Word Sound Power | Blood Earth Favorite 


Aug 10 2011


Odisha, India

Word Sound Power

Word Sound Power, formed in 2010, is a New Delhi based collective that constructs multimedia collaborations with South Asian artists on issues of social justice. Armed with a mobile studio, electronic music producer Chris McGuinness and dancehall artist Delhi Sultanate travel across South Asia, recording sounds and songs of resistance and creating new music with revolutionary musicians. The process is filmed by Kush Badhwar. Each project culminates in a musical album and documentary. The media is freely distributed, exhibited, and remixed by a global network of artists.

Blood Earth

In August 2011, Word Sound Power journeyed to Kucheipadar village, Kashipur, Odisha and collaborated with indigenous artists who use music to resist the corporate mining of their homeland. Kashipur is rich in bauxite, a mineral that nourishes magnificent forests and fertile fields which are held sacred by the Konds. Bauxite is also the ore of aluminium, and since India's economic liberalization policies of 1991, has been the subject of violent conflict between tribals, extractive industry, and the state. In Kashipur, a tribal-organized human rights movement emerged with music serving as a tool for mobilization and self-empowerment.

Word Sound Power collaborated on songs in Oriya and the unscripted Kui language with singers Bhagwan Majhi, Lima Majhi, and Salu Majhi. Bhwagwan Majhi, political leader of the Prakrutik Sampada Surakshya Parisad, spearheaded the revolt with fervent songs. Lima Majhi, a farmer-turned-singer, sang from village to village to build solidarity and unify protesters. Salu Majhi, an older, blind singer and repository of Kond folklore, sang epic, mythical poems about the shifting structures of power and identity from former periods into the present.


The struggle of Kashipur is one episode of many occurring in the world today, in which narratives of development are spun for elite gain at the cost of human abandonment.

Posted by Sahil Bhattad on

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