaps the best-known Dutch opening verse. In Memory of Holland written in 1936, Hendrik Marsman describes the lanscape and the struggle against water. Seven young authors went fast forward to today, allowing the poem to inspire their future vision of the Netherlands. Poets Asha Karami and Derek Otte, singer-songwriters Lounar and Raj Mohan, performer and visual artist Roberta Petzoldt, and writers Simone van Saarloos and Vamba Sherif presented their new versions. Programmer and host Francis Broekhuijsen opened the programme by reading Marsmans classic poem.
We hadden een droom - de erfenis van drie wereldverbeteraars
Ze voerden een felle strijd tegen ongelijkheid, onderdrukking en haat: Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King en Gandhi. Naar aanleiding van een tentoonstelling in de Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam schreef Bas Heijne een bevlogen essay over deze strijders tegen apartheid, racisme en antikolonialisme. In zijn essay Wereldverbeteraars staat de filosofie van deze drie helden centraal. Volgens Heijne beschouwen we hun gedachtengoed vaak als vanzelfsprekend; maar waren hun ideeën over humanisme, de kracht van liefde en hoe zij vanuit compassie, niet vanuit haat, de ongelijkheid en onrecht wisten te bestrijden pas echt radicaal.
Op donderdag 14 december 2017 was Bas Heijne samen met schrijver en columnist Stephan Sanders te gast bij B-Unlimited. Voor De Groene Amsterdammer schreef Sanders een recensie over Wereldverbeteraars. Op ons podium in de bibliotheek vertelde Heijne over zijn boek en ging erover met Sanders in gesprek. Ook was er ruimte voor vragen van het publiek.
Deze laatste avond van B-Unlimited in 2017 sloten we extra feestelijk af met een bijzondere muzikale bijdrage van Raj Mohan, de bedenker van Sarnami-Bhojpuri geet and pop.
Programma samengesteld door Shervin Nekuee (Writers Unlimited).
Boekverkoop in de zaal door Van Stockum Boekverkopers
B-Unlimited: Bas Heijne & Stephan Sanders
We hadden een droom - de erfenis van drie wereldverbeteraars
Muziek: Raj Mohan
donderdag 14 december
zaal open 20.00 uur
aanvang: 20.30 uur
Centrale Bibliotheek, Studio B
Spui 68 Den Haag
Tijdens het Winternachten Festival 2018 (18 21 januari) leidden Bas Heijne en Stephan Sanders gesprekken met internationale schrijvers rondom het festivalthema We the People over het verlangen naar een daadkrachtig wij-gevoel. Kijk voor meer informatie op www.writersunlimited.nl
With: Ad Zuiderent, Adriaan van Dis, Anne Vegter, Antjie Krog, Anton Korteweg, Bas Kwakman, Christine Otten, Hester Knibbe, Ineke Holzhaus, Jan Baeke, Jan Klug, Jan van der Haar, K. Michel, Liesbeth Lagemaat, Mark Boog, Peter Swanborn, Raj Mohan, Rob Schouten, Robert Dorsman, Rodaan Al Galidi, Tom Lanoye, Tsead Bruinja
Dutch poets honoured the South-African poet and writer Antjie Krog. She celebrated her 60th birthday in The Hague. A festive evening, where Antjie Krog presented the audience her favourite poems in Afrikaans. Writers Adriaan van Dis interviewed her on the position of the Afrikaans poet in South-Afrika. Numerous Dutch poets read their poems for Antjie.
'Come to me, my language, come back', Derek Walcott wrote. How does it feel to write in another language than your own? Does this new language also become the language in which you dream? Asis Aynan presents Ahmad Al Malik, Rodaan Al Galidi, Raj Mohan and Chika Unigwe, who will share their experiences. With musical accompaniment by guitarist Lourens van Haaften. In Dutch.
Poetry readings by Lamis Saidi (Algeria), Vamba Sherif (Liberia/Netherlands), Raj Mohan (Suriname/Netherlands), Bernice Chauly (Malaysia), and the South-African poets Nunke Khadimo, Mannini Mokhotu, Moenier Adams, Ronelda Kamfer and singer Reba Son.
An evening with poetry and prose readings by Bernice Chauly (Malaysia), Lamis Saïdi (Algeria), Vamba Sherif (Libera/The Netherlands), Raj Mohan (Suriname/The Netherlands), Urvashi Butalia (India), the singer Reba Son (India), and the South-African authors André Brink, Nunke Khadimo, Mannini Mokhothu and Neo Muyanga.
On Sunday morning the festival was concluded by a special live broadcast of VPRO's OVT on Radio 1 from Dudok in The Hague. In VPRO's history programme OVT (simple past tense) literature and (falsified) history came together in talks with Winternachten's 2009 guests. With, among others, Nelleke Noordervliet, Kees 't Hart, Geert Mak, Shrinivási from Suriname and the Surinamese/Hindu musician/poet Raj Mohan, who treated the audience on a few beautiful and moving songs. The program was hosted by Paul van der Gaag and Mathijs Deen.
mud of Suriname
sticking to the soles of my feet
still leaving traces behind
on the shiny tile paving
Writes the Hindustani-Surinamese poet and musician Raj Mohan. In the programme Poets of the Memory fourpoets shared the stage with evocations of the past. They write about native soil, about the land they live in and about the land of the ancestors. Also with the Surinamese grand old poet Shrinivási, performing artist and poet Gilda Dannarag and the Curaçaon poet and visual artist Philip Rademaker. It turned out to be an hour full of enchanting poetry and candid conversations about forgotten stories and possible truths. Host: Tanja Fraai.