Meet Alchemy blogger Sadaf

ImageSadaf Ahmed is the founder of Bollywood Bitesized, which aims to get more people interested in vintage Bollywood film by presenting edited films in an immersive, themed space and combining them with live music, dance and performance.

Prior to this, she spent ten years in television and print journalism. Her broadcast work included working on award-winning feature length documentaries ‘The Age of Stupid’, about the impending environmental crisis, and ‘Injustice’ about deaths in police custody. She then moved into print journalism and joined The Voice, Britain’s seminal black newspaper, as a reporter.

Next, she obtained a place on The Guardian newspaper’s ‘Trainee Scheme for Promising Journalists’. Soon after, she became pregnant and left full-time employment but continued to freelance, contributing to a variety of blogs and publications including Catalyst magazine and the blogs Pickled Politics and Liberal Conspiracy.

Sadaf really loves old stuff. Especially old films, and is on a mission to get everyone else loving them too.

Sadaf’s Top 5 Festival Picks…

1.Shiraz & The Sabri Ensemble
Fantastic concept! Take a vintage film, in this case a silent one, and put a live score to it. And it tells one of the most poetic love stories of all time, the Emperor Shah Jahan and the love that led to the building of the Taj Mahal.

2. Asian Dub Foundation
Seminal fusion band. I grew up with these guys and despite their success they remain innovative and full of integrity. Their live score to The Battle of Algiers at The Hackney Empire in 2004 was one of the most mind-blowing film/live music events I’ve ever been to.

3. Charity Shop DJ
I love these guys! They contacted me soon after I started Bollywood Bitesized, and after we’d had a chat it was clear that they’re doing with music what we’re doing with film. That is, taking the music loved by another generation and introducing it to a new one. And in doing so they’re bringing grandparents, mums, dads and the hip-kids together.

4. Mushaira and poetry recital
Many a Saturday morning in our household was filled with the sound of my dad’s Urdu poetry. He’s from Lucknow, renowned for it’s culture and he really instilled a love for wordplay and verse in me. It also goes someway to explaining my discomfort with bad language. Urdu is a language without swearwords, instead, rapier wit is the weapon of choice.

5. Bollywood Dance Workshop
I’ll definitely be making my way down to one of these workshops to bust a move. There’s a lot of great dance events on during the festival but these workshops are a really fun and accessible introduction to this increasingly popular form of South Asian dance.

Find Sadaf on the web



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